3oth November, Doors 7:30pm, The Cellar
Once contenders for the mantle of Britain’s most self-conscious band — guilty, by their own admission, of pandering to audiences’ tastes following their move from Pompey to London — Hotel Lux have crafted a bold and bright identity that is truly their own on their brilliant debut album Hands Across The Creek. All it took was for their wildest dreams to be dashed.
Anxieties aside, Hotel Lux — completed by acerbic lead vocalist Lewis Duffin, guitarist Sam Coburn, drummer Craig MacVicar, and new members Max Oliver (guitar) and Dillon Home (organ; violin) — found themselves on the path to major success in 2020 around the release of the Barstool Preaching EP. Iggy Pop was singing their praises on the radio, and the band themselves were preparing for their big break in America via SXSW Festival. Then, the world shut down and their Stateside debut was cancelled. “We were gutted,” Lewis remembers. “Everything had been pretty exciting for us up until that point.”
Ultimately, the ambitious and unrestrained songwriting shines above everything on this outstanding debut (and this is coming from a band whose frontman once claimed he “didn’t think choruses were cool”). And with the recording complete, Hotel Lux has already found some vindication: they were invited back to SXSW this year, where strawpedoing White Claw cans and attending parties that were “like a shit version of American Pie” was welcomed with open arms. They unexpectedly befriended Dua Lipa. And they even performed at Dulwich Hamlet FC, raising funds for those struggling as a result of the Ukraine conflict.
Now, with Hands Across The Creek set for release in early 2023, Hotel Lux look set to become something their early critics might have not foreseen: a band full of confidence, with the ability to transcend their peers and carve out their own corner of the British music tapestry to confirm a legacy that is their own. “It feels really important,” Lewis concludes of the whole ordeal. “We spent a lot of time worrying.”
DOORS: 7.30PM – SHOW: 8.00PM – CURFEW: 10.30PM