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5th. Birthday - May 4th. 2003
After a long absence Hotdog returns to Nottingham to celebrate their 5th. birthday, with a strong hard dance line-up covering three rooms and including Paul Glazby, Eddie Halliwell, and everyone's favourite sister of hardness Lisa Lashes. See the flyer in the adjacent column.

Here's what was said about their last birthday bash.

4th. Birthday Review

"Nottingham has been having a bit of a rough time recently as a clubbing city. Seemingly flooded with venues and nights for the thousands strong studenty cheese loving population, there would appear to be a distinct void when choosing a hotspot for the more selective taste. While, until its recent departure, Renaissance had a stranglehold with the fashionable crowd, and occasional nights at the seriously underground Bomb satisfied the progressive tune-spotters among us, those looking for a superclub venue with superclub line-ups are forced to travel out of their beloved city in all directions; weekend in, weekend out.

It wasn’t always like this however, and if you ask the right people they’ll tell you tales of a night that not so long ago they were proud to stay home for. Watch closer still and you’ll probably also notice a distinct glaze forming over their eyes in the process, for the night in question often had that kind of effect on those lucky enough to attend. The venue was the deceptively good Lost Weekend, which by the peak of the night would have all the character of a superclub, but with the crucial bonus of intimacy that a 600 capacity venue could provide. And the name of the night that had the Robin Hood city raving, was Hotdog.

Promoter Roman brought his originally Leicester based night to Nottingham four years ago, welcomed as a modern day hero by the locals, and it took less than four weekends to establish itself as one of the top nights in the land. The press couldn’t help themselves but to write about it; singing it’s praises month after month, article after article, with as many being about the legendary midweek activities of the Hotdog merry men as about the night itself. Free entry if you brought a tin of hotdogs, the storming of a McDonalds fast food drive-thru and the infamous new years after-party where the clubbers REALLY let it all hang loose, these were the antics that set Hotdog out from the crowd, and the faithful supporters simply couldn’t get enough.

In true clubland tradition however rocky times lay ahead for the ‘dog, and with two moves that surprised many Roman pulled out of the Lost Weekend shortly after the third birthday, firstly taking the night to Derby and successively to concentrate his efforts on Hotdog’s sister night Bubblelove in Leicester. Both moves helped in plunging Nottingham into the hard trance and house emptiness of more recent times, and while many of his old faithful follow him to Leicester every Saturday night, others have used it as an excuse to rack up some extra miles travelling to Birmingham and the North. One common sentiment which remained however was that of having no regrets. They were fantastic times for those involved and the promise of bank holiday Hotdog events in Nottingham was to be cause for celebration, not lamentation.

Enough nostalgia though and on to the night itself - the fourth birthday celebrations taking place at one of the biggest venues in the city, club Isis. In fact, scrap that, because ‘celebration’ doesn’t even come close to summing up the atmosphere on the night. ‘Carnival’ helps sum it up more closely, with the DJs riding the awesome sound system and the crowd themselves providing all the entertainment required. Channel 5 were also here to witness the 12 DJs playing the main room over the 12 hour event, and while some had doubts on whether this schedule allowed them enough time to fully express themselves as artists, others saw it as was intended; the very best DJs, playing the very best tunes, all day long. No rest for the wicked!

Corvin Dalek helped in warming up the early carnival goers with his sexy blend of chunky techno. The delightful and immensely energetic to watch Sarah G followed on with an uplifting hard trance set, paving the way for Guy Ornadel to do his consistently crowd pleasing thing before Rob Tissera got tough with techno again, with more than a hint of Picotto through-out his set. With the DJs in such quick rotation they had to instantly produce the goods, and my personal set of the night award would go to the next up candidate, resident Mark Leish. Just as a short snippet of his set, he gave us Simon Says - “Free at Last”, an unknown to me hard house version of Tubular Bells, TDV’s remix of Louise’s “Naked” and BK & Madam Friction’s “Erection”. Some may say a slightly commercial selection from a genre that’s trying to distance itself from that image, but when a crowd responds in the way the Hotdog crowd does to Mark’s sets, you have to wonder just what is so bad.

