Hotel Lux playing in Sneaky Petes in Edinburgh
Credit: Julia Mason

LIVE: Hotel Lux / Casual Drag / The Runaway Models – Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s, 14/06/2023

On one of the hottest days of the year so far independent grassroots music venue Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh had one of its top quality triple bills. The headliners were Hotel Lux and they were joined on the night by two up-and-coming Scottish bands: Casual Drag and first onstage The Runaway Models. The absolute joy of these small independent venues is that you inevitably meet the bands, and as soon as I arrived at the venue I saw The Runaway Models. I just had to have a chat as I was intrigued by their band name. Being a fan of Fontaines D.C. I wondered if the name was inspired by the lyric in their song ‘Boys In The Better Land‘. After a cagey initial conversation it turns out that absolutely, yes, this is where their band name comes from! The four-piece are punk and released their latest single ‘Wonderful World’ on Friday. The venue wasn’t as full as it could be so early on and the lead singer was keen for those who were there to move right into the body of the kirk. Thankfully this did not detract from their performance and while their name may be influenced by the Dublin band, The Runaway Models have a very different strain of punk – raw, edgy and rough around the edges, just as punk should be.

Next onstage were Casual Drag. They released their debut EP ‘Revolution Will Eat Itself’ in the spring and they are an exuberant burst of rock punk. The trio produce a phenomenal noise and with the venue getting a little fuller it was thrilling to hear their music in such an intimate space. Lead singer Richard states the following about the EP which says everything about their ethos which spills over into the live performance:

The EP is born out of the frustration of what we see in life and today’s music, we are spoon-fed the same dross over and over. We want to carve out our own niche and sound and strive to be as honest and raw as we can in how we write and perform – this is the most important thing to us as a band.

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And so to headliners, Hotel Lux. The six-piece released their debut album Heads Across the Creek in January. They have already completed a tour to support the album but are now back on the road calling this run of dates the “Some Places We Missed Tour“. The set is a mix of some tracks from the album but also sprinkled with older songs including ‘Tabloid Newspaper’, Ballad Of You & I’ and ‘The Last Hangman‘. Hotel Lux are a band who are intensely honest, open and personal in their song-writing. Taking reality as an influence, the lyric writing of lead vocalist Lewis Duffin is pure class – ‘Old Timer‘ a case in point. All jangly guitars and shimmying percussion the opening lyrics are “you’re everything I want to be and less“, and later:

“I don’t know how to build a wall,
But they reckon I can rip off The Fall.

I can write some words instead,
Don’t use cement I use lead.”

Taking phrases and making them their own is part of the charm of Hotel Lux and hearing these songs live is an utter joy. Highlights are ‘National Team’ and the frankly hilarious ‘Solidarity Song’ with their bounce, and a point to note, six-piece Hotel Lux only just squeezed onto Sneaky Pete’s stage! There was a slight pause for breath on the slower paced ‘Eazy Being Lazy‘ where guitarist Sam Coburn took over lead vocal duties. Again the lyrics are heartfelt and universally apply to us all.

The closing track was ‘Eastbound and Down’ and with that they were off. There was an opportunity to chat afterwards at the merch stall and outside the venue. Hotel Lux are a band who are savouring every minute having been grateful to survive the challenges of the pandemic years. This is completely reflected in their performance and how they interact with the fans. Tonight was yet another reminder that the shared experience of live music is a gloriously reciprocal thing.

Yet another top class triple whammy of bands in Sneaky Petes. Already looking forward to the next one….

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Photo Credit: Julia Mason

For more information on Hotel Lux please check out their facebook and instagram.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.