"Hot Wire" album - What do you think?

Hi all

We know that some of you are able to hear Hot Wire in its entirety from receiving the Limited Edition Box Set. So as artists, we're keen to hear... what do you think of the record? Where do you think it sits in the context of these 18 albums we've managed to pour out over these last nearly 30 years? And what songs are you most looking forward to when we go out on the road this year? 

We'd love to know - please use comments box below. 

Very best, Pat And Greg x x x 

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Comment by Paul...Ordinary Angel on May 10, 2012 at 10:06

Paul I really  like your description of Carlos - " it sounds like you've hot wired 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone' and are being pursued by Starsky & Hutch" Excellently put  :)

It just shows how everyone has their own take on music as I'm not that keen on I Can Have it All but love Irreversible Situation.

Comment by Paul McNally on May 10, 2012 at 1:34

It's been too long.

Okay, on the day I got my Deluxe Box set, I had a 'flash' listen to the album before heading out to work. I did listen to every track and left it at that.

It was four days later (I may have been recovering) before I played the album again - this time in work and through a very loud (and high quality) PA system. Song by song...

Duty to the Debtor is like a dirty, guilty little secret, musically - it's almost sleazy which I think is a good basis for funk. I'm not sure about the video but with a song like this, that can be forgiven.

Little Man, on first listen was a 'fair enough/interesting' sounding song until I heard JP's rap. A moment that shouldn't have worked but totally did. I wonder have you guys heard of a young band called The LaFontaines, who do a lot of the 'Jock-Rap' type of stuff? Anyway - after my initial cringe as soon as it licked in, it was less than halfway through that I realised it was working and by the end of it, I wanted nothing more than to hear it again, immediately. This is my favourite track at the moment, Congratulations, JPS.

Hand and Heart is another jaunty wee shock. Fantastically effective but simple melody and almost unrecognisable from the demo/early live versions we heard a year or so back. A gem.

Fail You Better has had quality written all over it from day one. I love this song. Lyrically, musically, completely. It means so much to me. Simple but full and effective. Probably one of your best songs.

If You Want Changes is a strong song but it marks a definite 'B-Side' feel to the album. Lots going on in it and a feel-good drive to it. Lots of the lyrics made me smile for some reason. Not sure why.

Summer Head/Daze is strong in the verse but I feel it loses it's way a little in the chorus which sort of turns things on their head as far as many songs go. It's a cracking wee tune but I'm just, somehow dissatisfied with the chorus. Can't put my finger on that one.

Carlos Takes The Fall - it sounds like you've hot wired 'Papa Was a Rolling Stone' and are being pursued by Starsky & Hutch. I love the feel of this song, derivative as the hook may be, it really, really works well and I feel it is probably the basis on which you aimed the album. It is a stormer of a track, yet, oddly, not my favourite.

I Can Have It All is absolutely beautiful. One of your finest and most attractive melodies in a long time. The production and instrumentation give it a real 'country' feel which, while at odds with a funk album, somehow works beautifully. Well placed in the track listing, this song is topped off brilliantly by a perfectly judged (and executed) guitar solo. Another favourite.

Irreversible Situation, I'm afraid to say, is a let down for me. I read the previous posts that said it was a stand out and I guess it's just a measure of tastes in individuals but the best I could bring to mind was that it was a little 'wishy-washy' (I know that's not the most eloquent I've been in my life) and just a tiny bit of a let down. I fear it may have bled into my thoughts on...

Darkness Falls. A very sombre close to an album that gave an awful lot of emotion - mostly on the happy/exciting side. I like the melody and chorus on this but it leaves me wondering, if the track listing had been tinkered with, even slightly, would this have been a very different album?

Overall, I'm pleased with it. Very much an album to be LISTENED to and not just heard. I'd also say, with the greatest respect to PK, it's very much Greg's album and one that he - they all - should be proud of. Onwards.


Thank you.

Comment by Karl (C.F) Franks on May 9, 2012 at 20:35
Hi Blaithin.I have listened to Hot Wire a few times today while traveling around during my working day.and Hand and Heart is buzzing around in my head now all day long.It reminds me of something I can not but my finger on right now.will work it out.cheers Karl.
Comment by Mark on May 8, 2012 at 22:53

The more I listen to it, the more I'm digging the prominence of the drums on this album. They almost have a live sound to them. 

For me "Hot WIre" is a better album than "Open Soul" - although I will say "The Last Stop" & "Plan B" are 2 of the greatest Hue & Cry tracks ever.

By the way, I hadn't bought the xmasday album until recently (yes yes I know I know I'm a douche), but how great are "Spinning Top" and "Players of Games"? 

Oh yes and back to Hot Wire - the Scottish Rap! Never expected it - but there's something about it that really works!

Comment by Blaithin on May 8, 2012 at 13:32

Hand and Heart is my favourite. Open Soul is the better album though.

