Fifteen years on and Hot Box are still going strong

Thirst have reformed to celebrate 15 years of Hot Box

Thirst have reformed to celebrate 15 years of Hot Box

Jon Neil and Mick Donlan browse through records on sale at Pie & Vinyl on Record Store Day Pictures: Keith Woodland

Revellers enjoy Record Store Day street fair in Southsea

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Fifteen years isn’t bad going for an endeavour that the organisers originally thought wasn’t going to get past its first booking.

But, this weekend The Hotbox promotions are hosting a full weekend of reunion shows at the Wedgewood Rooms.

The weekend has been put on by Hotbox’s founders, the well-known Portsmouth DJs Carl Wood, aka DJ Lemon, and Mark Beeston, better known as DJ Spikey Mark.

The pair have pulled together a bill including some of the bands they put on ‘back in the day’ as well as some of the best local talent around. Some of the bands have even been convinced to reform just for these shows.

Carl recalls: ‘We were meeting all these people in slightly shouty bands who didn’t really have many places to play in Portsmouth and I was working in the Job Centre at the time, so I was meeting lots of musicians who were out of work.

‘Mark had recently got a job at the Wedgewood Rooms, so he approached the promoters there and asked if we could have a night to put something on.’

About 150 people came to that first gig, and despite Carl’s worries that they’d blown it, they were invited to put on another night.

‘The Wedgewood Rooms were really chuffed with us,’ he adds. ‘I was ecstatic.’

Among the acts reforming for the occasion are Thirst, who toured with Bush, and rap-metal band Fat Babe, who achieved their 15 minutes when their cover of The Spice Girls’ Wannabe got played on Radio 1.

Also included are Foxer, Old Sarum, The Goodtime Charlies, 6Ft Ditch, The Underground Pilots, and many more.

Saturday night will also include DJs Jay and Bob, the original DJs from the Chaos alternative club night.

Doors open Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 4pm Tickets:£6 each day. Visit wedgewood-rooms.co.uk

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