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Reviews for gigs held in 2011


Review of December 17th - Lights Out


Stocking fillers, mistletoe, Father Christmas, good people & good spirits (alcohol kind or other  ) what more do you need to make a good Christmas party at Crondall r ‘n’ r club? KNICKERS! And the LIGHTS OUT! That is, Lights Out the band of course. Lights Out were our 100% entertainment for our Christmas bash, Dynamite Ady & Father Christmas, the other 100% !

Very friendly Northampton band, Lights Out, are a very good rockin’ trio, they’re all in their 20’s, & to all you girlies, are very fit!  Dan Cotton is on stand up bass, some lead vocals & occasional humorous squeaky voice backing vocals during the song Cast Iron Arm. Craig Cotton is frontman on lead vocals & guitar & Lee Cotton (Craig’s brother) is on drums, both cousin’s to Dan. And if you know your history & got all your marbles, you should recognise the ‘Cotton’ name as that of the Jets’ surname. Yes, they are the God given talented offspring of the Jets! Obviously growing up with this background has paid off, or is it just in the genes? Who knows? Who cares? It doesn’t really matter, ‘cos what counts is, Lights out are just as melodious, harmonious as their dads, & Phooooar! what harmonies! especially on the ‘Church bells may ring’ number. They’re as good looking as there dads are, & carry the same sense of humour. That’s just to get the pic of what this young band are like.......BUT you MUST bear in mind, please, that Lights Out perform brilliantly on their own merits & are a great credit to themselves. Lights Out are very professional & have been playing since the age of ...hmmm... at least...um, dunno, but HAVE been playing seriously for about 10 years! They were first known as ‘The Bad Boys’ who I caught a glimpse of at the Pollytone Teddy Boy weekender a bit longer than 10 years ago, when their dads introduced them on stage to play a couple of numbers in about 1999ish.

Lights Out are a very smartly dressed trio in authentic clothes & had people boppin’ most of the night covering songs like, Cast Iron Arm, Fu**in’ Sweet & of course, they have to sing the very energetic song ‘Lights Out’. They do some of their own of which one of, is on their 2nd cd – ‘Long Time Coming’. They have good interaction with their audiences, I’ve seen the lads a few times now & they never fail to please whatever crowd they are playing to, be you wanna bop all night or jive all night, they can suit all perfectly & never fail to entertain. At Crondall, the crowd cheered so loudly for the band to play on at the end, I think every single person must have been cheering! it was a fantastic atmosphere.

The band’s
3rd cd is, at time of writing, in the pipeline. They had a slight delay with it, as bands do, but we were all promised it will be out by next Christmas! Ha ha ha! Lights Out have done big festivals like Chris Jackson’s ‘Americana’ & have gained fans from parts of Europe already. The fittest of them all of course, has to be Dennis, their roadie, who used to do the job for the Jets, but for some reason has chosen to work with Lights Out now, he he he he! Can’t think why!

Anyway, check out the Lights Out at their website for videos & pics e.t.c @
www.myspace.com/lightsoutnorthampton Bookings – Dan – 07792 385187.
Also find them on Twitter under 'Lights Out'.

Now to explain KNICKERS! During the band’s break & after the mass raffle raising £99 for the Friends of the Elderly Charity, Father Christmas enters the hall, ably pushed in by half human/ half elves on a wheelchair, poor Santa lost a leg when he landed on the roof of the hall in his clapped out old sleigh! Luckily, he had no pain and brought great happiness to all the children, giving them pressies, to the words of one ‘thank you, thank you Santa’ as he left, so sweet.

It seemed to be mostly MEN sittin’ on Santa’s knee! Oooower! Some rootin’ through his sack too, ha ha. A couple of adults got a random pressie, 1 got a pair of ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ knickers, which she had to put on & come to me to claim a free entry ticket. She said she hates me now, lol. But she got her ticket for 2 though. I won’t name the poor girl, but she kept them on quite a while (over her jeans, I may add) & then, the hussie, went up to the stage, took ‘em off & flung ‘em at Craig on stage! He then hung them on his mic & told everyone that they (the band) make good stocking fillers! I shouted ‘’how much?’’ Well, ‘’cheap, very cheap’’, Craig says, so next Christmas if ya stuck for what to buy your partner, you need not be stuck any longer!

