live ’n’ loud: Smooth sounds of Hot Choco­late ...................

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

TWENTY years have passed since Hot Choco­late stirred up some sweet con­tro­versy with an orig­i­nal tune, but the Bri­tish band still know how to quench their au­di­ence’s de­sire for sexy, time­less grooves.

Re­mem­bered for their dance­able hits You Sexy Thing, It Started With A Kiss and Ev­ery 1’s a Win­ner, the now six-piece band made a name for them­selves in the 1970s for mix­ing funk, pop, disco, R’n’B with a dash of con­tro­versy.

While the band are up to their ‘‘third and fi­nal’’ singer Ken­nie Si­mon – orig­i­nal front­man Er­rol Brown left the band in 1986 to spend more time with his fam­ily – found­ing mem­ber Pa­trick Olive says Hot Choco­late’s in­ten­tion re­mains the same.

‘‘We just want to get peo­ple up singing and danc­ing – our ob­jec­tive is to make peo­ple happy,’’ he says.

‘‘We will be play­ing all the hits and all the sounds that make you want to woop and holler.’’

In 1969, the band did a reg­gae cover of John Len­non’s Give Peace a Chance, and by chang­ing the lyrics they had to seek per­mis­sion from Len­non’s agent.

Len­non loved the ver­sion and sub­se­quently the band were mo­men­tar­ily signed to The Bea­tles’ la­bel.

Hot Choco­late en­joyed at least one hit a year be­tween 1970 and 1984. In 1981, Prince Charles and Lady Diana in­vited the group to a pre-wed­ding re­cep­tion at Buck­ing­ham Palace.

The band’s last al­bum was the ninth recorded in the stu­dio – 1993’s Strictly Dance.

Olive says the band are happy to keep ro­tat­ing the same songs that made them fa­mous all those years ago.

‘‘It’s like eat­ing your favourite dish or driv­ing your favourite car – you never get tired of it,’’ he says.

A fan of artists One Di­rec­tion and Pink, Olive says the raunchy Mi­ley Cyrus and Ri­hanna are re­spon­si­ble for the stigma at­tached to sex­ual mu­sic.

‘‘They are sex­u­al­is­ing mu­sic too much. Ou­tra­geous is fun, but what they are do­ing is porno­graphic,’’ he says.

‘‘Men don’t want to see ladies do­ing that. We want them to do sexy like Kylie Minogue in a dig­ni­fied way – no grind­ing.

‘‘You can dance with­out hav­ing to go to that level. Men don’t get ex­cited by things like that.’’

In their hey­day, Hot Choco­late en­joyed the taste of con­tro­versy caused by their ‘‘cheeky’’ mu­sic and be­hav­iour.

‘‘We got peo­ple do­ing all sorts of ou­tra­geous things,’’ he laughs, re­fus­ing to give de­tails of fans ‘‘naughty’’ an­tics.

‘‘We were singing about sexy things and telling girls they were sexy, which was po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect then.

‘‘You could put it in a song but if you walked up to a girl in a street and said it, you would get ar­rested. Those were cheeky and con­tro­ver­sial days but we got away with it.’’

– ROSE SADLEIR

Hot Choco­late play Twin Towns, Tweed Heads, on Sun­day.

Hot Choco­late

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