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Reviews for gigs held in 2008

 

Review of December 20th -

Graham Fenton & Greggi G with his Crazy Gang

 

Graham Fenton & Greggi  G  reckon its about 15 years since they played at Crondall, so it was nice for them to have the opportunity to come along and reminisce.

 

A big thank you to Graham Fenton for honouring his gig with us, who took time out of his Xmas hols to do so, at Crondall for our Xmas bash. He was suffering with a sore throat, &  was saving his voice for singing by not talking much. The deed is very much appreciated.

 

Greggi G, who spends a lot of time gigging around Europe frequently backs Graham Fenton with his Crazy Gang - brother Rockin' H on keyboard & accordian, Paul Boyer (ex Bob's Good Rockin' Tonight) guitarist & Charlie Hockin (ex Wild Angels) on skins. Greggi G & his brother Rockin' H, were a part of 'Graham Fenton's Matchbox' (famous for  their hit in '79 with 'Rockabilly Rebel') between '89-'95 & is reknowned for performing jive style rock 'n' roll, but continues to frequently back Graham Fenton. 

Pictured here on the right is the record cover of the re-release with Greggi G.

 

Even though Greggi mainly performs jive style, I must admit, I was surprised to hear him cover Johnny Burnettes song - 'Blues Stay Away from Me' & a good cover of Johnny Cash's -  'Ring of Fire' of which you can hear at www.myspace.com/greggigandhiscrazygang .

 He and the band are very smartly presented almost to perfection with added Christmas lighting  placed along the front of the stage & on Greggi's bass.

Greggi did the 1st set, & Graham Fenton joined them for an hour in the 2nd.

Like Greggi, Graham also spends a lot of time gigging abroad....and is  heading for Australia soon! Tonight, Graham wasn't on absolute top form, due to his sore throat, but he did his utter 100% best. I really don't know how he managed to do a whole hour  plus encores with that throat as he went on to come down with the dreaded flu after the gig.

Unfortunately, because of his sore throat, Graham had to avoid certain songs, but he struggled through & managed to keep our crowd bopping, doin' Midnight Dynamos' & finishing with the gotta be done song....Old Black Joe.

Graham frequently thanks his hirers for his bookings whilst on stage, he's always grateful for that.

And tonight, Graham dedicated a song - Blue Christmas - to my late brother in law, Paul (who used to help us run the club each month) which was really thoughtful.

 

A good all round performance with a singers worst nightmare...the sore throat......you try it....it's not easy.

 

We had a special raffle tonight of which all takings - 154 - went to 'Epilepsy Research', a very common disease, which more people should be aware of....www.epilepsyresearch.org.uk

 

 

One Wacky Santa dropped by in the break & caused havoc....after the ladies, or was it the other way around?! Givin' out pressies, adults an' all.....Wonder woman & Tarzan the Stud appeared, wearing their underpants over their trousers....Weeell, they had to do it if they wanted their free entry ticket! Ha, ha!

 

Keep it all rockin'!

Janie.

 

Graham Fenton's Matchbox record cover pic - courtesy of Greggi G -

From L - R on record cover - Greggi G, Rockin' H, Graham Fenton, Wild Bob Burgos & Iain Terry.

 

 Greggi G - Comments.....

 

 Hi Janie

 Thats a cracking review.

 I really enjoyed playing at your club as I always have done in the past.

 Check out the two photo's I found on your gallery.

 Yep thats me back in the Jive 5 days. wonder if there's any of me when I was in the rockettes!!.

 

 Talk soon sugar

 Greggi

 

 

(pics above taken from our historical pics in our galleries, from one of the old proper rockin' weekenders in weymouth many moons ago! around '86)

Graham Fenton in 1977 with the line up before Matchbox really made their mark

Pic courtesy of Graham Fenton

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Review of November 22nd - Rat Pack

 

Nov. 22nd '08 and we have Rat Pack, an extremely versatile Essex based rockabilly trio, & also, for this gig only, Alison, the Blonde Beach Babe o' gram! (explanation later).

It was a pleasure to have Rat Pack play for the 3rd time in our 4 years of running Crondall rock 'n' roll club. We all had a ball, band an' all!
Mick, the main man, lead vocalist & bass player has only just recovered from a broken hand, which didn't stop him from gigging whilst recovering. He was still lead vocalist and played the harmonica, with Nick Hoadley kindly giving up his time to depp on bass for the band. Mick was back to his normal bass slappin' self at Crondall though, but only just.

It never ceases to amaze me how he manages to play harmonica, slappin' bass at the same time & singin' in between blowin' the harmonica, in the song 'Like a Wolf', great bopper! A one man band within a band!

 

Rat Pack love to rock it up, as a lot of the bands we have at Crondall do. They are seriously dedicated to their music, gigging all over the place, with the versatility to back well known artists, like Linda Gail Lewis. They're a professional band that are relaxed, and have a tight sound together, are enthusiastic & reliable. An entertaining band who like to joke between themselves, and connect well with the audience too.

 

Steve - drummer usually jokes about himself not being able to sing a note, but he does do a great rendition of Boogie Woogie Country Girl, Rockin' Daddy & Tore Up. He also makes a good drummer! Steve gets well into it, you can almost see the rhythm travelling through his body right to the tip of his drumsticks.

