This blog is a little late I grant you, partly due to my being struck down with the dreaded flu bug, which I've managed to avoid for over 25 years, and quite frankly, I can easily go another 25 before seeing it again! So gigs have been thin on the ground since the New Year Jump Back Boogie presentation, which we had as punters for once.
Here's a review of the only club gig we made it to in January.
Diggin’ in the Garden of England. To Rochester, for would you believe, the very first gig since NYE for us. The draw was the Stargazers at Heart of Kent Rock n Roll club, run by Wildkat Mike George, former writer for this magazine’s fore runner, Southern Rock. We’d ‘met’, some years ago on the old MSN group Sugardolls Diner run by Emma Sugardoll, and at his all dayer in Ayelsford in ’03. This was where I used to review gigs, the forerunner to my joining this very magazine. So the past fourteen years has been their fault!
The Stargazers, a band that took the scene by storm in the early 80’s. The vibrancy of their style and ability to recreate the sound of the fifties in their original material, was quite astonishing. Nowadays, only Danny Brittan and guitarist Pete Davenport of the original line up remain, but so does their raison d’etre.
The venue was new to us, and somewhat surprising, turning into the tourist attraction Diggerland, rather ominously suggesting that it was closed for the season. The actual hall, contains a café, there’s nothing quite like a vinegar laced chip aroma to accompany a rockin do, takes me back to the fifteen-pence-worth-of-chips-and-a-battered-sausage of my youth. There’s also no stage here, so with the band at eye level, views were at times restricted.
DJ for the night, Suzy Q, who we were seeing for the first time in forever at a gig. She played some top stuff through the evening, refreshing to hear, and conducive for dancers.
The band were due to play just the one set, Mike bringing them on to ‘Rock Around The Clock’. The floor filled, and stayed full throughout as memory after memory hit home. ‘Tossin and Turnin’, ‘Hey Marie’, ‘Jump Around’, ‘Rocket Ship’, you get the picture I’m sure. Musically it was ace, however, the vocals weren’t amplified enough to reach those at the back of the venue, which kind of took the edge off.
More chart stuff next, ‘Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens’, ‘King of the Swingers’, then the odditie that’s ‘Boo Hoo Hoo’, and the finale of ‘Shake Rattle and Roll’. Well that was never going to be it was it, we hadn’t heard the anthemic ‘Groove Baby Groove’ yet. The lads duly obliged, and topped off with ‘Saints Rock n Roll’.
So good to see a club populated well in January.
The line up at the Rockabilly Rave speaks for itself, as the event sets the bar higher each year. Check out the new dates for Atomic Vintage Festival as it takes the Hot Rod Hayride date. The two have joined together, so you get all the features of atomic, with some imported from the Hayride. Soon the heats for the UK Jive Championships will start, check your local clubs and events for details
In the nearer future however, get yourselves down to Worthing Assembly Hall for the Jive Aces' event, the Big Jive All Dayer. Top value for twelve hours entertainment. And finally, stop the press for Domino's new venue in Hertfordshire, featuring two DJs and one of the hottest trios on the circuit on stage.
If you want your event advertised in future blogs, get in touch with us. Check out our flyer below to see the full range of our services.
Cheers til next time