Some of the best Australian music – past, present and future – will be on show at the second annual Hot Fest, a touring rock festival where up-and-coming bands play alongside bona fide legends.
In 2019, Hot Fest II expands by adding Gold Coast, Townsville and Adelaide dates to the established Melbourne and Sydney events.
Among the legends this year will be none other than guitar whiz Kevin Borich out the front of Kevin Borich Express. Toot-toot! “That's going to be great,” Kevin says of Hot Fest.
“I'm so chuffed about getting flown 'round to the cities without having to drive, because usually I'm the driver guy but this is laid-on for us and it's wonderful that they've done it.”
Joining Kevin as his fellow legends are John 'Swanee' Swan, Taste and Marie Wilson, with a rotating cast of newcomers for each city, including Smoking Martha, Bounty Hunters Gang, Tyler James, The Babes, Cassidy Paris and more. “We've got Swanee, my friend – we were both in The Party Boys and have known each other for years – plus the other bands. It's going to be like a hot festival, hey?” Kevin laughs.
“That's the good thing; people can get a lot of variety in one night, which is cool. I usually do a whole night myself; we've got an acoustic set we do... Then we have a gap and do the electric stuff to fill up the whole night. But this show is extra great for people because it gives you different artists as well.”
Kevin's status as a legend of blues and rock is undeniable; and like all talented New Zealanders, Australia is happy to claim him as its own. He founded The La De Das in the mid-'60s before establishing Kevin Borich Express in 1976 and has toured with heavyweights such as Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana, AC/DC and Fleetwood Mac.
Always willing to help out emerging acts and artists, Kevin says it's the new generation of musicians that have been teaching him a thing or two. “I came across a bunch of young fellas who all played loopers... I was quizzing them how they do 'that looping thing', so I've got a couple of loopers now,” he says.
After more than 50 years in the music industry, Kevin has been adamant retirement isn't an option for him; he's currently working on an album of new material in collaboration with a host of music greats. “The songs – the noodles, I call them – keep popping up now and again, and I just try and finish them. It's like finding gold: you chase the vein to see how big it is, how good it is.”
So great is Kevin's impact that his music doesn't just inspire younger generations, in some cases it's been the soundtrack to their very creation. “I get so many things these days, guitar players coming up saying that I inspired them to play and it really makes you feel great.
“I had a young girl say 'you know, my mum and dad said I was conceived after one of your shows'. That's got to make me part of the family, surely,” 'Uncle' Kevin laughs.
Hot Fest Melbourne punters will be able to purchase an exclusive VIP package graning access to never-seen-before performances from the four headliners with a uniquely unforgettable Meet & Greet experience.
John 'Swanee' Swan, Kevin Borich, Marie Wilson and Ken Murdoch and Joey Amenta from Taste will each be performing a selection of their own tracks before combining for an all-star performance together, the likes of which has never been witnessed in one VIP only package.
Hot Fest II Tour 2019
Sun 2 Jun - The Gov Hotel (Adelaide) Sat 8 Jun - The Bridge Hotel (Sydney) Sat 15 Jun - Shoppingtown Hotel (Melbourne) Sat 29 Jun - Coolangatta Hotel (Gold Coast) Sun 30 Jun - Ross Island Hotel (Townsville)