 

Out of the few bands that cover Stray cats song, 'Gene & Eddie', Rat Pack's is the best I've heard, with Mick doing a brill job with the vocals, (one of his fave's), but tonight I had a go at it myself...then off stage I go, followed by Steve singing his own composition of 'Rockin' on the Beach', and back I come with Alison, the Blonde Beach Babe o'gram, a little surprise for Steve...it's a day  til his birthday & Alison is assisted by me....she can't walk on her own! She's all over Steve & his drums like a rash....she has a strum with Age's guitar, gives Mick a kiss, slaps his bass a while, & returns to molesting Steve, I think it made his day, even though he got lost for words & Mick had to take over with the song while Steve Composed himself!

 

For the rest of the evening, Steve was wearing the garland that Alison lovingly presented him with....how sweet!

 

 

Rat Pack were very smartly presented tonight with their matching western style shirts & black trousers, very impressive, and performing rockabilly with attitude. Just simply presenting the music as it should be played, along with some originals of their own, covering 'Cherokee Boogie', Johnny Burnette, Glen Glenn numbers & more.

 

Age covers tracks like Buddy Holly's 'Modern Don Juan' & Johnny Kidd's 'Shakin' all over'. Age played in other rockin' bands before joining Rat Pack in August, and says he's pleased to be playing with such a professional band. He soaks up new material like a sponge soaking up water. Each time I've seen them, they are covering something new!

 

The life long experience of these guys put together, make a great rockin' band that would suit anyone on the rockin' circuit. They certainly created a good party atmosphere at Crondall & the night finished with some hot boppers from Rat Pack, one being a new one of theirs - a cover of Hank Williams 3rd's ' 7 Long Months, 39 Days.' Check them out at www.myspace.com/theratpack56

As from November 26th '08, Crondall r 'n' r club has been running in the same venue for 32 years....Thanks to everyone who has helped to keep it going.

Keep it Rockin', Janie

 

Mick - Lead vocalist/bass & harmonica player comments.....

Hi Janie,

 Thanks for making us so welcome on Saturday we had a great time.

 Mick

 

Steve - Drummer/vocalist & a friend of Alison! comments.....

HI ALL, THANKS ONCE AGAIN FOR THE CARD AND PRESSIE, MUCH APPRECIATED. HOPE YOU ALL HAD A GOOD TIME. PHOTO ON PHONE NOT TO BAD BUT AWAITING  YOUR PHOTOS, YOU ALWAYS COME UP WITH GOOD ONES. HAD A GOOD NIGHT. AND ENJOYED THE GIG. SEE YOU ALL SOON SOMEWHERE. STEVE RAT. 

P.S.THE MINI RATS HAVE GONE, YUM YUM. OH AND THE CAKE WAS DEMOLISHED ON THE WAY HOME .


Age - Guitarist/vocalist comments.....

Hi Janie, 

Thoroughly enjoyed the gig. Proper friendly rockin' club. We had a ball. 

Thanks for your hospitality and making us welcome (especially liked the RAT cakes).
See you soon,
Take care
Age, Rat Pack

 

See Rat Pack singin' 7 Long Months, 39 days & Long Black Shiney car at Crondall here

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Review of October 25th - Memphis '56

 

Yet another band from afar joins us at Crondall....Memphis '56 have travelled up from Yeovil in Dorset, and are a fairly new band venturing onto the rockin' circuit.

They were formed in 2005, have been playing their instruments just as long, (which isn't a great deal of time) & like many bands when starting out, have performed at  quite a few social clubs & pubs. Memphis '56 are now starting to build up their experiences in the rockin' clubs, and are enthusiastic to be learning more material to broaden their horizons.

 

 

 

Memphis '56 are a friendly 4 piece band with the most friendliest....Andy on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Robin on theee lurid shiny pink bass, Cuddly Charlie on lead guitar & Steve on drums....well that's what they say....Couldn't see him easily....he must have been hiding behind his drum kit half the night. ha, ha!

 

The band had been looking forward to playing at Crondall for a long while. Tonight was the 3rd time that I had ever seen them, & in my opinion,  were at their best so far. Memphis '56 covered quite a few standards, & a few of the lesser known songs, like 'All that the Law will Allow' & others of which the names escape me :( 

Their ambition is to learn more material of less standard & more of the obscure, like the Hicksville Bombers. It takes time of course to learn new material & I'm sure with the enthusiasm & ambition that they possess, they will achieve their goals, or at least get close to them.

 

 

Memphis '56  have already successfully produced a c.d & have been guest on Steve Stack O' Wax's Wednesday Night Rockin' Party radio show (8pm-10pm Uk Time).

They have the right attitude for the makings of a successful band, & compromise, work together, don't let the idea of their increasing amount of gigs go to their heads, & realise that even though they are good, there is always room for improvement. They  talk  to lots of successful bands to try & get ideas on how to reach their own  full potential.

 

Memphis '56 have also recently played as support band on the same Bill as Linda Gail Lewis (backed by the ever versatile Rat Pack) at Barnstaple rock 'n' roll club. Memphis '56 have the ambition to reach the stage of being able to back such a known artist  themselves.

 

Because of the increasing amount of gigs & other 'soon to be' commitments, Cuddly Charlie, lead guitarist, will be leaving the band at the end of the year, but possibly returning to do the odd gig here & there. The new guitarist to be, has already done a few gigs with them & is being trained up to suit the band's present style. The new guitarist also writes his own material, so this will be a really good move for  this ambitious band.