We had plenty of mistletoe going around which a friend from Portsmouth brought along & kindly shared. I pegged a sprig to my Mrs Claus hat which meant lots of Chrissy kisses.  Together with the Village hall Christmas tree keeping DJ Dynamite Ady sheltered from reindeer droppings, it was a brilliantly festive night. If the Lights Out are ever in your area, give them a look in.
Keep Rockin’ & a Happy New Year. x

Watch Lights Out at Crondall r 'n' r club here


 My Search + Desperado love                     Fu**in' Sweet & Lights Out



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Review of November 26th - Jake Allen


This was only the 6th or 7th gig for the band Jake Allen, & some of those gigs were at least 2 weekenders that I know of. Their line up are, Jake Allen as frontman on some lead guitar, lead vocals & maracas, top guitarist Craig Shaw on lead guitar & some wicked harmonica, both from the band Excellos, with Craig as frontman for them. Garry Lynch, Jake’s dad, is on stand up bass & also plays for Johnnie Fox & his Invaders, Kick ‘Em Jenny & various other bands.
We had only booked Jake Allen a few months before the gig as we had a couple of cancellations for the date. We thought we would give the young lad a chance with his band which was a fairly new one. Since hiring them, Jake himself had taken on a role, Elvis in a touring West End Show ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven’, portraying Elvis in the 68’ Comeback & younger,  & just before his gig with us, Jake was offered to play a part in ‘The Million Dollar Quartet’ show.
Nevertheless, Jake arranged it so that he & his band could continue to do his gig at Crondall r ‘n’ r club, as he was really enthusiastic to play for us.

Jake, who started to play a guitar at the age of 8 is the baby of the band at 20 years of age, while the other 3 are a little longer in the tooth & more experienced. He is tall dark & handsome, writes all his own songs with the band putting the music together for them, with good originality. Jake prefers to just sing his own songs rather than doing covers all the time, although, he did sing one or 2 at Crondall, Ronnie Dawson’s Rockinitis being one of them. Jake’s own songs have a similar style to the rockinitis track, i.e a good ‘get rid of them blues’ bluesy kinda boppers! And a couple similar that had the same traits of Bo Diddley’s sound. Jake has very good stage presence & stacks of confidence & just loves to perform, is focussed well & very enthusiastic in grabbing every opportunity that comes knocking, with regard to performing either in clubs or big shows. I wish him luck for his future whichever road he takes.

Craig has played guitar for many known artists including for the 2 late & great Ronnie Dawson & Screaming Lord Sutch! & has worked as a facilitator for a charity called ‘Core Arts’ for the last 10 years which is a Music & Arts based charity, using the Music & Arts to help people & artists who have suffered severe mental health problems. He’s played the guitar since he was about 17/20 yrs old & is one of the better guitarists around. Stuart Handy is on drums & is a top drummer in all areas & was actually taught by James Brown’s drummer! He also works at ‘Core Arts’ with Craig. What stars, to use their musical knowledge & experience to help the less fortunate!
The old Blues song ‘Catfish’ which is covered by Excellos was requested to Jake by a raving hot fan, & stage positions were very kindly & swiftly exchanged between Jake & Excellos frontman, Craig Shaw, who took lead vocals delivering a faster version than the original, still with the mark of the blues.....rockin’ blues!
Garry Lynch has only been playing self taught bass for 2 or 3 years & is doing considerably well for himself in that dept as he was really originally playing drums before that. He took on bass when someone said to him one day that they were desperate for a bass player, so he had a go, quickly took to it & has not looked back since. Garry now drives a real meaty bass!

The band have a lot of energy, mostly Jake as he’s the young spring chicken & as one customer said, produced enough energy to power Crondall village for a year! A few people said to me on the night how nice a change it was for them to hear something so different & fresh with lots of original material.
Jake prefers to just do the 1 x extra long set as he feels he can produce a better & more powerful performance, than in the usual 2 x 45 mins which we are used to.
The set was started by the band playing an Instrumental in the build up to Jake comin’ out onto stage. The only problem Jake had on stage, he told me after it was over, that he had a right old job trying to drop the American accent he had gotten attached to whilst performing on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven show.
The band, have in the pipeline in the near future, to go to America to do some recording, & at time of writing, some material is already due for release, hopefully very soon.
We had an interesting brief interval when DJ Dynamite Ady was spinnin’ the discs, I missed it, as I was on the door. The music was stopped & one of our regulars, Wayne, used Ady’s mic, got down on one knee & proposed to his girlfriend across the hall. In all of the clubs history, we haven’t known this to happen before, although it might have done, but it’s the 1st time we have experienced it anyway. Congratulations to Wayne & Sue from Reading.

