Red Light Fever
Ahhh, Justin Hawkins: conclusive proof that ridicule is NOT nothing to be scared of. Four formulative years of being the funnest night out in Camden, followed by sudden stratospheric success (headlining Reading, Brit Awards, a frickin’ South Bank Show, million-selling albums) and the patronage of the devil-horning, AC/DC T-shirt-clad T4-watching irono-rawk masses, followed by all that cocaine and all that equally sudden public indifference. Now, one of the (many) problems with excessive cocaine use is that it does not sit well at all with public indifference. Another is that it makes you paranoid that everyone’s sniggering at you, and thus does also not sit well with playing the court jester, or being confused in your own head as to whether you are a novelty act or not. Angus Young has never snorted cocaine. This is his secret. This is why he is not scared of ridicule.
Justin Hawkins doesn’t do cocaine any more. He does, however, still do really stupid, piss-take-y, ironic (AND FOR ONCE AND FOR ALL: HE IS BEING FUCKING IRONIC. HE DOES NOT FUCKING MEAN IT) cock-rock. Hot Leg are his new band and ‘Red Light Fever’ is their debut album. It sounds exactly how you’d imagine it to. It has big, stupid riffs that sound like they’ve come from a Whitesnake or Foreigner bootleg and titles such as ‘I’ve Met Jesus’, ‘Cocktails’ and ‘Gay In The 80s’.You might giggle, once. At best, you might, if you work in a guitar shop, hear it and go, “Nice riffs!” And they kind of are nice riffs. And he kind of can still – as a devil-horning, Motörhead T-shirt-wearing 2004 T4 presenter might have said – “wail”. But it’s not funny. It’s not good.
It’s not bad. It’s not annoying. It’s just… nothing. You will not laugh. You will not cry. You will fleetingly think, “Jeez, Cat friggin’ Deeley presenting three Brit Awards, in front of a sober audience, to a guy who looks twice her age in a silver jumpsuit, who’s just sung a song about genital warts from atop a 50-foot podium and will shortly head out on a tour of the UK during which he’ll fly across the audiences on a massive pair of plastic tits! What the fuck was all THAT about?!” But then you’ll just forget about Justin Hawkins once again, and get on with your life, while he has to deal once more with the blanket disinterest in his wares.You’ve just gotta feel for the guy, really…