 

Please take a few minutes to check out their sound at www.myspace.com/atmemphis56

 

 I wish Memphis '56 the best of luck with their future, and you could help.

New bands have to start somewhere. So please support new bands as well as the established, go and see them, hire them, bye their c.d if they have one.

They all need your support. After all, they are out to entertain you week in, week out & are helping the scene to live on.

 

Keep it Rockin', Janie.

 

Andy - Lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist comments.....

 

3 weeks before the gig.....

Hi Janie, just waiting now to come up and rock that place.
Andy

 

& after.....

Hi Janie,

We enjoyed Saturday night.

A big Thank you for having us play there. Everyone there was fantastic, its the best club we played yet.
Thank you again,

Andy.

 

& comments on the article.....

Hi Janie, the article is very very very good, thank you very much. Hope to see you real soon.

Andy.

 

 

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Review of September 27th - Porky's Hot Rockin'

 
John arrives 1st from the Great Yarmouth area, Mark & Jeff follow with guitar & bass & then Porky fully clad in flip flops, shorts & t.shirt, looking like he's ready for a beach party, arrives. Porky's present appearance is no reflection on what is to come later.

John spent the 1st part of the evening, leaving & returning....He doesn't know what to do with himself, the thought of hitting the Crondall stage is getting too much to cope with, he has to pace the floor, inside & out, the excitement is just too much, ha, ha!

Porky ripped it up from the word go, there was no stopping him. He came to tear the place apart & that's exactly what he did. Porky went absolutely crazy....well, I can't seem to find the words to describe the performance.....I guess, on the brink of almost losing self control just about fits! I've never seen him express himself so intently before, creating high voltage atmospheric conditions!

For me, it only took a couple of songs from Porky & I was experiencing

 the ol' adrenalin driving me high. This seemed to be apparent wherever I looked.

 

Porky has brother John on drums, Jeff Bayley 'n' Mark Harmen (Ex 'Restless') bass & guitar players backing him & they were all lappin' it up, havin' a ball & really letting their hair down on stage.

 

Porky's Hot Rockin' were as hot as a red hot poker & certainly set the stage on fire at Crondall, they were enjoying the performance as much as we all were, you only had to look at their faces to see that. Porky was ecstatic!

 

They were a sensational knockout....seriously.....such an exciting act!

 

Their latest c.d. ' HOTTER THAN EVER' on Footapping records, just about sums up the bands performance at Crondall. Porky covered some good, fast rock 'n' roll & rockabilly, like 'Somethin Else' & one of my faves - Sleepy la Beefs - 'All the time.' as well as doing some of their own material.

 

Tonight, Porky's c.ds were free, but with only  1 condition, & that was to buy a Porky's Hot Rockin' badge for a tenner first, lol.

Porky took time out on stage to ask everybody to thank us & other promoters for putting gigs on, & said, ''without the people who put on these gigs, there would be none to go to &  it would be the end as we know it''. Porky is good at showing his appreciation like that.

The band were really somethin' else at Crondall.....words almost fail me, but I must say a huge thank you to them all for letting themselves go so much.

 

I'm really happy that Porky's Hot Rockin' thoroughly enjoyed themselves & had the chance to let loose! Keep your ears & eyes open for Porky's additional band - Villains of love. Somehow, I don't know how, but they are going to be even faster & wilder than we experienced him!

 
Thanks to the guys that came up from Hastings especially for Porky's Hot Rockin' & the guys who came all the way from Devon to check the club & band out. Nice to see you there. Thanks also to Tom & Tina for all your support.

Special thanks to Oh Boy Record Hop, Steve Runicorn with his c.d./memorabilia stall & that great character - Memphis Pete for supplying an additional memorabilia stall.

 

Y'all don't forget how much time, effort & work that goes into promoting......it doesn't just happen on its own yer know.

A thank you to anyone involved with it goes a long, long way.

 

Keep it Rockin', Janie

 

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Review of August 23rd - Furious

 

How lucky can we be? All of us busy bees have just had tea & coffee & we discover that the whole village has been without water all day. We've just had the very last drop. Oh my God, what about the loos?.... & the Hot food Facilities? 1 hour later & it's back on. Massive relief & a start to a fantastic night.

 

Wow, what a night. The Young & Wild 'Furious', a crazy, knock yer socks off, adrenalin pumping, non-stop source of energy, arse kicking 3 piece band from Liverpool have given us one of our best nights so far in the 3 & half years we have been running the club.

 

Did I describe them well enough? Well that's how they are, in short! Brothers - Mark (vocals/bass) & Andy (Guitarist) Halligan, & their drummer Mark Fazackerley are all between the ages of 19 & 22 yrs, and from the moment they sung their first song - 'Down on the farm' they had the audience up at the front of the stage, with a minor stage invasion joining in with backing vocals for Cavan's - 'My little Sister's got a Motorbike'. Well done Cheryl......and that was the first set!

 

Other artists covered by Furious were Eddie Cochran, Lonnie Donegan, more British like Slippin' & Slidin' & 'Casting my spell on you'.

All sung in 'Furious ' style....Wild & Furious! Also added to the set was some of their own material.

 

'Punk Bashing Boogie', a song brought out in the '80s, was greatly received by the crowd from Furious, & incidently, one of our new punters on this night was putting claim to co-writing this song.....what an honour to meet him. The guy also d.j'd at Crondall in the distant past as 'The Mississippi Output'.

