Last weekend we went down to see the Surrey funk rock / soul incarnation HOT PORTRAIT from Kingston, compromising of Helena Sugden (vocals), Dan Trott (bass), Mark Hobbs (guitar) and Michael Gates (drums) live at the Two Rivers, Staines.
A feisty set – as jolly as a jumping jelly-bean – included such delights as ‘Hold Your Horses’ with easy slipping rubber-band bass play from Dan, silky creamy latte vocals from adorable Helena, chunky chords from Mark and hypnotically rolling motifs from Michael. Lap it up!
‘Dirty Greedy Love’ has some plucky fresh tangerine-flavoured licks and a groovy oily bass. The chiming hot vocals are laced around the edges with a bit of fuzz and take you to the brim of acute happiness before your hips and ankles start jigging and bouncing to the beat.
And after an accomplished version of “Hump de Bump” Red Hot Chili Peppers [Stadium Arcadium 2006] with its helical jelly-worm vibes, we moved on to ‘Live in Vain’ with those zestfully refreshing sprays of sounds, a voice lacquered in chocolate spread, funky arrangements and syncopated rhythms.
Hot Portrait are a delightful party band, oozing fun-time schmoozing and be-bop funky-time twang. Helena’s caramel peanut-buttery smooth vocals are set against the scallywag instrumental backdrop and the best jazz-funk guitarwork I have witnessed for some time – the sounds are always ascendant, warm and embracing.
Full of warm emotion, eloquence, and fondant jazziness!