Apart from our resident Runicorn records/cd stall, Flamin' Star Clothing  provided us with lots of clothes & accessories for the ladies. You can keep up to date with Jake Allen on facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/jake.allen.live
Keep rockin’ all & don’t give up the music!

Watch Jake Allen at Crondall  here


Self penned - Be Mine                       Craig Shaw taking lead vocals - Catfish


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Review of October 29th - Rock - A - Toons



TOONS! Not the car type, but the rockin’, as in ‘Rock – A – Toons’, a lively 5 piece Portsmouth band plus a little bit more. They look nothing like Bugs Bunny, Sylvester the Cat or Daffy Duck! But one was dressed as the Devil! This was Crondall r ‘n’ r club’s Halloween bash & the lads in the band, I think, all came as James’ Bond’s Goldfinger, & Miranda on Sax, maracas & tambourine came as a very daringly dressed Devil, complete with tail & fish net stockin’s right up to the top! Female & of course, the bravest of the lot of them, ha ha.

We had in our midst tonight, a perfectly looking witch with her broomstick flying about everywhere, an amazing Cruella Deville dressed in her fluffy Dalmation coat all night long, phew, she must have been sweltering in that. Also had a cat, some devils & a schoolgirl who had been mauled by a savage monster!

Eunice the inflatable sheep had been staying at the Warner’s residence for a month as it was abandoned last month by it’s owner, at the club & was almost CorrupTED by the Scottish mob! Poor Eunice hid under the flier table all night where she thought no one could see her, but that’s another story!

Miranda in her fish nets had her legs & devil’s tail sparkling with coloured starry lights all the time she was on stage & I couldn’t figure out, ‘why only her?, ha ha’, until yesterday when I found out that she was standing between the star maker & the back of thestage! D’oh!

The band consists of Adie Bishop – lead vocals & guitar (ex Big Rumble guitarist & other bands), Big strong Wayne on bass & his dad Ken on guitar & some lead vocals, Steve on drums & the latest addition who is a great asset to the already good band – Miranda who plays sax, tambourine, maracas & wears a big smile & thoroughly enjoys what she does, they all do, but no favouritism here, Miranda shines & also sings a couple of songs, 60291  being one of them. Of course, I mustn’t forget the ‘little bit more’ Andy Cook, who has been in many bands before with Ken, including Jive Street & is part of the Rock – A – Toons band but in a different way to the norm. He is the sound man & gets involved on stage when he gets up & does a couple of numbers in his deep gravelly voice. So there is a lot of variety with Rock – A – Toons with 4 different singers.

Rock – A – Toons are a relatively young band & seem to  be building quite a repertoire & a decent set of gigs of which you can view at www.rockatoons.net They are a lively band considering their average age of 40 + and hold the crowd well with their active performance. Miranda, Wayne & Adie steal the show with their almost constant moving around & sitting & leaning on each other. During the encore, Wayne stood up on the bass drum, took his bass an’ all & played it whilst standin’ on that big bass drum! Cor, what a show off ha ha....no, I’ve never seen that done before. Very good, & exciting to watch. You can find that performance on youtube if you search ‘Rock – A – Toons @ Crondall r ‘n’ r club’. They certainly pleased the crowd.

Rock – A – Toons got a very encouraging reception, which says it all really....

They are smartly dressed in their James Bond ‘Goldfinger’ suits, ha ha, during the first set, & by the 2nd set, off come the Goldfinger jackets. The band have written some of their own material & cover songs like ‘Leroy’ &
a dedication to all the rockers/bikers at the club with the Ace cafe in mind ‘Just for Kicks’, which is rarely  heard by a modern rock ‘n’ roll band . That was just brilliant! Good to hear live. Johnny Angel’s version of House of the rising sun was aptly dedicated & sung especially for him as he has been very poorly for about the last year, & the band encouraged the crowd to sing along for Johnny. NICE!

Keep Rockin’ y’all, Janie.


Watch Rock - A - Toons at Crondall  here


House of the Rising Sun            Just for Kicks             The Wobble, Oakie Boogie & Honey Bun



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Review of September 24th - Coy Dogs (Scottish)


