Hot Content, just before their first gigSteve Marks

Bursting onto the Cambridge gig scene, Hot Content have already made a name for themselves by performing a high-octane sold-out show at the Blue Moon at the beginning of October. What’s even more impressive is that they managed to achieve this feat just three days after they first rehearsed together. I spoke to singer Jacob, drummer Rob, bassist Louis, and trumpeter Nick about how the band formed, how they prepared for their gig, and how they manage to balance all this on top of their supo work

There's always more music to be made

The idea to form Hot Content was first brought up after they formed a "scraps band" for a gig in Pink Week last year. Over a pint in Churchill bar, Rob and Louis talked about how much fun it was playing "a bunch of crowd-pleasers - Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, that lot" and thought "what if we did this but properly with charts and rehearsals?" Leaning forward, Louis interjects "there's such a demand for crowd-pleasers to be played, and we just had so much fun - that's what we're all about". In this way, they are paying homage to bands that came before them while still carving out their own place in the scene and playing other lesser known pieces too - "there's always more music to be made"

When asked about how they decided on the name, the band erupted in a chorus of "oh my god" and deep sighs as I realised I might have pulled some skeletons out of the closet. Louis says "it must have taken most of the summer to come up with the name", Jacob shouts "this took months!", and Rob calmly says "it was by far the most painful part of the process" as they oscillated between names like 'Dave's Night Out, 'Who stole my bike lights?, 'Yellow panda club' (Jacob's personal favourite, coming out of a random name generator), and 'Lawrence and the machine' after their trombonist. Despite begrudgingly settling on Hot Content, Jacob managed to keep his yellow panda club alive in the band's logo, drawn by a friend of the band during a plane layover. Rob exclaims "we had a great band, we had a great set list, the only missing piece was the band name".

It all just clicks when you play them in a room full of talented musicians

On planning gigs, Rob says "what people don't realise is that there's so much demand for live music in Cambridge so I got a bunch of gigs lined up before we were even all in the same room at the same time, although that was a bit of a gamble". "It was scary" says Jacob. "that was an intense five days" says Louis. "It was definitely a bit of a gamble to book our first gig three days after our first rehearsal," Rob says while Jacob jokes "every-one was a bit delirious by the end of it". Nick says he "was nervous until we met up at our first rehearsal and played Runaway Baby and it was immediately just sick - at that point, I wasn't worried anymore".

Singers Jacob and RosieSteve Marks

All Hot Content's arrangements are original, composed by various band members over the summer and about this Rob says "the most fun part was making each song our own, we didn't want to be a band that just plays songs exactly how they are in the original arrangements". Louis notes that "Although it was quite daunting writing the arrangements over summer by ourselves, it all just clicks when you play them in a room full of talented musicians".

While after seeing Hot Content live, you'll be impressed by their talent, what's more impressive is that they're all current and ex-Cambridge students, with many not even studying music. As such, they have to balance Hot Content not only with their other societies but also with their supo work.

While this might sound like an impossible task, Louis mentions that "the entire band plays in other ensembles so we're all used to managing our time effectively between studying and music. Jacob and Rosie and Jas do loads of theatre so we've already got several gigs where people will be rushing to and from ADC shows to make it in time for the gig". Their intense start of term rehearsals also help with this as Louis says "we won't need to have weekly rehearsals that take up everybody's time, instead these start of term rehearsals mean we have a full two hour set ready to go and we can just have a smaller rehearsal before the gig".


Mountain View

A river of tears: Luke Sital-Singh at The Portland Arms

When asked about the band's big picture, the band was wholesome in saying that their main goal wasn't fame or fortune but instead to just be a "a bunch of good friends having a lot of fun together". In this way, Jacob mentions that "there's no Machiavellian edge to it, we just want to have a good time", the band just wants to have fun together and bring that joy to their listeners.

Hot Content have a packed schedule of gigs in the near future as they solidify themselves as a talented, fun, and high energy band on the Cambridge circuit, with their next appearance being at Mash’s Jukebox, Jamnesty, and other charity events throughout the year.