Mint show Polo. For the first time in a while, we were able to make a sortie up the A12 to England’s most Easterly Rock n Roll Club, The Fireball. The menu for the night was Rockin’ shades on the decks and from just over the border in Norfolk, the Hal Wrayzer Combo.
Lead by the venerable Mark ‘Polo’ Page on rhythm guitar and voocals (as they say in Norfolk), these four lads, Tom McNeil on upright bass, Richard ‘Bottle’ Howard on lead guitar and depping on drums Danny Gilles, make a pretty tidy sound I can tell you.
It seemed once again though that the gig at the Lowestoft Football Club, had fallen once again to the ‘so much else on’ scenario, however Ian ‘Shades’ was somewhat buoyed by the attendance being a few more than they’d expected.
To the music though. Two sets of tunes that folk our (and indeed their) age were weaned on in the early stages of finding quality Rock n Roll and Rockabilly. From out and out boppers like Pat Cupp’s ‘Do Me No Wrong’ and Sonny Fisher’s ‘Pink and Black’, through strollers ‘Suzie Q’, ‘Spark Plug’ and ‘Modern Don Juan’ to the thumping sounds of the Moonlighter’s ‘Rock-a-Bayou Baby’ and jog along beat of ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’.
Good stuff, which also included a Bottle showcase on the six strings with the Linkster’s ‘Rawhide. Solid brace of sets from the guys and a goodly amount of rockin’ from the decks.
Three DJs played at this one, Steve Grinster, Trevor Collins and BeBop Kaz who alternated through the evening, and all played some cracking tracks varying from Hank Harral's 'DJ Blues', through the Turbans' 'BINGO', Lanny Duncan's 'Romeo's Teacher', Eddie Cochran's 'Let's Get Together', Custer Bottom’s ‘Stood Up Blues’ and Joe Tex's 'You Little Baby Face Thing'. Top dance stuff, something for everyone. And once again, with these top tunes, the classics like Fats’ ‘I’m Ready’ fill the floor quicker than a hiccup.
On stage, the return of the Mystery Man, he says shamelessly plundering and paraphrasing the title of the Wild Records CD released last year (you can read my review here https://www.thebettajivereview.com/cd-reviews.html). Sonny West, with his orange Gretsch guitars, a pair of Dutch musicians, Jerome Van Gasteren and Harold Hartogs, plus Dylan Kirk & The Killers, kicked butt from the first strains of Elvis' 'C'mon Everybody’ Looking sharp in his Leopard print jacket and matching boots, Sonny and the band set about a no nonsense, full sounding tear-up of a show. At Boppin’ The Blues, they limit the band to one long set, a format that is popular with the crowd, and works well for the groups as well.
A lot of the set was original material, the likes of ‘Annaleigh’, a kick ar*e bopper 'All Night Long', 'Wild Guitar' ‘Darlene’ and new stuff like 'Twenty Different Ways' (or was it 21?). ‘Sweet Fannie Mae’ was outstanding, featuring both Sonny and Jerome Van Gasteren taking lead guitar duties, and brought Sonny to his knees. ‘Been a long time’ he quipped ‘I’ve gotta get up yet!’
DK, (Dylan Kirk) on the ivories, weighed in with covers of 'School of Rock n Roll' 'Sixteen Chicks' and a ballsy take of 'Red Headed Woman' They played two encores, prompted by a massive reaction from the crowd’s love for straight ahead, guitar driven Rock n Roll.
I don't know when the next event is, think around December 8th has been cited, but it's almost a gimmie that it will be a good one!
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Italy's Sh-Boom festival looks a lively line up for their fourth year, and the following month, the Rockabilly Rave with one of the best line ups in the world ever ever!
All the flyers have live links, just click on them for more info
Speaking of flyers, look out for our new one that will be coming out soon, with the help of Andy Brittan of abcreative whose work you can see here https://www.facebook.com/andybrittancreative/ and our existing flyer below
Cheers til next time