As of this month June 2019, we are no longer contributing the UK Rock n Roll Magazine. After fifteen years June and I are leaving the title. But that's not the big news, it's only part of it. From July this year we will be starting our own online magazine, unsurprisingly called, The Bettajive Review.
In it will be the reviews of gigs and weekenders, as well as interviews, CD and vinyl reviews. Groups, bands and artistes, if you want your record, band, event etc reviewed, promoted or be part of our interviews section, please get in touch at Bettajive@aol.com
We now get over 9000 hits per month on this site. It's the place to be seen and get your event some publicity.
We will also be featuring the Bettajive Review opening blurb that people liked in the magazine, including the 'Dot....dot' feature, along with the 'Best tracks in the world ever ever' and who knows, some of the old features. But that's next month, what's been happening this month?
Firstly, our return to Hemsby, now under new management. Bill Guntrip and his family have breathed new life into the event that featured the hugely talented Gizzelle, pictured above. Check out the review, if you haven't already, here https://www.thebettajivereview.com/weekender-reviews.html
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So it was up to March in Cambridgeshire to catch up with Bill and the Kingcat gang, with Rebel Ted Karl Martin on the vinyl decks. Some good stuff as always from Karl, although did he see me queueing at the bar when playing Donna Hightower’s ‘Brush Those Tears’!
A decent crowd showed up for the gig, that saw the ‘cats play two immensely popular sets, opening up with Rex Allen’s ’58 Decca dancefloor classic ‘Knock Knock Rattle’, and Chuck Berry’s ’64 three minute operetta ‘Promised Land’.
Bill Crittenden is a consummate vocalist, and a talented musician, although his acoustic rhythm guitar is somewhat of a prop, having only four strings on this occasion, one string less and he’d be Seasick Steve! You can get lost in the cover tracks, but then realise for every Mavericks’ ‘I Don’t Care If You Love Me Anymore’, and Ben Hewitt’s ‘Ain’t Givin’ Up Nothing’, there’s their own music, with ‘Coast To Coast’, ‘Saturday Nite’ and ‘Southbound Train’.
The second set was well tailored for the dancefloor, with ‘Sea Cruise’ and ‘Please Mama Please’ getting them out, as did their own mainstay, ‘Time of my Life’. Another Mavericks track, ‘If Only You Knew’, made the set, and it’s clear that this band’s vocal style owes a lot to Raul Malo. They slowed it down a bit with Go Cat Go’s ‘Forever’s Much Too Long’, another huge cover fave by the band. Naturally they were called back for encores, the last of which was another of their own, the ace jiver, ‘Lucky Nite’.
The previous night, they’d impressed at Hopetown’s Rockabilly Club in West Yorkshire. Tonight, the rockin’ scene responded in Letchworth, with over 180 folk in from far and wide, as well as surrounding areas. This is the draw of a quality band like Mike Bell, people from Inverness, Grimsby, Peterborough, Southend and London, showing up at Jackman’s Community Centre
DJs for the night, Nigel ‘Domino’ Babb and guesting from the Hot Dang Dilly Club, Little Carl. Always good to see Carl out in the ‘burbs doing a set, and between the two DJs, came some cracking tracks. You can mix up the hottest Rockabilly sounds with some classic R&B and straight-ahead Rock n Roll, and attain the right blend for everyone, just like this night.
The last time we saw this band, was at the Rockabilly Rave a few years ago, so it was a big circle on the calendar when the date was announced. Miika Siira aka Mike Bell, is a commanding presence on stage with his acoustic rhythm guitar, and the unassuming looking Timo Kalijarvi on lead guitar, the ever smiley Iikku Riepponen slapping the bass with Japi Saario in the drumming engine room.
Setting the stall out, ‘Gonna Rock n Roll Tonight’, followed by the coolest Rockabilly bopper, ‘Gonna Ride the Wild Surf’. Cripes readers, it’s nearly ten years since they recorded that for the ‘Scream and Holler’ CD on Goofin’ Records. ‘Mean Machine’ is a short, sweet and pacey, and kept the zippy tempo going. ‘Careful Baby’ offered a slightly more sedate timbre, before were off again with ‘Country Boy’, with just an ace lead guitar break from Timo.
I’ll flag up as well, their take of Larry Hart’s ‘I’m Just a Mender’, some Louisiana bop, which was a treat to hear mid-set. ‘Last Time to Cry’ is another mid-tempo, Rockabilly pickin’ before finishing with Derry Weaver’s raw sounding ‘Itty Bitty Betty’, with Eddie Cochran’s guitar work represented well in this version.
More floor filling from the decks followed, in the room that warmed up considerably, as the tracks got hotter. The band were back on again, this time blasting out another Mike Bell original ‘The Beat That Can’t Be Beat’, which is a real foot stomper. ‘Now we are going to do a Bob Dylan song’ announced Mike, with a ‘be scared’ shake of the hand. Don’t panic readers, it wasn’t ‘Time’s they are a Changin’ or any other snore-fest, it was a bass thumping rock-out to ‘Baby I’m in the Mood For You’. (I await your return from YouTube having listened to both).
With a slight lowering of his vocal tone Mike’s delivery on ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ (not Pink Floyd, keep up please) was ace, with the rhythm very reminiscent of a Spaghetti Western. ‘It’s No Wonder’ featured as a tribute to the recently passed Heulyn Duvall, slotted in among ‘Go Hog Wild’, ‘Rockin’ Maybelle’ and ‘Payback’.