Although Scottish band Coy Dogs were good the last time we had them down in July ‘07, this time, they were like a totally new band! But the only thing new to them was the guitarist, Mr ‘young & red hot, on fire’ Marty Hitchell. The fact of the matter was, extra drivers were included in the mini tour this time, which made a huge difference to their performance!
Despite the extreeeeeemely long journey & leaving Glasgow at 3am, they managed to hit Farnham in time to have a few hours rest at the Travelodge & then moved the Coy Dogs Tour Bus on to Crondall with their gear & half of Glasgow in it! Scottish TEDS are unleashed from the Coy Dogs Tour tardis! 
The Coy Dogs set, & kept the pace from the start to end, & gave us 2 totally unexpecTED ‘extra long hour’ sets full of energy & excitement!
In July ‘07, we had torrential storms, this time, the band creaTED the storm! They covered a variety of tracks like ‘Yes Tonight Josephine’ (Jets version), ‘Tennessee rock ‘n’ roll’, Buddy Holly’s ‘Down the line’ & some of their very own self penned good rockers with titles like' ‘Cafe Racer’ & ‘Drunken Bum’ and a bit of Cavan was thrown in.
Coy Dogs have been in existence now for about 13 years & are very popular in Scotland. There is Shaggy, lead vocals/rhythm guitar, Big Bun on bass/some lead vocals, Marty, already mentioned & Lex on drums. They only do about 2 gigs a year in England & are a band that goes down well with Teds & Rockers.
We gave them their 1st English booking in ‘07 & they have since played at the Ace cafe on the Sat of the Ace Reunion, the Teddy Boys Reunited event & a couple of smaller gigs here in sunny England, then back at ours & onto Southend the next day after having breakfast at the Ace!
Coy Dogs, 2 draped up & the other 2 just as smart, had the stage smokin’ with their energetic 1st set for a whole hour & with a roaring reception. I told Shaggy in the break, how good they were & I knew this is what they were capable of. The answer was, you wait til you see the 2nd set...See You! lol.

We make the band welcome by creating a bit of a Scottish theme with some Scottish flags hanging up & Scottish ale on the raffle. WHO wins the Scottish ale? the largest Scot amongst them & he was like xxxL! In fact their numbers came up so much, they would have won the whole raffle if they hadn’t had chosen to put their prizes back in to give everyone else a chance. Whoever said Scots were tight, are WRONG! They all bought T.shirts an’ all...I don’t call that tight!
2nd set, and Shaggy likes to have plenty of room on stage to move about & do his stuff with his guitar, boppin’ & playin’ at the same time at one point & playin’ while lying down on the floor, and then with the guitar behind his head with his wee backside facing us!  The lead guitarist, Marty is just as bad, or should I say good? ha ha. I’m sure he’s been sittin’ on the grass too long, reckon he had ants in his pants & motors in his fingers! He can’t keep still, a couple of times jumpin’ off stage & playin’ guitar on the dance floor. At one point, Shaggy joining him by leaping across & onto the floor from the stage. Marty was absolutely on Fire, a live wire! All 4 of the Dogs worked really hard to give us their all.
Havin’ a Scottish night wouldn’t be right without the Tartan Army, so yes, I went & bought some ‘Russ Abbott’ Scottish hats with the ol’ ginger hairy bits especially for tonight, share a few round, tie a checked shirt around my waist to make it look like I was wearing a long kilt! Ha ha. The likes of Tattoo Tom & Tina Marie, of the very informative ‘House of Rock’ forum, that you can find on our links at the left side of this page, have also changed to join the tartan army.
As Shaggy had pre planned with me in the week, he called me up on stage & anyone else who wanTED to join in with the chorus of one of their songs ‘Drunken Bum’. So there we all are, the Butch Jocks & the Bonnie McNoodles, all chorusing ‘You drunken BUM!!’ & ‘Get your hands off me!!’ This song & 13 others can be heard on the Coy Dogs new cd ‘Ruffed Up’ which was released at Crondall r ‘n’ r club, incl a live track recorded previously at Crondall, & dedicaTED to an old Glaswegian regular of the club, the late Scottish Maggie. Cd is available from the band & def 1 for the rockers!

For anyone interesTED in the cd or band, please call 07818404957.




Watch Coy dogs at Crondall here


My little sister's got a Motorbike                     Band's Self penned Cafe Racer



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Review of August 27th - Stingrays


Stingraaaaaaays! No I’m not referring to the children’s programme which ran through the stone age times, although the band are actually named after the programme. The band was originally started up by pals, Jamey Royce & Mark Ponsford, about 20 years ago, who played together prior to this in Jamey’s dads’ band called ‘The Barristers’ who had been playing since the ‘60s.
Stingrays got their name simply just by looking at objects in Jamey’s house & trying to think of a suitable name for the band. Jamey just happened to have a ‘Stingray’ toy which inspired the idea for the name of the band. The rest is history as they say. They did actually learn the theme tune for Stingray back then, but it didn’t seem to go down that well, so that was knocked on the ‘ead!

