For Fans Of: Cabbage, Fontaines D.C., Shame
Pub rock never sounded so gritty.
Hotel Lux were born in bleakness. They mimic what it means to be patriotic. They write songs about dark and controversial topics most young bands wouldn’t dare attempt. They are very much the perfect personification of modern British punk.
Lewis Duffin (vocals), Cam Sims (bass), Jake Sewell (guitar), Sam Coburn (guitar/keys) and Craig Macvicar (drums) are all from Portsmouth, but Hotel Lux didn’t form until they all uprooted nearly 70 miles to South London in 2016. After putting their hours into the Portsmouth and Southampton scenes over the years, when they discovered their new local post-punk community they knew they’d found a home for their new sound.
Producing a maelstrom of post-punk, ska and pub rock, they’re now fully established in the thriving scene which has seen the growth of the likes of Shame, HMLTD and Goat Girl. Duffin told NME “I think there’s been a long time since a group of bands have come together.”, while Coburn added “It’s the community, everyone’s friends, it really is like one big family. There’s a healthy competition. Someone will put a song out and you’ll think, that’s song’s really good, and you want to make a song as good as that.”
The five-piece released their debut single ‘Envoi’ via RIP Records, which premiered on Clash in January 2017. The title refers to a short stanza at the end of a poem which adds commentary to the piece, and Hotel Lux do just that. Produced in Duffin’s shed, the brooding, bass-heavy track discusses the plight of the working class. This saw the band show their sociopolitical colours from the very beginning, and is something that they’ve continued to do with pride.
With their five following singles Hotel Lux left no controversial stone unturned. For example, ‘The Last Hangman’ speaks of the famous British executioner Albert Pierrepoint, ‘Daddy’ follows the events of the Portsmouth’s Paulsgrove Riots of 2000 where locals protested against alleged paedophiles being rehoused in the area, ‘Berlin Wall’ is a tale of division and societal brutality, ‘English Disease’ has a tongue-in-cheek dig at lad culture, and ‘Tabloid Newspaper’ highlights fake news.
Speaking of why they chose to speak about such topics, Duffin said “I like the idea of confronting those quite dark issues in a certain way and quite directly.”
‘Tabloid Newspaper’ has been confirmed as the first single taken from their upcoming debut EP Barstool Preaching, due later this year.hotel lux / introducing