 

 

 

 

Teddyboy bro's - Mark & Andy - front the band in their smart drape suits with Mark - drummer - in his jeans & t.shirt & overshirt, all letting the music rip through their bodies & interacting well with the audience, feeding off of the electric aura.

It was such an atmosphere, so exciting for everyone.

 

Lots of good feedback & complimentary comments were being fired at us about the band & how much the club was just like it was in the old days. We and the band really appreciate that, thank you to all concerned.

 

 

The audience were fixed to the front of the stage throughout the bands performance & some just could not control themselves any longer (and why not?)....it's just gotta be done....A mass stage invasion was inevitable. It just has to be the most ultimate thing to do to get involved with feeling the music of our lives.

 

The band had a good overall sound output & even though so young, have certainly lived quite a full life already, but still have a lot lying ahead of them.

Furious have had a busy gig schedule Internationally & prove to be popular wherever they go. I wish all the best for the future of Furious & hope that they may continue to flourish.

 

We first took interest in Furious when we read a profile about them in The Roaming Mad Rat Mag, got to see them in Reading last April & then proceeded to book them for Crondall. We knew that this band would give our punters a good night, but didn't expect it to be quite so memorable as it turned out to be.

 

I cannot finish without mentioning the Ma & Pa of Furious brothers. They carry out 2 of the most important jobs that a band cannot go without...Firstly, Pa has driven for 5 hours down to us from Liverpool & then back up to Luton after the gig, to sleep, without grabbing a rest at ours, whilst the band were all taking it easy in the back of the wall to wall / floor to ceiling carpeted, curtained, furnished with soft seats & fully equipped with a fridge for the beer, most luxurious van. Then Pa had to drive all the way up to Doncaster for an all dayer event the next day, & getting horribly stuck on a motorway on the way.

And if that wasn't enough, They all finished the Bank Holiday wk/end by doing a local gig in a major Virgin record store on the Monday, which evidently went really well. Ma keeps them all in check & gives great moral support all the way.

 

Check Furious out for yourself at www.myspace.com/furiousrocknroll

 

To finish off.....Furious reckons we're all crazy at Crondall....well, they're right! & I'm really made up that they had just as much a ball as we did! And if you don't understand that, then learn Liverpoolian! I had to!

 

Keep it Rockin', Janie.

 

Furious comments.....

 

Hi Janie,
 
Thanks for the photos! We had a great time down there & we're really made up you all had a good time! Your all crazy people in Crondall!
 
Will be updating our website asap!
 
See you sooooon!
 
WWW.ROCKFURIOUS.COM

 

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Review of July 26th - Rhythm Boys

 

Peggy, my ma in law/half of our film crew is celebrating her 60th, only she doesn't know it!

She's been given relief from helping with door duties tonight, so she has more time to open all the many cards she received. It's been a manic week, & an hour and half before we leave home to get to the club, given that I'm not ready yet......I receive a very apologetic phone call from our hot food staff saying their car has broken down & cannot make it over. Arrrrrgghhhh!!!! Gotta try and supply some hot food for our customers, a lot of them rely on it.

Oh the joys of keeping everybody happy! Mission complete, & considering the short notice, the replacement did a magnificent job.

While waiting for the band, I chance to pull a joke on the local copper, never met him before & told him he wasn't allowed to park his car in the car park. Ha. Ha! He was cool about it!

 

Rhythm Boys arrive 5 hours after leaving home in Norfolk with their hired trailer ( a kind of expense for bands/d.j's that some people don't realise has to be done).

 

Mike - singer/rhythm guitarist, Craig - lead guitarist, Keith - drums, & Andy on bass......J.R.B. for short (Junior Rhythm Boy - as he is the newest member in the band).

 

What struck me was how keen & enthusiastic the boys wives were to help out with unloading their gear, that  was a rare sight to see, I must say! I hope the lads are paying them well!

' Men in Black', I call them, 'cos that's what they  wear whenever I see them on stage, although they have been known to wear white shirts. They like to perform with flashing lights to accentuate the beauty of the guitars, bass & drums to the audience, and when wearing black, it helps that accentuation.

The lights, when set on slow movement can be quite effective creating shadows at the back of the stage & highlighting the instruments...but lights or no lights....at the end of the day, what matters  primarily from a band  is the sound that they produce.

 

 

We decided to book Rhythm Boys on the merits of their demo c.d, before we went to see them at a gig.

We liked the sound, it was good 'n' rockin' & extremely fresh, with their own material of good quality.

 We thought the band had potential, and after going to see them at a gig, were impressed with what we saw & seemed to be a band out for fun.

They can produce good rockin'  tunes while having a laugh on the stage & entertain well. Rhythm boys present an even balance of Rock 'n' Roll & Rockabilly 

Newest member of a few months - Junior, seems to have bonded well to the band, with Craig & Mike (Ol' Blue Eyes) as the front men, with energy oozing from their rockin' souls, proving a great rapport with each other. Rhythm Guitar Versus lead guitar...Rhythm guitar Versus Bass!

 

Andy had an array of sketched portraits on his bass of which I can only guess were of rockin' artist/es...I didn't really get a chance to have a look or ask. They looked great anyway!

 

John - Houndog d.j was invited up to do a song with the Rhythm Boys - Johnny was good..... doing Johnny B Good, ha, ha!

