Hot Mulligan // Arms Length // Live Review // The Asylum // Birmingham

Starting a new job is always a massive undertaking filled with stress, tiredness and a distinct lack of free time. Luckily for myself after an incredibly long three weeks of training, it was time for my first gig of the month as the Michigan-based emo powerhouse Hot Mulligan was headlining one of Birmingham’s best venues, The Asylum, alongside the Canadian Emo quartet Arm’s Length. As I arrived at the venue at an incredibly early 6pm, I headed through to hear music to my ears, the headline act of the night went on at a respectable 8 pm, something my slowly ageing body was incredibly grateful for. (I’m 25 okay, I’m starting to get old)

First up for the night were Arms Length, the Canadian Emo 4 piece who were hitting the Uk for the first time in their stretch as a band. You wouldn’t have been mistaken for thinking this wasn’t the case though, as the packed-out room screamed along to every track then and blasted out during their time on stage. From the mix of atmospheric, moody instrumentals and fantastic energy, I truly cannot fault a single aspect of their set. Arms Length is a band I truly cannot recommend enough for fans of Emo, and on a personal note as well, I met the band after their set and they’re some of the kindest musicians I’ve met in a long while, check them out!

After a short changeover, Hot Mulligan came to the stage to absolute ear-rupturing applause. Starting their set with Drink Milk and Run, the crowd effortlessly took the crowd under their control and played one of the tightest sets I’ve seen this year filled with love, passion and energy many bands would fail to replicate. The crowd were continuously ballistic, with pits, singalongs and the usual you’d expect at a gig. After the set, it was clear to me not just how loved Hot Mulligan is, but how much they love what they do just from the performance given alone, and mixing this with a set filled with Dan favourites created an experience you would’ve had to of been at to truly appreciate, exactly as a gig should be.

A genuinely great set from two bands I think everyone should give a chance, they may not be your thing but they could easily become a new favourite band.


Review & Photography: Dan Stapleton

Birmingham-based portraiture photographer

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Hot Mulligan have released another new song from the upcoming album ‘Why Would I Watch’ out 12th May via Wax Bodega.  Fans can check out the song and new music video for “Gans Media Retro Games” HERE or by clicking the image below.

“This song is about only seeing what I’m doing wrong,” explains vocalist Tades Sanville. “Seems like I drink and lose touch between what I’m saying and what I mean. Musically, this song has a cool little balancing act between distortion and that kinda ghost-y lead that I’m stoked about. It doesn’t really sound like something we’ve done before.”

Last month, with the announcement of the new album, the band released “Shhh! Golf Is On”, which is out now and can be heard here: The song has already amassed 1.5 million streams.

Produced by longtime collaborator Brett Romnes, ‘Why Would I Watch’ is Hot Mulligan at their loudest, their poppiest, and, ultimately, their most poignant: twinkly Midwestern emo guitars and mathy, synthy-heavy rhythms, Tades Sanville’s sandpaper vocals and indelible melodies. This lightning-in-a-bottle kinetic energy is encompassed on the aforementioned first single and in true Hot Mulligan fashion, a closer listen to the lyrics reveal an intense honesty that could get written off if you don’t pay attention.

Therein lies the true magic of Hot Mulligan, the push and pull of puns and pathos that might seem diametrically opposed at first but actually intersect to perfectly encapsulate life in a heavy, ADD-addled world.

The band don’t consider these groundbreaking topics, opting for more measured and at times resigned realism to deal with the melancholia and malaise of life’s ups and downs. “No one who’s depressed is crying all the time,” Sanville says. “The media likes to portray deep depression as sadness, but most of the time it’s indifference. That works its way into alternative comedy and shitposting. The two cultures collide perfectly. The titles are the shitposts and the songs are what everyone in this position actually feels.”

“Shhh! Golf is On” is about my mom. I’m asking her to die. Every time I hear about her, she’s a worse person than before,” says Tades on the song.

‘Why Would I Watch’ tracklisting

Shouldn’t Have a Leg Hole But I Do
It’s a Family Movie She Hates Her Dad
And I Smoke
This Song is Called it’s Called What’s it Called
No Shoes in the Coffee Shop (Or Socks)
Christ Alive My Toe Dammit Hurts
Cock Party 2 (Better Than The First)
Shhhh! Golf is On
Gans Media Retro Games
Smahccked My Head Awf
John “The Rock” Cena, Can You Smell What the Undertaker

Pre-order/Pre-save ‘Why Would I Watch’ Here

Hot Mulligan will be heading on a headline tour in the UK/EU this spring

21st April – The Exchange, Bristol

22nd April – The Asylum, Birmingham

23rd April – The Key Club, Leeds

24th April – G2, Glasgow

26th April – Academy 3, Manchester

27th April – The Garage, London

28th April – The Joiners, Southampton

30th April – Trix, Antwerp

1st May – Gebaeude 9, Cologne

Tickets on sale HERE

The band is also performing at each date of the upcoming Sad Summer Festival and When We Were Young Festival 2023 in Las Vegas, NV.

Since forming in Lansing, Michigan, in 2014, the college friends – vocalist Tades Sanville, guitarists Chris Freeman and Ryan Malicsi and drummer Brandon Blakeley – have ascended from basements to buzz band on the back of two beloved albums, 2018’s Pilot and 2020’s ‘you’ll be fine’. Now, bolstered by 140 million Spotify streams, a sold-out nationwide headlining tour, support slots for the likes of The Wonder Years and New Found Glory and headlines in Alternative Press and Rock Sound, the band’s third cements their evolution as one the most versatile and profoundly moving bands in the underground.