Hottest ticket and a cool night. Back down to Hersham the week after, for the hottest ticket in town, the Boppin’ The Blues Christmas bash. This is a ticket only free for all, with the club releasing all the tickets on the internet a month or so before. And boy do they go! Initially it was said that they’d all been sold in twelve minutes, but that turned out to be four minutes longer than they actually took! I mean readers, Kate Bush?, Take That? HA! Try getting Boppin The Blues tix after 9.08am on the day of issue.
So clutching their golden voucher in hands (well on their phones anyway), people came from far and wide, and from all directions, to see Danny O and the Astrotones play live. Supporting cast were resident DJs Steve Grinster, Trev Collins and over from Geldrop in the Netherlands, DJ Willie Storm. By around 8.30, the hall was well populated, and so was the floor.
There’s no insular, wishy-washy nonsense played here, it’s all top rocking stuff, from Washboard Sam’s ‘Diggin’ My Potatoes’, through Fats’ ‘I’m Ready’, Gene’s ‘Why Don’t You People Learn To Drive’, Louis Jordan’s ‘Ella Mae’, Carl Cherry’s ‘The Itch’, Tiny Topsy’s ‘Come On, Come On, Come On’, Jack Southern’s ‘Darlene’ and Elvis’ ‘One Sided Love Affair’. Regular readers, will note the familiarity between this list and past ‘Best tracks in the world ever ever’. I don’t want to say ‘I told you so’ (shines fingernails on shirt). as well as gems that us, and indeed those in the near vicinity, had no clue about.
These events have the band play just the one set, in the middle of proceedings. The band took to the stage, despite being called the Astronauts and from the audience, the Astroturfs, and all but exploded into life, with the tear up ‘A Fool Out Of You’.
Front-man Danny ‘O’ Dawkins, is a heart and soul, wide eyed, energetic and demonstrative performer, backed by Steve Neller on upright bass, Curtis Doel on drums and Sam French on guitar. With two electric guitars, the sound was ballsy and in your face, as ‘Same Old Story’ and ‘Imagining Mind’ kept up the volume and pace, without a break.
Danny was keen to point out they were a Rock n Roll band, but then admitted that the next song was kind of a paradox to that ethos, in that ‘Pretty Jane’ was dedicated to his mum. The following instro track was dedicated to Danny’s Dad, Paul. ‘Machine Gun’, was a powerhouse, guitar driven, butt kicker, simple as.
There were covers, like ‘Teenage Bug’, ‘Life Begins at Four O’Clock’ and Perry Como’s (yes him!) ’56 RCA Victor cut, ‘Glendora’. Ssssslightly different from the original shall we say. There was even time for a Caezars reunion to finish, along with ‘Do The Astro’.
Grinster, Willie and Trev then tag teamed the records until the wee small hours, concluding another excellent presentation at the Hersham club.
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This is a spacious venue with a high stage, making it easy for everyone, even squirts like us, to see the acts performing. The dancefloor is a large one and gets well populated, both during DJ and band sets.
The Revolutionaires, well unless you are new to the circuit, or have been living under a stone, are always a draw, with their house-rocking, no-nonsense style. Frontman Ed Stephenson is immense on vocals and lead guitar (or piano occasionally) backed up by Rich Stephenson on bass, Mark Matthews on drums and Gary Hoole on sax(s).
Excellent sets as always, with all the classic Revs tunes, ‘Riot in Cell Block Number Nine’, ‘Keep a Knockin’, ‘Tequila’, the outstanding ‘Miserlou’, ‘Eddie’s Jump’, the piano driven ‘Bad Ass Boogie’, SRV’s ‘This House is a Rockin’, and the hugely popular ‘Shake Your Hips’ as a finale.
Paul and Belinder marked three years since they took the helm at Memphis Belles, with a cracking gig. *Oh, and think Noah ;)
As I mentioned, the hall was packed. Last time we visited it was Halloween, this time decked out for Christmas. With the Jets marking forty years performing, they’d released a new CD around that time as well, some of which they performed for this crowd. It’s the faves that the people love, with ‘Razor Alley’, ‘Cheap Shots and Alibis’, ‘Little Orphan Girl’, ‘You Just Don’t Know How To Treat Your Man’ and ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’ all hitting the mark.
There’s another new CD in the pipeline for 2019, and if ‘Little Doll’ is anything to go by, it’s gonna be another hot one. No Jets gig would be complete nowadays, without ‘Lipsticks and Powders’, ‘Millionaire Hobo’ and the stage invasion that accompanies ‘Fine Fine Fine’. With Christmas less than a week away, there was time for some party tunes, like ‘Let’s Twist Again’ with Bob asking ‘how low could you go’. Well many wondered not only that, but how they’d get up again I’m sure.
Another bill topper of a gig from the brothers, who’ll still be Rockin Around the Christmas Tree in forty years time we think!
We’ve never seen a lack lustre gig from Rusti Steel, he always gives it 100%, and tonight was no exception. The solid backing from the settled line up of Andy Meadows on drums, Stewart Dale on bass and Lloyd Mills on various guitars, provides the crowd with a fine Rockabilly and Western Swing sound, with Rusti himself playing either lead guitar or steel guitar (or ironing board as he calls it).
