Hot Wax – Congratulations! – Coventry live review

Hot Wax – Congratulations – Central Library – Coventry – 6th April 2024

Hot Wax were the winners of Single of the Week a while ago from our reviews in the pub so when we heard they were playing the library here in town along with Congratulations! who had hot footed it across France to get to the gig, we jumped on it straight away, read what we thought below.

We are in the library in Coventry, for those that don’t know, this space has musical history, as the Locarno and Tiffanys it hosted many many bands from Chuck Berry to the Specials. There’s a crowd outside as we arrive and when they open the doors we all file upstairs to the space, a small stage and tables between the open space in the middle and the rows of books, there’s a table with water and cups and a merch table, it’s an odd place to see a gig but it’s not the first we’ve seen here.

As we arrive a fellow in a bright yellow fringed country and western shirt and trousers walks across in front of us, someone says ‘I hope he’s in one of the bands’ and lo and behold, he is!

Congratulations! Have driven across France to get here for tonight’s gig, they are all in brightly coloured country and western shirts and trousers, except the singer who has not bothered with the trousers. They start with cymbals and drums and then it’s a slow funky beat, the music is off centre and slightly odd which sounds great to me. The vocals are ace, fit the music perfectly. It goes funky with a punky vibe and it’s making me dance as I scribble which is making reading this even more difficult than usual. They tell us that they’ve been driving for fourteen hours today and manage to talk all over each other as they tell us this. They go into a jerky, punky cool song that sounds like it’s indie mixed around with left field rock’n’roll, it’s interesting in a good way, the guitarist gets people to clap as the sound goes distorted and louder. The drummer does a little solo and the song ends. They go into an odd alt-rock sounding track and her voice is great, it goes to a funk, punk jerky groove and she sounds angry as the distortion increases and it lurches forward.

The next song is jerky too and then a fast punky jam, the instruments merging together and the vocal perfect. The young kids are dancing, this is what they want. It goes a little bit ska with a big growing sound, then a big slow alt-rock song, the singer is shouting now as they slip into a psychedelic Hendrix guitar bit and the drummer is funking it up a nd they are all over the place. The best song is last, a massive alt-rock before they introduce themselves but I only catch the singers name being Leah ‘also sexy’ and they tell us to join in with the chorus as it’s just noise and so we do. It’s epic, the guitarist has his instrument on his head as they descend into noise and finish. What a set. 

I nearly left at this point. I have occasional funny turns that really aren’t very funny at all. I had one between the two bands. No idea why but I had a sit down and a drink and felt better. Not brilliant but better. 

Hot Wax are young, they start off with hard drums and a distorted bassline, the indie, punky guitar starts and my mind goes to Pixies at once. It’s stuttery, loud and mashed together alternative rock’n’roll, the song ends with a buzz of bass distortion. They very politely ask for something to be louder and the hard drums start again, the vocal is pretty, that’s the word I’d use to describe it anyway and the music holds back just when you think it’s going to explode. 

They’ve got that thing that Pixies and Throwing Muses had when they were young and hungry, it’s off centre and unusual but still sucks you right in. The bass line is brilliant now, the vocals follow it along and the groove is cool. 

The drums get faster, punkier. The guitar feeds back and then also goes into a low fast groove, the vocals grow with the music and it reminds me of Hole at their best. There’s a great big fragmented sound with shouting, they are bringing back the loud quiet aesthetic with a huge grungy distorted guitar. I can’t see the band, the stage is tiny and I am sitting on a table at the back now. The guitar has gone feral now, all over the place. They slow down to stoner psychedelia and then switch back to speedier vibes. There is yelping, shouting and singing.

As I said , it reminds me of the more brittle of the alternative bands that came before the grunge boom, the Throwing Muses for example, how many kids know about them? But this brings it all back around. A good gig but not an absolutely great one. 

Hot Wax


Hot Wax’s website is, they are on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp and X as @hotwaxbandd.

Congratulations! website is

All words by Adrian Bloxham, all pictures by Martin Ward.

Adrian Bloxham

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