Comment by Helen Raeburn on May 8, 2012 at 6:46

For me, it's 'Fail me Better.' I love everything about this track and the vocals are just sublime. We are coming to the Milton Keynes gig next Wednesday and I will be gutted if you don't perform this number! My other favourite is 'Duty to the Debtor' as it just grabs you by the throat straight away, and I too love the 'Scottish rap' on 'Little Man'! Thanks for a great album; I'm also loving the box set which my sister bought me for my 40th birthday.

Comment by Mr Jamie Michael Lister on May 8, 2012 at 0:35

My first thoughts were that the summer has come early! Musically, this is sundrenched and cool - maybe a bit too familiar as in places it sounds very much like something you've heard before? :/ I know what I mean! The instant stand-out track is 'Little Man' for me. It's a real poke in the eye for all the social bigots... musically it's really infectious and easily the funkiest track. I was surprised by how uplifting the music was for long periods... a real feel-good-factor. All good.

Lyrically, this is very, very strong and I think Pat has excelled himself.

As for comparisons? Hmm, too early to say really. I'm still absolutely loving 'Open Soul' and consider it right up there with 'Remote' - I'm not sure 'Hot Wire' is interesting enough musically,(sorry Greg!), to be a classic Hue & Cry album, but it's still a very strong and fascinating listen.

It's early days yet, but i'm struggling with 'Carlos takes a fall' - I don't really understand what it's supposed to be. It's kind of like a tribute to 'Shaft' music-wise and the story lyrically seems almost animated? Perhaps i'll change my mind!

I think all the songs will transfer well to a live set though - all very listener friendly and a joy to boogie-on-down to! Don't misunderstand me, on the whole I love the album... as I said earlier, it's early days!

Comment by lindyloo on May 7, 2012 at 19:25

One of your best yet guys!! - did take me a couple of listens (and I am a huge fan) - it has not been off my cd player since it came oot! - just never get bored listening to it - probably a silly question but who is Dr Louise? x

Comment by Mark on May 5, 2012 at 22:38

I have had it on in my car for a few weeks now and as ever - there are the tracks that knock you over on the first listen or two and then there are the growers. But I have to say, for me this is probably one of the strongest Hue & Cry albums yet - genuinely.

Carlo's, Hand & Heart & Summer Head Daze stood out for me at first. But now I'm really into Duty to the Debtor and Fail You Better.

Oh and of course there's "I Can Have it all" (reminds me a little of some of the tracks on Stars Crash Down), If You Want Changes is good and "Irreversible Situation" is a real quality track. Doesn't leave many after that does it - and to be honest I like them too!! See what I mean - a very strong album :-)

Anyway, I'm so glad you're still recording such great music - and it's so good to be able to keep up to date with new releases/appearances through this site :-)

Keep up the good work lads!!



Ps.  I love it when a Hue & Cry song takes it to the bridge! 

Comment by Paul...Ordinary Angel on March 27, 2012 at 14:42

Well I've had quite a few listens to Hot Wire now and here are my thoughts. I think this is a great little album and I've heard feedback from others saying they've found it's taken a while to get into it. I don't know if everyone is going to agree with this but I really think it's a better album than Open Soul with overall better songs. Of course there are some great songs on Open Soul but I think this edges it.


I'm loving the Memphis flavoured horns on Fail You Better and elsewhere (I can't quite remember which other songs but I know I've thought to myself a few times I can hear a real Memphis/Stax sound). I really like the overall sound of this album. Also great backing vocals and musicianship throughout. The stand out tracks for me are Irreversible Situation, Little Man, Carlos Takes The Fall and Fail You Better. I'm tempted to also add Hand and Heart which is a very good catchy song and which makes half the album stand out tracks. Pretty good going.


Little Man and Hand and Heart sound like good contenders for single releases but I'm guessing there might be a single edit of Little Man in the pipeline. My kids have been very amused at the “Scottish rap” as they call it. I’d like to see Irreversible Situation as a single.


I really like the lyric on If You Want Changes "We are the answer to our prayers". I'm sure I've recently seen a video clip of Pat singing this which I thought was an old clip but perhaps it was a more recent gig. I also like the way they've managed to capture an almost "Live" feel on some of the songs which must be tricky to do.


My favourite track is Irreversible Situation which just has a great sound and all the elements of a great Hue and Cry song which really suits Pat’s voice. Also not to be overlooked is the very good album cover and non plastic packaging for the CD. There’s obviously a lot of thought gone into this album and it must be an enormous job when you haven’t got a big record company behind you to get everything done. I would love to hear some different edits of these songs in the future. Not to say there’s anything wrong with the ones we’ve got but it’s always interesting a different slant on a recording like with the various Duty to the Debtor versions.


This is what makes Hue and Cry records great. Brilliant musicianship and Production, great songwriting, great lyrics and amazing vocals. This album has got it all. 

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