With the crowd well into them, the lads maintained the quality, with the stroll beat of ‘Lord I’m in Trouble Again’ which has a lean to the surf sound. That lead into the afore mentioned ‘Scream and Holler’, another original, before we closed with a cracking version of Little Ike’s ‘She Can Rock’. How Miika keeps those glasses on through the show I don’t know, and that guitar has suffered without pick guards I can tell you. And we’ll have ‘Hep Cat’ for good measure to top off.
The word from the North, from the previous night, was that we were in for a treat at the Hertfordshire club, and indeed they were right. One of those nights that you can categorically say, if you missed it, you missed out. Some top nights in the offing at Dominos, dig ‘em if you can!
Guest DJ to swap with Domino on the decks, Steph Brian 'The Professor', so good to see him behind the decks in a rocking club.
Big numbers once again turned up to see the 'Ikea Man' (his words not mine), just under a hundred and eighty, which is ace for a Friday night. Loads of 'new' faces as well, again people who had gone the extra mile to get to the event.
Domino brought the band on to the crowd coming gradually forward to the stage, as the fired out 'Red Hot Mama' as their opening offer. All the standard, must hear Go Getter tracks featured over the two sets. 'Welcome to My Hell' for instance followed on from 'mama before a trio of kickers, 'No Brakes', about a car that nowadays does indeed have, no brakes, followed by 'Junkyard Dog', a song of some fifteen years in age, and the New Wave-y sound of the Undertones' 'Teenage Kicks'
There was a bit of respite from the seemingly relentless onslaught of pace and power, with Johnny Horton's 'Honky Tonk Man' before it was wound up again for the drum thumping 'Mexico'.
Between sets we had The Professor, who played a cracking set of jive and stroll, a full floor throughout. Then more Go Getting with 'Hip Shaking Mama' picking up the pace from the first set, with 'The Devil Made Me Do It' hot on the heels. A bit of Bo featured during the set with 'Mona' morphing into 'Who Do You Love' and with pseudo-trepidation, they took on the Ramones' 'Sheena is a Punk Rocker'.
Finally the forlorn request that kept coming from the back of the hall, was answered as they topped the show off with the 2001 dancefloor fave, 'No Heart To Spare'. Was that it? Of course not, not when you have Nigel on the mic and the crowd in Hertfordshire on a Friday night in May. Back they came with Sandy Harris jumping up on stage to take over the drumming duties which left Peter able to play harmonica on Bo's 'You Don't Love Me' blues bopper. Massively popular band with the crowd in at Domino's, and some ace tunes from the decks too.
Last call for the Rockabilly Rave 2019 which at the time of writing will be nearly over in two weeks time. Word from Chatabox Towers earlier this week, was that there were ten chalets available and that was it! Don't blame each other if you haven't booked and you miss out, or us, cos we've been banging on about it for months already
Atomic, under canvas and in the hangar at Sywell Aerodrome in Northants, at the end of July is always a first class weekend, and has a class line up.
It's the 7th Rock Ridge Rumble at the beginning of August, another weekender under canvas, this time in the North East of the UK. Kevin Greener and Tracey Hobbs present another solid line up, at what is becoming the go to event in that part of the country
The Riot has a cracking line up, but there's more With more and more people coming to the Rhythm Riot for all four days, we’re going to open the ever-popular Lunars Bar on Thursday for the first time, with a fabulous new feature for one night only… an absolutely stunning all-valve sound system! You can be sure that it sounds just as good as it looks! So get set for an All-Vinyl R&B Rent Party with 5 hours of non-stop dance floor fillers sounding just like they should. If this don’t move you, you ain’t got a pulse!Book online now at www.RhythmRiot.com Rhythm Rot - 14th – 18th November - Camber, Sussex, England TN31 7R
A shout out for the Rockabilly Blowout, now in it's 6th year. Rockabilly blowout #6 a big majority of the weekend tickets gone !!! Have you got yours?? Click in link on the flyer to grab a ticket
With the success of this years first Southport Rumble (see our Weekender Reviews section for a full review and pictures), here's some info about the next one "Once again, thanks to everyone for making the 1st Southport Rumble such a memorable success. You all were great, bands, staff, DJs and all the fab bands on stage. There was a slight mistake on next years flyer which stated £50 deposit per person, this should of course be per chalet.
New flyer above and what a line-up we have for next year, with a total 8 I international bands, several of which making first appearance on UK soil. We have kept pricing same as this year and booking lines and website now open. To book use following link and scroll up to the 2020 Rumble flyer or to www.pontins.com/rumb or use the Pontins booking hotline 08714 742741 From the comments received looks like going to be a full one so suggest get your deposit paid asap to secure your place."
Claire and Neil Seabrook have already announced their full line up for their third Hot Rock n Boogie event in Lincolnshire next May. It falls on the first May bank holiday, so you won't have to scuttle off on Sunday 'coz of work', and you get to enjoy their strongest line up yet.
Hemsby folks! How good was that? Bill Guntrip and his family and team presented an excellent weekender at the revamped Richardson's camp in Norfolk. And next year as you can see from the flyer, it's shaping up well. What isn't on the flyer yet, is the recent announcement, that the one and only Rhythm Shakers will be playing. We had a brilliant red haired lady headlining this year in the shape of Gizzelle, next year, Marlene Perez and the boys.
Flyer Artwork by Andy Brittan of https://abcreatv.weebly.com/about.html
Check out our reviews of both Hemsby 62 and Hot Rock n Boogie events from 2019 here https://www.thebettajivereview.com/weekender-reviews.html
Click on the flyers folks
OK ladies and gents, that's it for this month. Check back for details on the new magazine. Advertisers, bands. DJs, event organisers, record labels and all, do please get in touch ahead of time and join us for the ride
Cheers til then