 

If you haven't seen the Rhythm Boys yet, & are lucky enough to have a brain that enables you to use a p.c, then you should check this band's gig guide out, and hear a few tracks from one of their albums -

 ' She Rocks, Bops, Boogies' at

 www.myspace.com/rhythmboys

 

 There are some great pics there to look at  too. Go see what you think.

 

 

Until the next party at Crondall, keep on rockin' & support those rockin' joints.....they can't exist without your custom!

Janie

 

 

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Review of June 28th - Hicksville Bombers

 

Previously, we had Hicksville Bombers on Crondall's 30th anniversary night back in Nov.'06. I had so much to write about, then, that the Bombers didn't get much of a review, so I can make up for it now.

 

I first saw the Bombers approx 13/14 years ago at Crondall which was where they did their 1st Southern gig.

The Lincoln based band have been a regular  there ever since, & always go down a storm. The Rosecroft club & Barnstaple rock 'n' roll club, also book Hicksville Bombers on a regular basis.

 

This band is on turbo boost from start to finish, & they had our dance floor  having the living daylights knocked out of it with all the stompin' boppin' punters throughout both of their sets.

The Bombers don't take long to do a sound check, 1 song & it's done.

Now they are good 'n' ready & raring to go after a refreshing cup of tea after their 3 &1/2 hour long journey. 

 

They're wild, exciting, enthusiastic & loud, as rock 'n' roll should be. They have the ability to get the adrenalin pumping through your heart and soul, from yer head to yer toes, driving you to unavoidably NOT keeping still ! Paul is such an energetic bass player, going crazy with his turquoise coloured bass, really giving it some good ol' slapping & letting rip on it, like it was as light as a feather, moving it from one side to the other, forward & back, and even trying to hide from me & my camera, taking his bass backstage!.....crazy!

 

They played some fantastic boppers, some deep 'n' bluesy, a few to jive to, but mostly heart pumpin', foot stompin' stuff. Dave sung from his rockin' heart, some of his own material, which can be heard on their new c.d ' Deal with the Devil ' (brand new at time of gig) on ' Cool & Crazy' records.

 

This is the first release with the Hicksville Bombers latest line up with Paul Chambers on bass,  Dave Brown on guitar & lead vocals & Andy Turner on Drums.

 

The band also did a good cover of  that great Johnny Cash  no. - ' Folsom Prison Blues', which seems to be a popular song with many bands at the moment.

 

Oh Boy! Record Hop kept the floor busy while some of the punters decided to go out for some cool air, after a steaming hot 1st set performance from the Hicksville Bombers heating the atmosphere.

The Bombers were lucky to get off the stage at all after their 2nd set, as all the rockin' crowd, teds & rockers were cheering them back on.

 

 

 

 

More info on the Hicksville Bombers can be found at www.hicksvillebombers.com

 

I have to mention one of Crondall's regulars, of  32 years - Jill a.k.a one of 'The Crondall sisters', was celebrating her 50th in true Crondall style, with the band doin' a rockin' rendition of 'Happy Birthday to you' & Jill joining them up on stage for a stroll with the next song. A nice touch to someone who has been loyal to the club all these years.

 

I'd like to thank anyone & everyone who has helped support Crondall rock 'n' roll club in one way or another for the last 32 years.

 

You all helped it to survive!

 

 

Keep on rockin',

 Janie.

 

Dave Brown - Lead vocals/Guitariast comments on the article & gig.....

 

Thanks Janie,

 

I'll put it on our site, www.hicksvillebombers.com

Always a pleasure to play for you and thanks for your great hospitality.

see you soon.

 

Dave

 
 

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Review of may 31st - Skiprats

 

Such a pleasure to see Skiprats again. This is about the 3rd time within 7 years, that they've played at Crondall. Their gigs are few & far between down this neck of the woods & travel for 5 & 1/2 hours to get down to us from County Durham.

Of course, the authentic sounding rockabilly band would take more gigs on, down country, but they all belong to other bands  too & are busy with them also.

Colin Mee's other band, 'Root'n Toot'n - is more hillbilly orientated & are quite busy, therefore, clubs offering Skiprats a gig have to book them well in advance to catch them, and it is well worth the wait.

The band have been around for 21 years with a slight change in line up & reverting back to the original, consisting of Colin - Vocalist/guitarist, Mickie Downey - Bass slapper & Joe Guillan - lead Guitarist.....& yes, 10 out of 10 if you spotted that I didn't mention a drummer! There is no drummer with the Skiprats, & the most minimal of equipment is used on stage to amplify the sound at  the gig.

 

The band must be one of the most authentic sounding bands I have heard....there are others, but that's another story, lol.

They have an authentic sound, authentic appearance & with barely any equipment on stage topping off the whole authentic feature, covering songs like 'I'm just a mender', which you can hear, amongst other tracks, on one of their websites - www.myspace.com/skiprats 

A pure class 'early rockabilly' act, consisting of various string plucking, strumming & slapping, with the added ingredient of voices.....that's it....Just Stringin' & Singin'.

 

Their latest c.d, recorded in '06, is available from Pink & Black records, entitled - 'Heartbreak Soup' which is actually a name of a cafe that the Skiprats came across one day, & decided that it would be a great name for their then, forthcoming c.d.

 

Skiprats hope to be recording another in the near future, so keep yer eyes peeled if you like pure original rockabilly. The band have recorded covers &  a lot of their own material too, which sounds quite authentic.

