Live Preview: Eddie & The Hot Rods

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Frontman Barrie Masters, the Essex group’s only remaining original member, explains why the 40th-anniversary reunion of their classic line-up is only temporary.

The Hots Rods’ Facebook page’s boasts of having been “loud, fast and in your face for thirty-seven years” but, for the record, you were never a punk band?

Not at all. We were never part of any fashion. We’re just a rock’n’roll band.

Do you still harbour resentment towards your support act, the Sex Pistols, for smashing your gear at the Marquee, on their debut London gig?

No. There was a bit of a set-to between me and young Johnny, but it was only a scrap.

The band was named after a dummy that used to feature in your earliest gigs. You must get tired of being asked: ‘Which one’s Eddie?’ and having to reply: ‘None of us’?

[Laughs] Not really.

In your middle-aged years, how does it feel to still sing songs titled Teenage Depression, Life On The Line and Do Anything You Wanna Do?

Oh, it’s all tongue-in-cheek. The strange thing is that we meet fans who think we’re some new band, especially in America. And they ask how we know what they’re feeling. That’s a bit of an ego-rub.

Why is the original line-up reuniting?

Last year we did a benefit gig for Dave Higgs [the co-founding guitarist who died in December 2013], and all the old guys met up again. We did a reunion show that went down really well.

How come it’s just two UK dates?

We wanted to do a full tour, but Paul [Gray, bass] now has other commitments. But there’s still talk of Japan, Australia and Canada.

But, as Status Quo have discovered, afterwards the genie won’t always go back into the bottle.

That really hasn’t happened with us. We tour so much, the current line-up is established.

It’s been nine years since the band’s last album of original material, but there’s one coming.

Yes. Everyone’s been writing, so there’s lots of variety. I’m getting quite excited.

Classic Rock 212: News & Regulars