Hotter Than Hell (Kiss Tribute) – The Ferry, Glasgow – 27th April 2013

Having seen Kiss a few years ago in Glasgow, and enjoying every minute of a spectacular Rock and Roll show. Made even better by some very talented showmen, dazzling stage set with amazing pyro, light and sound. I always thought I’d go see them again but they have not been back locally since. I got the offer to go check out Kiss tribute band Hotter Than Hell at The Ferry in Glasgow and thought this is something I can’t turn down. Being a Kiss fan myself I thought hell yeah if Kiss won’t come to me I will check out the next best thing.

I haven’t seen many tribute bands in the past, least of all a Kiss tribute band so IIMG_3721 was left uncertain of what to expect. Kiss are a tough act to imitate and pull off live. Not only because of their huge alter ego characters, but all the other elements mentioned above that go to making a Kiss show the spectacular that it is. So on with the show, and this show did have the beginning all Kiss shows MUST have. The opening introduction of “You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world! Kiss!!”
On walks the band, and I must say my first impressions were wow. They really do have the look of Kiss. Ok the stage is maybe a lot smaller than your average Kiss show but these guys filled it well. The costumes were pretty close to the Kiss look in the mid seventies era. The make-up was applied really well and with great accuracy. The instruments used were pretty close and looked the part, albeit a smaller drum kit used by Northern Irishman David Jeffers (Peter Criss). Single Kick drum with the Kiss logo, but there was not much room for anything else anyway in the low, dark, back of the stage area where it could only have been positioned. No drum risers here unfortunately! But David did provide some great solid rhythm to the band with the equipment he had.

Hotter Than Hell looked the part but could they act, mimic, entertain, perform like Kiss? I must say early on the omens were very good! Another Northern Irishman Rory Judge (Gene Simmons) brooded and scowled, waggled his tongue and posed like the big demon himself. Only difference was Rory had something extra that Gene didn’t have. The piercing that went through his tongue! The only other slight difference was the height. IMG_3783 Rory was slightly shorter but still looked menacing up on stage with those platform boots so it didn’t really make a difference to the overall effect and look. Italian Patrizio Di Serafino (Ace Frehley) looked great, and seemed to be as flexible as the Space Ace himself. Pat had very similar movements and held his guitar in a similar style generally to how Ace would have done. In that laid back style, crouching and bending in those bulky platform boots. You could tell that lead singer and yet another Northern Irishman Marty McStravick (Paul Stanley) had done a hell of a lot of research into his character and the general Kiss stage show and did this with some great amount of detail. I was informed it was Marty who put a lot of work and effort to making the show the way it was, and it paid off, as most of the things you would expect to see at a Kiss show were there albeit on a smaller scale.

Marty himself looked the business as Paul Stanley. Doing his hair ruffling, ass shaking, fist punching and lip pouting in a similar kind of fashion. Marty also tried and for the main succeeded in getting the crowd going with his rapping and geeing up the crowd to participate where you would expect. By all means it didn’t start like that. The first few songs had the crowd relatively quiet. Sussing out the four characters on stage but 4 or 5 songs in Marty addressed the crowd in true Paul Stanley fashion and more and more people got into it. There were elements of pyrotechnics, although on a smaller scale to the big Kiss stage shows. Nevertheless it didn’t half scare the shit out of you when you least expected it, as loud bangs went off just feet away from where I was standing.

All the little elements were there. Rory did the fire breathing the blood spitting with good effect, and performed wellIMG_3723 doing the Gene led songs. Patrizio had his Ace FrehleyShock Me” moment, complete with smoking guitar solo, and I do mean literally! All band members had a little solo spot to shine and perform individually, just like the Kiss members, and those Kiss fans astute enough would have recognised Rory’s Gene Simmons Animalize tour bass solo from the VHS video cassette all those years ago!

The set list was just like a full Kiss set list and had a lot of the classic main hits and what you would expect at a Kiss concert generally. Hotter Than Hell even performed some newer material such as “Modern Day Delilah” and the very latest coming off of Kiss’Monster” album, “Hell or Hallelujah”. They even performed one song which I believe Kiss have very rarely performed which is “Tears Are Falling”. In fact I could see and hear nearly everybody in the room join in singing the classic songs and didn’t need inviting to do so. This just built and built as the night went on making for a very loud 3 song encore at the end, which of course had to finish with the well known “Rock and Roll All Nite”. It was like one long fun rock and roll party really!

I was impressed and greatly entertained by Hotter Than Hell. The people I spoke to afterwards were generally impressed by the nights proceedings. A couple of these individuals were huge Kiss fans and had booked for the Kiss Kruise! Several others were part of the Kiss Army, so if they give their nod of approval, I’m sure a lot of people attending the gig also had a great time. I was sceptical about tribute bands before this gig, but these guys show with dedication, research, passion, devotion and talent, they can pull it off just like the rest of them and deserve a lot of support in what they do. Cheers guys!

Set List

Love Gun
Modern Day Delilah
Heaven’s On Fire
Do You Love Me
C’mon And Love Me
Cold Gin
Hell Or Hallelujah
Shock Me
I Was Made For Loving You
I Love It Loud
Tears Are Falling
God Of Thunder
Crazy Nights
Black Diamond
Lick It Up
Shout It Out Loud
Detroit Rock City
God Gave Rock And Roll
Rock N Roll All Night

Photos by: Robbie Rooney

Hotter Than Hell band are:
Marty McStravick (Paul Stanley)
Rory Judge (Gene Simmons)
Patrizio Di Serafino (Ace Frehley)
David Jeffers (Peter Criss)

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About Del Preston

So there I am, in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, at about 3 o'clock in the morning, looking for one thousand brown M&Ms to fill a brandy glass, or Ozzy wouldn't go on stage that night. So, Jeff Beck pops his head 'round the door, and mentions there's a little sweet shop on the edge of town. So - we go. And - it's closed. So there's me and Keith Moon and David Crosby, breaking into that little sweet shop, eh. Well, instead of a guard dog, they've got this bloody great big Bengal tiger. I managed to take out the tiger with a can of mace, but the shop owner and his son, that's a different story altogether. I had to beat them to death with their own shoes. Nasty business really. But sure enough, I got the M&Ms and Ozzy went on stage and did a great show.