Here they were firing on all cylinders, presenting the best in Rockabilly and Western Swing, with the likes of ‘Lindy Lou’ (adjusted to include wife Rachel’s name’), ‘When I Found You’, Carl Perkins’ ‘Your True Love’ Jerry Reed’s ‘When I found You’ and G.L. Crockett’s ‘Look Out Mabel’. Carl Smith’s ‘Go Boy Go’ was a triumph, as was ‘Ballroom Baby’. In amongst these gems were their own ‘All Night Long’ and the must have ‘Gone With the Wind’ which is a modern day classic if ever you’ll hear one.
They provided the crowd with the finest mix of original and cover tunes throughout, all delivered expertly. I have a particular favourite from their first CD, ‘Mama Little Chicky’ which is superb on all levels. The covers were sublime, such as Warren Smith’s ‘I like Your Kind of Love’, Carl Perkins’ ‘Right String Baby Wrong Yo Yo’, and Gene Summers’ ‘Chains of Love’.
In amongst those were the likes of ‘Frank’s Barber Shop’, from the later CD, ‘Bye To The City’, ‘King of Fools’ and ‘Garden of Roses’, which you must check out readers. Rounding it all off, after a tear-up version of ‘Honey Bun’, Rusti joined them on stage for a finale of, among others, ‘Matchbox’ ending a super night’s entertainment.
Thanks must go to Roland Purdy for the past thirteen years, it’s so sad to see the club close, as it was one of the bastions of quality rockin’ nights out, and a personal favourite of ours. We’ve made many friends since first going to see Charlie Gracie there in 2005. I just hope that you should never say never
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12 hours, 5 bands, 3 DJs and 1 huge dance floor! the full line-up:
The Jive Aces + special guests
Si Cranstoun & his band, JG & the Ultimates, Sister Suzie & the Right Band, Dylan Kirk & The Killers
DJs Howard Cox aka Mr Jinx and Claire "Voodoo Doll" Austin and Terry Elliott's Sentimental Journey
Onto Frisking the Whiskers, new for this year. A place where it's all about the finest music for listeners and dancers alike.
Your host, Jo Green, looks forward to welcoming you and our jaunty Compere,
Lucky Uncle George, will be introducing you to some of best bands and DJs!
We promise you a genuine and comprehensive mix of Jazz Swing and R&B and some other little treats thrown in, to keep your ears and feet happy all
weekend. Our guys know how to keep you entertained and there really
will be something for everyone.
Shake Rattle and Roll are full throttle into this year, here's what they have to say. We enjoyed a really sucessful event in 2018! To celebrate 17 years of bringing the best Rock’n’Roll acts to the Shake Rattle & Roll stage, we are proud to announce another unbeatable All Star Line Up!
The Bands are: From the USA Marcel Riesco presents The Rockin' Roy Orbison Show, Darrel Higham & the Enforcers, Mark Keeley's Good Rockin Tonight, The Heartbeats, Lucas & the Dynamos, Earl Jackson, The Firebirds, Richie & The Rockets, Greggi G & the Crazy Gang, The Buddy Holly Show, The Sweet Georgia Boys, The Runawayz, The Jets, Scott Elvis, The Roosters and Rockhouse.
And some words from Humdinger now. THE Vintage Vacation for the Heppest Cats & Kittens!
Voodoo Doll and McLaren Music are proud to present their first collaboration and it's going to be a Humdinger!
This will be an adults only weekend of great 1940s and 1950s music, hanging out with good friends, the chance to make new ones, dance your socks off, learn some new fancy footwork & dance technique, maybe learn some new dances altogether, wear some of your finest vintage, buy some cool “new” threads or dapper shoes, get your hair done, see some favourite live bands and/or get introduced to some new artists, relax with a drink, laugh, chat, party until dawn plus much, much more! Everyone is welcome at this festival, come along and be sure to join in all the fun.
Join us for a fabulous trip back in time to the 1950's with headline acts playing throughout both days for your pleasure PLUS amazing DJ's to keep you all up on the dance floor!
Set in Springfields Events Centre, Spalding Lincolnshire the site offers plenty of FREE parking.
New for 2019 in the North West, Southport Rumble. Click on the link and you'll find all the information you need about this great, new rockin' weekender, held at the Pontins site, Southport. Easy access from all major UK cities.
Events starts Friday evening with three top bands. Saturday and Sunday each feature five pulsating bands, together with the Uk's top DJs spinning the wax between sets
The Rockabilly Rave line up speaks for itself, another corker in the offing on the south coast
Finally, check out the dates for next year's Atomic Vintage Festival. line up to be announced, but it's sure to be a good one. Click on the flyers to take you to the relevant sites for further details
A shout out to our mates at Si Line Vintage now
Based in Norfolk East Anglia , United Kingdom, we have been on the 1950s scene in the uk for over 38 years travelling to many venues across the UK and also weekenders, The Nashville Boogie and the High are just 2 of our overseas adventures
Our range of vintage Lucite style bags and colour matching earrings are hand made.
Bags like the Premier and elegance ranges are totally designed by Si Line Vintage and all bags are marked with the makers name and an individual number, we strive not to produce lots of bags all identical , instead we will feature something different on each bag, this could be colour, latch, handles or lids.
During November 2018 there were 2 more designs added to the stylelite bag range and a further in December. What now for January? Later in the year, look out for them at prominent Rockin Weekenders.
OK that's it for this month. There are changes afoot for this website, including new features, interviews and reviews. If you want to work with us, improve the profile of your event, band or record, please get in touch.
Cheers 'til next time