 

I guess the hero of the night was Tom - ex guitarist of Jack Rabbit Slim. Colin's lead guitarist had a slight mishap which resulted in him losing part of his finger about a week or so before the gig, most unfortunate for him as he was looking forward to playing at Crondall....He now belongs to the Zombie clan, say no more! I wish him a speedy recovery...most frustrating for a guitarist not being able to use his finger! Colin in no way wanted to let us down, had a word with Tom at Hemsby even though he wasn't sure whether he would need a dep guitarist or not at this point. Tom very kindly marked it in his diary as a definite, even though it wasn't. Tom received confirmation 2 days before the gig, and then there were 3...again!

So 2/3rds Skiprats & ex Jack Rabbit guitarist did mostly cover songs, as Tom hadn't enough time to learn Skiprats' own material, although they did manage 1 or 2 in the end, with Tom also having a brief encounter with the Mic & a great voice he has too. Skiprats got one of the biggest crowd cheers we have ever heard at Crondall.

 

One of our helpers - Adrian - had brought some old photo's along for the band, which were of the band & 2 of their very young  son's on stage, taken years ago . I was telling Bass player - Mickie, who had his son with him, that many moons ago....Little Davey, who is now with The western Aces, 1st got on stage at crondall & played bass when he was about 7 years old & he had to stand up on a milk crate so he could manage the size of  it.

Low & behold, I didn't realise that it was the Skiprats who were playing that night.

If you like rockabilly as it was produced in the fifties, then I suggest you go & see these guys if you ever get the chance to.

 

Until the next wild party at Crondall, keep on rockin'  & promote what you can, even if it's only giving a friend a flier, it all helps.

Janie.

Colin Mee - Singer & guitarist comments.....

Hi Janie
 

Great review, thank you.

 We really had a great time a Crondall and hope we can perform at your club again in the future.

 Thanks for being a great host and for making us feel so welcome.

 It's great to see a rock n roll club continue to flourish as much as Crondall, all credit to you and your team.

 
Thanks for your support Janie
 
Take Care 
Col

 

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Review of April 26th '08 - B.17's

 

We were 3 days away from Good Old England's Saint Georges day, and may I say, I hope you all flew the Good Old George Cross! Our very own 'Oh Boy! Record Hop' a.k.a. Dynamite Ady & Boppin' Robin, added a few extra British tracks to their set than the norm, for the sake of our Patron Saint.
Dynamite Ady is a big fan of the British rock 'n' roll, especially, & played some tracks from Terry Wayne, Vince Taylor, & of course Billy Fury & Cliff to say the least.

We had the George cross boldly on show, 3 fold, pegged up on the curtains behind the band on stage. UP THE ENGLAND!

 

In less than 9 months, B.17's return to Crondall. They have been gigging together in the same line up for just over 15 years now, which is a good old stretch for a band to put up with each other.

The band have just recently added a new 5th member. His name is Lol, & he plays the keyboard as accompaniment. He doesn't steal the show in any way at all.

Nigel, the singer (who never seems to grow, bless him) is still the front man of the band, joined by Rob on guitar & Johnny on bass. Phil sits at the back bangin' away on the skins! and all joining Nigel with harmonious backing vocals.

 

They sung a song I haven't heard in years, one that just about everybody used to take up the challenge, to dance to many moons ago....'Pick a Bale of Cotton'. Most refreshing to hear that again, and anyone in our foyer also had the utmost pleasure of hearing me & one of our helpers - Sue - joining in with the backing vocals. We couldn't leave the door to join upstage, so we thought, to hell with it....we're joining in with the party from there!

A good party band, who have good stage presence, are confident & professional in what they do, love to let themselves go, & rock it up, & had the punters stompin' well on our dance floor.

 

The band at present have a compilation c.d of their 1st album - 'Stockings & Shoes' & their 2nd album - '15 Years', available, called '15 Years', with about 20 odd songs on, incl. a couple of self penned tracks, and only for a fiver! Wow! Bargain not to be missed! They sold out of all the ones they brought to Crondall with them.

B.17's also have plans for a 3rd album in the pipeline, with their new accompanying keyboard player. So keep yer eyes peeled for that one too. All promoters can check them out at www.myspace.com/theb17s .

 

We also had a guest d.j for this night - D.J. Big Beat Pete from Reading, who did a 45 min set of some great hardcore, rockin', foot stompin' sounds.

 

Our memorabilia Stall for the night was Memphis Pete, aided & abetted by none other than Our good friend, Tall Paul - promoter of Horsham rock 'n' roll club.

 

 

 

Until our next rockin' party.....y'all do yer bit to help the scene....

Tell a friend about good clubs, bands, d.j's & stalls.

It all helps. Thanks.

Janie.

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Review of March 22nd '08 - Borderlines

2 thirds of the band have arrived, Rick - ex drummer of Sundowners from London & bass player Paul, from Bournemouth, a.k.a. CHOP for the style in which he plays his bass.... Anyway, an example of band life.....whilst we are busy setting up the hall, Rick & Paul come in armed with c.ds & c.d cover sleeves & are now busy putting them all together, ready for selling later. In a life that most bands lead, they have to grab any chance they have to carry out jobs like that. Paul also plays with loads of other bands....at least 8, has backed & worked with top known artists & spends a lot of time in the states because of it. A dedicated full time bass player...one of the best I have seen. He makes playing & positioning the bass look as easy as eating pie. He's fast & often beats the strings with both hands like beating on the bongos, thus the nickname 'Chop'

Jimmy, the front man - guitar player / crazy keyboard player & lead vocalist - The 27 yr old, who lives in Hants, with a stance & appearance which, personally reminds me of Buddy Holly's, especially when he is  wearing his long black coat & has his glasses on, has also supported & backed top name artists.

