Hotter Than Hell – Nightrain, Bradford – 14/9/19 – Gig Photos and Review

“You Wanted The Best, You Got The Best. The Hottest Kiss Tribute Band In The World … Hotter Than Hell !!”.

There’s rock bands and then there’s Kiss.

There’s Tribute Bands and then there’s Kiss tribute bands.

There’s Kiss tribute bands and then there’s Hotter Than Hell !!

My love affair with Kiss hasn’t wavered since I first discovered them at the tender age of 13, in 1978. Like Kiss themselves, I’ve never seen a Kiss tribute that hasn’t entertained – it’s never just the music, it’s a show and more times than not, it’s a damn good show. Now I’ve seen some great Kiss tribute bands, even Terrorvision masquerading as Kiss in “Room Service”, but I honestly can’t say I’ve ever witnessed anything quite as good as “Hotter Than Hell”. The attention to detail in every aspect of the costumes, the choreography, the between song banter, and the pyro, really is second to none. It would be insulting not to mention the music – all band members are master musicians and have great voices. Starchild, Marty McStravick, in particular hits all the notes that even Stanley now struggles with. “I Was Made For Lovin’ You” is a fine showcase of Marty’s vocal talents. Bram Duckworth is by far and away the best Ace I’ve ever seen, aside from The Spaceman himself, complete with smoking guitar. With Fabio Marchetti as The Demon you get the full blood-spitting and fire-breathing Gene (sadly the ceiling at Nightrain was too low for the Fire Breathing). Catman, Jason Graham, has a great, gravelly Peter Criss voice for Black Diamond and Beth. You get the full package here – great musicianship, great voices, the full show and a prime Kiss setlist. Detroit Rock City opens the set, Rock and Roll All Nite closes proceedings. In between, the focus is pre-Dynasty, save for I Was Made For Lovin’ You, Crazy Crazy Nights and God Gave Rock and Roll To You. All the better for it if you ask me – I’m a Paul, Gene, Ace and Peter purist at heart. You get God Of Thunder, Deuce, Love Gun and all manner of other 70s gems. Ace was always the man for me and believe me I’d rather watch Bram Duckworth play Ace’s licks than Tommy Thayer, but that’s another story !!

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My Kiss story started with Gene Simmons’ Radioactive solo single as my first purchase in 1978 and my first show was Stafford Bingley Hall in 1980. Unmasked shows, Reunion shows, Farewell shows, Frehleys Comet shows, Ace Solo Shows and everything in between brings me to the current day but you don’t want to hear about my fandom. Let’s see how Starchild Marty McStravick got into this whole tribute band thing.

I ask Marty how and when he first got the Kiss bug and at what point did the idea of forming a Kiss tribute band first enter his head ?

It all started around the time Kiss did their MTV Unplugged album. I had the video of that show & seeing the original members play together for the first time in over 16 years gave me the inspiration to start a Kiss tribute band. Shortly after MTV Unplugged, Kiss reunited as the original 4 members and I kind of followed what they were doing, on a budget with 3 other local guys from Belfast.

Full set of HD photos available for free download HERE

I’ve already mentioned the quality and attention to detail in the costumes and the pyro etc.. None of this comes cheap. Was it a case of “all or nothing” if you were going to do it at all ?

As I mentioned above, we had a budget and just starting out, we put together what we could afford. Throughout the years with more money, we decided to get professional costumes, stage set and do it by the book, so yes it was a case of all or nothing over time.

What do you think of the various incarnations of Kiss ? Can you name a favourite track, album and show you’ve seen ?

I think Kiss is Kiss throughout their years. They have had a long stretch of years with different formations and members. To me, they all make Kiss what it is and was. Whether a member leaves, is asked to leave or is no longer alive, I always admired that Gene and Paul still kept it going.

My fave track? So many! Either Detroit Rock City or Love Gun, I would say.
My fave album is Rock n Roll Over.
My fave concert was Donnington 1996 when KISS headlined the Monsters Of Rock festival with the original line up – it was truly like watching them in the 70s!

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As Kiss embark on their “End Of The Road” farewell tour, can you see the demand for Kiss tribute bands growing if Gene & Co. really hang up their stack-heeled boots ?

I think so yeah. America has so many Kiss tribute bands already. Some are fantastic!

I honestly thought the Bradford gig was a stormer. How was it for you guys ?

Bradford was great! We had played Bradford twice before, nearly 10 years ago so it was nice to play again. The venue, staff & crowd were amazing, we couldn’t have asked for more.

And finally, what have you got planned over the next year or so ?

Next year is filling up with dates all over the UK & Europe as we speak! Get in touch with the band for bookings.

I thank Marty and the band for a great show. As Kiss draw the final curtain, their music will live on and tribute bands like Hotter Than Hell will keep the live shows going. Catch a Hotter Than Hell show if you can – believe me, you won’t be disappointed !!



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Graham Geldard

Music first, Photography second, now the two go hand in hand. Travelled the length and breadth of musical genres – 70s glam rock to 77 punk to 80s / 90s mod, post punk, trashy rock ‘n’ roll & metal. Will listen to and shoot anything. Now hooked on the thriving Leeds gig scene – local bands and visiting bands, arenas to toilet venues.

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