With just three hours of madness to go now, Tidy Girl Anne Savage got her chance to impress. We were fortunate to have her here with us at all, as she had had the misfortune of being burgled just recently. However, like the true professional she turned this to her advantage, venting her frustration through the tracks she played. Harder than the rest on the night, even the most dedicated of podium stompers were physically drained after her set, so we left the dance floor to admire Eddie Halliwell’s hard trance scratching skills from the side lines. Cosmic Gate’s remix of “Urban Train”, Mauro Picotto’s “Lizard”, “It’s Over For Me” and the Stimulant Djs remix of “What U Got For Me” all got Eddie’s special treatment, with each scratch sequence being longer, faster and receiving a louder cheer from the crowd than the one before. Boundless energy behind the decks as well as when on them, Eddie was easily the Hotdog crowd favourite of the night.

Just one hour to go now, and who could be more suited to play the fourth birthday out to it’s 2am conclusion than the lady who’s not only played at all three previous, but was there when it all kicked off back at The Lost Weekend in March 1998; Lisa Lashes. Receiving a rapturous welcome from a crowd which simply refused to go home, Lisa was only too happy to give them exactly what they wanted and finished the night with a “one more tune” that stretched all meaning of the term, finishing as she did well after half past 2! That’s what the authorities get when they try and stop the party in Nottingham!

So as another birthday bash is drawn to a conclusion, many wonder what the future holds for the ‘dog. While the rumours on the street may vary anywhere between it being laid to rest in favour of Bubblelove, to it becoming a more regular feature at Isis, only one thing is certain and that’s that there simply aren’t enough bank holiday’s for Hotdog to fill in the year! When’s the next one then???"

The Future???

Everyone I met at the fifth birthday was from Nottingham, and though the club was full, it wasn't rammed. Perhaps the £20/£25 entry charge on the door, (tickets were £15 in advance) may have had something to do with it, or the May Bank Holiday competition or maybe it's simply that hard house is no longer that popular. Hotdog seems to be Nottingham's version of Sundissential, and in terms of music, audience and style they are both very similar.

There is talk of Hotdog promoter Roman doing something else and there have been ads circulating for some months now as they seek to hire club entertainers and others. What exactly he has up his sleeve I don't know, but I suspect, and hope that it's something a bit more innovative and interesting than the fifth birthday produced.
Some Press Reaction
‘Up market well heeled clubbers are brushing shoulders with bikini-clad beauties all wagging their tails to the sancy antics of Hotdog’ Mixmag

‘Hotdog’s quest to keep outrageous, house fuelled clubs in fashion with a sense of fun and a sensible door policy’ The Times/Metro

‘A hot and very saucy night with very sexy sounds of the underground brought to you by the most bizarre and colourful hosts the midlands has to offer’ Hype Magazine

‘Hotdog is an awesome clubbing experience with a super friendly crowd with Lonsdale the indisputed star of the show’ Groove Magazine

‘Finally a Saturday night to shout about, so if you’re a hotdog or a coolcat, a master at musical chairs or have always longed to win pass the parcel, then Hotdog is the place to be’ M8 Magazine

‘One of the midlands’ leading parties, notable for the warmth of the crowd and their ability to find a happy medium between glamour and pretension’ 7 Magazine

‘Hotdog is proving to be little more than just a man’s best friend’ Club On‘Less of a club and more of a party, everyone seems to no everyone and the atmosphere is incredible’ Ministry Magazine

‘There aren’t that many good night left these days, but Hotdog succeds in uniting an attractive crowd with an unpretentious atmosphere’ The Daily Express

‘ Hotdog, whatever happens, it’s bound to unite gay and straight, gatecrasher kids and glamour babes in an intense hard house meltdown’ Heat Magazine
5th. Birthday Flyer

To get more info visit Hotdog's website by clicking on the flyer.

Pics from the 5th. Birthday
DJ Eddie Halliwell

Eddie Halliwell and Fans

The Crowd


Chris, Carl & Andy

Memorable Musical Moments?

The worst? DJ Sterling Moss, when it all went Pete Tong! Dirty needle? Scratched vinyl? Dodgy decks? Who knows but the beats were way out and they just kept on gall-al-oping along as he hadn't got another track lined up on the other deck. I've seen this happen to other DJs but they rectify the problem straight away. This must have gone on for twenty or more seconds which must have felt like an eternity for the poor guy. His set got torn apart from then on, as he slapped on another track which was suddenly pitched up to near hardcore levels, and then of course he had to bring things down again over the next few tracks. What a mess!
The best? Paul Glazby. Simple. His sounds are the best hard dance music I've heard outside of London, and he's consistently good.
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