Rick - drummer has played with the renowned Sundowners band.....need I say more. Anyone who has played with the Sundowners, has got to be good.

 

We went to see Borderlines at a local car show (established 34 years ago) in Rushmoor Arena the day before, which takes place every Good Friday, and this is where we first took interest in the band a couple of years ago. Borderlines have only been performing together for about 2 years, & interest in them is accumulating fast. I have personally had a few enquiries about the band, since we had them at Crondall on Easter Saturday.

 

Borderlines pulled a good crowd in, and since Jimmy is very much Jerry Lee Lewis inspired...or was it Bobby Crush?.....ONLY KIDDING!, they covered songs like 'Crazy Arms' & 'Whole Lotta Shakin', but the band are not centralised on Jerry Lee no.s. entirely. They also write their own material & do lots of great rockabilly covers too, like 'Matchbox' & 'Lonesome Train', and other tracks like 'Tear it up' & 'Sixteen Chicks'. Enough song titling......but I will say they do also cover the early, not so well known, Buddy Holly stuff too, which personally, I love.

 

Borderlines never rehearse together, probably because of the distance between them, but still put on a good, lively & exciting performance. The Buddy Holly stance on stage with the guitar, changes to a Jerry Lee similar sound-alike & style of playing the keyboard, sitting, standing, playin' with his hands, his head, his butt & feet, finishing off with standing on his stool with one foot up on the keyboard, doin' his stuff & finalising the act with 2 or 3 encores.

To all interested.....you can check them out via facebook or  buy 1 of their c.ds - ' Big Money' on Footapping records, 'rock 'n' roll hits' or 'Too many late nights'.

So until the next rockin' party at Crondall, keep on encouraging the youngun's. Educate them proper & keep this scene alive!

Janie.

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Review of February 23rd '08 - Skyrockers & all the rest!

 

23rd Feb, a year since my brother in law passed, & the day after Mick & Peggy's (my in laws who help us run Crondall), wedding anniversary. We didn't know how the night was going to go. This night is particularly difficult to put into words, but will do my best.

 

The night was in memory of Paul but the emphasis was on cheering up Ady's parents. Extremely difficult task, but with a few surprises in store for them, the evening turned out to be the best ever at crondall that I have ever known. It just about matched  the feelings we had on the club's 30th anniversary night, and was the 2nd largest turnout we have ever had!. Ask anyone who was there.

 

We were all sooo overwhelmed, it was one helluva party, & I reckon Our Paul joined us in spirit to make it a great night for his Mum & Dad.

 

Our good friends, the Skyrockers did us proud. They deserve a medal & great recognition for making such a tremendous night. Together, with the hardcore rock 'n' roll band, singer Andy, was in it with us for the 1st surprise.....Theeee Sir Johnnie Fox, Paul's fave singer, & one of ours too, was our guest singer for the night.

We chose not to advertise Johnnie coming down, as he was a surprise wedding anniversary present for Mick & Peggy. Mr Fox must have done about the course of a whole set before the night was out, up to his old cheeky little boy clowning around antics on stage with Andy, swapping drinks with each other during the songs, & generally mucking around together, havin a good fun time. Johnnie & Andy always have a good rapport on stage, behaving like a couple of cheeky naughty boys with a great talent for rock 'n' roll & being wild!

The whole experience was so overwhelming & exciting, we were still trying to get our heads around it for the next couple of days. It was that good, that I received appraising msgs from punters after the night, as they had mutual feelings about the evening too. Some people said it was 'just like the old days'. And if you're 100% rockin' you'll know what that means.

 

Johnnie was invited up for the 1st set & then Shaky - ex Hunters drummer, was asked to join in.

 

Andy back with the Skyrockers now, & 2nd surprise coming up.

 

Invited onto stage was Mick & Peggy, a beautiful speech from Andy, mentioning Paul, adding some heartfelt comments of Mick & Peggy, & presenting them with a bouquet of flowers from the band.

 

Skyrockers maybe wild, but they're sweet too.

A few words from Peggy & back to the crazy wild rockin' mayhem on stage.

A tribute moment for Our Paul follows, a thank you speech to the rock 'n' roll family, from me, on behalf of Paul's wife Diane & Boys for all the fundraising we did for them this time last year, which has helped them immensely to purchase a headstone.

A few of Paul's fave tracks were played, including 'House of the rising Sun' by Johnny Angel.

On to the raffle & 3rd surprise - presenting Mick & Peggy with a wedding anniversary cake. Certainly mixed emotions, but much more higher than lower.

 

Back to the rockin' mayhem on stage, Cat Cane is invited up to do a number....1st time with the Skyrockers & WOW, you wouldn't have known, what a blend...watch out Hot Tin Trio, lol. Cat Cane is proving to being very versatile. Colin - drummer of Rockin' Bandits & my young, very talented 18 year old friend, Elena - bass guitarist is invited up on stage, joining in with 'Teddy Boy Boogie' & 'Oakie Boogie'.

 

Shaky does a return visit, I manage to help with the backing vocals for 'Rockabilly Rules OK' & in between all of this, Johnnie & Andy are sharing the lead vocals.

