Simonotron presents some of his favourite tracks from the club night's back catalogue
Edinburgh and Glasgow are in no short supply of decent LGBTQ+ nights, but Hot Mess has always provided something a little different. As organiser and DJ Simonotron (aka Simon Eilbeck) told us in an interview back in 2011: 'It's essentially a dance party for queer kids and their friends who are looking for an alternative to Edinburgh's mainstream gay scene. You don't have to be queer to come to it but you probably will be by the time you leave.'
Hot Mess will be celebrating its 8th birthday this weekend with two parties, one at Sneaky Pete's on Fri 12 Oct and the other at the Poetry Club on Sat 13 Oct. To mark this significant milestone, we caught up with Simonotron, who takes us through some of the club night's best moments using some of his favourite tracks.
1. Fern Kinney – Groove Me
'Groove Me' has probably been played at Hot Mess more than any other tune. It's a mid-tempo disco pumper that oozes cheek, sass and foxiness. Perfect for warming up the floor and making people feel a bit frisky.
2. JD Twitch – Is It All Over The Place?
This tune is pretty important for two reasons: first, it's by JD Twitch of Optimo, who has been really supportive of Hot Mess over the years and comes to play at the club at least once a year. Secondly, the video was recorded at the Poetry Club a while before it opened. It stars my future co-host Colin O'Hara. After he'd shot it, he called me up to say he'd found the ideal venue for doing Hot Mess in Glasgow. We've never looked back.
3. Yazoo – Situation
In the early days at the Poetry Club, Bonzai Bonner (who's gone on to do great things with Shoot Your Shot) would take a break from working on the door, bolt through to the DJ booth, plug a microphone into the mixer and sing along to dub versions of 80s electro-pop bangers like this. It never failed to take the roof off.
4. Mark E – Call Me (Dixon Edit)
Hot Mess gets pretty intense and steamy at times, but it can also be a place of warm-hearted joy. I'll never forget the vibe in the room when I played this track at Sneaky Pete's at the start of the summer. The night had taken a while to get going, but as soon as this kicked in the whole room came together – it was like flicking a big happiness switch that made everyone's limbs loosen up and their faces beam with beauty.
5. Helena Hauff – Do You Really Think Like That?
When I first played this Helena Hauff record I was really unsure how it would go down, as it's tougher and darker than 99% of what I play. But I needn't have worried: the Hot Mess crowd is really open minded and they went batshit over this. I've never had so many people ask for a track ID.
6. Patrick Cowley – Do You Wanna Funk? (ft. Sylvester)
Sylvester and Patrick Cowley, his producer on this record, are GODS and there would be no Hot Mess without them. I played this at the first Hot Mess and it set the blueprint for everything we've done since. Ow!
7. Midland – Final Credits
'Final Credits' is an end-of-night anthem at Hot Mess. It captures the ecstasy and heartbreak of all the best disco music and it's ace. When Midland came to play with me it was one of our finest hours – that man sure knows how to rock the house.
8. Jacques Renault – Jambo
This record only came out a few weeks ago and I can't wait to play it at the weekend. Jacques Renault takes a much-loved 80s soul classic, chops it up, adds a hefty house rhythm and builds a party juggernaut. Yeah! We're gonna have a party.
Hot Mess 8th Birthday, Sneaky Pete's Edinburgh, Fri 12 Oct; The Poetry Club, Glasgow, Sat 13 Oct.
Queer dance party where the focus is on the music, which is a heady mix of pop classics, obscure synthwave, house, techno and disco from the safe hands of DJ Simonotron. It celebrates its 8th birthday across the two coasts.