 I mustn't forget Ex Hunters guitarist - Ritchie Frances' contribution. Since Crazy Ash (Skyrockers guitarist) couldn't get to the tables to climb on, like he usually does, due to the dense crowd, he instead climbed onto Ritchie's shoulders, still playing his guitar & being carried around what was left of the dance floor.

So with all this extended entertainment going on, the 2nd set went on for over an hour plus encores.

 

This was such an awesome night, one that a lot of people will not forget in a hurry.

 

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the night's events, you are all wonderful. Especially to Andy & the Skyrockers for inviting people to join him upstage, & to Johnnie Fox for coming down & helping out too, at such short notice. This is what really made the night. That's rock 'n' roll, the way it should be!

 

Keep rockin', Janie.

 

Karen - wife of singer Andy,  comments.....

 

Hiya Jane,


Just read the write up. Just to let you know that its brill, very complementary to the band. Andy has gone to his gig but he will have a read tomorrow. Me and Tammy are glad we got down to that one coz we really enjoyed it.......... we are glad that you all enjoyed it too. You lot always bring out the best in the band, great crowd to play too.

 
Hope to see you soon take care.
 

Karen

 

Crazy Ash - lead guitarist comments.....


Hi Janie,
Just to say, thanks for a great review. Loved the pics and really enjoyed the night.
Thanks again for all your support and the rest of the gang down there.
See ya soon.
Keep on Rockin, Crazy Ash.

 

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Review of February 2nd '08 - Class of '58

 

 

Highly acclaimed band for providing backing for Charlie Gracie on his tours over here, Class of '58 have a definite class of their own. A 4 piece family band, Mum - Chris, Dad - Howie, John - 13 year old son & David  - 11 year old son.

 

Charlie Gracie and Class of '58 have been welcomed by a large following at the gigs they have done together, but still, Class of '58 manage to draw a big crowd on their own merits too.

 

Apart from the club's successful 30th anniversary gig just over a year ago, Class of '58 have, so far, drawn the biggest crowd at Crondall rock 'n' roll club, and, I might add, they are extremely quick in setting up & packing away....most efficient! 

 

If you've never seen this band before, you would not believe the talent & enthusiasm that overflows from 11 year old David, who plays keyboard like he is running on turbo boost, sings with a voice similar to Frankie Lymon & can play harmonica. I would rate him as one of the top artists on the scene, taking his age into consideration. David has to be seen to be believed.

 

Chris & Howie have been playing together for 26 years, obviously with some band changes along the way. Chris started to sing when she met Howie, who was in the band 'Nervous Breakdown' at the time. 

 

Chris who plays stand up bass & sings, struts out onto stage in her shorts, preparing to work up some heat with her bass, which the reverse of is completely jam packed full of all sorts of autographs. Can't see Chris parting with that.....EVER! 

 

Howie on guitar & sings, is an absolute giant of a man! 13 year old John, a.k.a Rockin' Johnny, looks as though he is following in his dads footsteps with size. He looks to be about 15, not 13!

 

And at 13 years of age, providing the drumming rhythm for 2 whole 45 min sets, & keeping the consistency of the beat going, that's brilliant. We need more like John & his brother. If there are any young pure lovin' rock 'n' roll wannabee band members out there....Don't think about it....Go for it! We (the rockin' scene) need you!!

 

Class of '58 all play together with great harmony. They are a very tight knit band covering songs like Johnny Burnette's  'Please Don't Leave Me' and 'All By Myself', Carl Perkins 'Matchbox' & Frankie Lymon's 'ABC Of Love' with 'Baby Baby' tagged onto it.

 

Towards the end of the 2nd set, David's showing his talents again....Whilst the introductions to the band are being made to the song 'Rip it Up', each member does a solo, with David now playing the harmonica. If David & John keep up the way they are going, they're gonna reach the stars.

 

Finishing the night with all the band up to front of stage, incl. John - Drummer (without the drums of course) doin' a Doo wop number which my memory fails to bring up the title! No matter, don't matter, like....bovered? It don't matter! What counts is, the song was performed just like the way it was done in the fifties,  with a few synchronized arm moves between them, the sound, the look, very smartly, aptly, similarly dressed, (apart from the dress, can't see the lads in a dress for some reason!) Chris had changed in record breaking time, out of the shorts & top for a  white spotted, black dress accompanied with thee long black gloves  by this time. 

 

All finishing up by joining hands, standing in a line, followed with a group bow to the audience, professionally authentic style. 

 

Thanks to our old friend Taff turning up out of the blue with his family, all the way from Wales, what a nice surprise. Fancy coming all the way to Crondall, when he could probably see the band quite frequently in Wales!

 

Until the next party at Crondall, Keep on rockin' & support your local & not so local clubs.

 

Janie.

 

Chris - Bass player / vocalist / and Mum kindly comments.....

 

Hi Janie,
Thanks for the e-mail, it was nice to hear from you.

We really enjoyed our night at Crondall, it was a great venue with a great audience. The hot food always helps when you've got 2 kids in tow!!!


Crondall Rock 'n' Roll Club is a great venue - it was easy enough to find, and the crowd were great!

Stalls and hot food - what more can you ask for!

Thanks Janie,

        Catcha' Later,

                        Howie, Chris, John, Dave.

                                        The Class of '58

                                                        xxxx

 

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