Jamey tonight was actually only depping for Stingrays at Crondall & the bass player was also depping, BUT, obviously, Mark, the giant of a man, the frontman, & Jamey had worked together many times before in the past, but to catch them playing in a band together nowadays is a very rare occurrence, and a nice opportunity for them now & again for old times sake. It wasn’t the first time with Stingrays for the bass player , Nathan, either. But considering the trio with Mark & his depp drummer & depp bass guitarist, they played fantastically as if they had all been playing together for years, this shows what good musicians they all are. Mark has often helped to host jammin’ sessions, so a good versatile guitarist. Their sound was tight & they produced a good ‘ol, right ol’ British sound, with a few American numbers thrown in for good measure. Stingrays do love their British rock ‘n’ roll & also played a few Instrumentals, in their sets, perfectly. They use authentic British amps e.t.c. which helps to give that original British sound.

Jamey showed off his balancing act for 2 or 3 of the numbers, he managed to climb up onto his drums playing continuously. He also done some lead vocals covering ‘Goodnight Irene’ for one, a song you don’t hear much nowadays. Mark plays lead & some rhythm guitar, does most lead vocals & lead posing by perching his extra long leather clad leg up onto the monitor for the girls to glare at or stroke, as one did. (Wolf whistle here!) Nathan on bass guitar tried this, bless him, but didn’t get the response he coveted. ‘Ee’s a lovely lad though & a good bass player.

Stingrays are an ‘Old School’ style band, a good ‘rockers’ band performing in a British style, with an authentic British rock n’ roll sound with an early 60’s look to them, the kind of band that you used to get in the old rockers, bikers, teds pubs back in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s. ALL in leathers from top to toe! well at least on the outside anyway, ha ha.

They gave us 2 extra long sets which was their choice. Stingrays just love what they do & they do it with pride & professionalism. A band that produces rock ‘n’ roll just as it is, with no added extras & nothing taken away.
Stingrays currently have 2 cds available. One full of Instrumentals & the other, a mixture of a fair amount of British & a few American tracks. There are plans for a new cd in the pipeline, so ears & eyes open for that. I’m sure that will appeal to all you rockers out there!

We all sung Happy Birthday to Ady’s dad, Mick, with a ‘Sponge Bob Square Pants’ cake wearing Liquorice specs. Mick & Ady’s Mum, Peggy, help us out at the club & give us a lot of support. Without them this month & our other helpers, Adrian & Sue, we might not have even got to Crondall as I had trouble with the car, which we discovered once it was loaded, & we were ready to go to Crondall! We hung by a very fine thread that evening, but it was fine in the end. A huge thank you to them. One good thing about it was, I was able to have some cider for the first time in nearly 7 years at Crondall! One mouthful AT Crondall was just sheer heaven!

Thanks to everyone who supports Crondall r ‘n’ r club, Gawd bless ya as Johnnie Fox (Invaders) would say & keep on Rockin’!


Watch Stingrays at Crondall here


Washing Machine Boogie                           Goodnight Irene


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Review of July 23rd - Fireballs UK


Well, what can I write that I didn’t write last May about these lads from Worcester? In one word - ‘A’mazing! That’s it summed up, but to be more descriptive, personally, I don’t think anyone can see these guys & then walk away & say they are not impressed! We have Ant (below right), just 15 on most lead guitaring & his older brother Russ (below left), who’s just 18 doing some lead guitar also. Some tracks have shared lead guitar. The boys have been playing in public since the youngest was only 9 yrs old. Ant’s guitar teacher gave up on teaching him over a year ago & he plays perfectly by ear & is an exceptionally talented guitarist who can pick up tunes very quickly. Russ also plays by ear & also plays some brilliant lead guitar. Both, very talented young men. They are 2 good looking young lads with loads of potential ahead of them. They both provide very good backing vocals & it would be nice to hear them sing a song or two in the future. Perhaps we will in time. Their Dad, Martin is the frontman doing lead vocals & stand up bass, which I might add is played with some fast & mean attitude at times. Martin has a great voice too. Darren is the lads Godfather & plays the drums which has the design of the centre of a 45 on the bass drum with Fireballs name written across it.
Martin is like an encyclopedia on British rock ‘n’ roll,  & Fireballs UK do cover a lot of British numbers as well as a bit of rockabilly, some Instrumentals & some good ol’ classics. Fireballs UK can do perfectly, 2 sets of British tracks, or they can give a good mixture of material. They love to have a bit of audience participation too which doesn’t go a miss at Crondall. We had a great party, the Fireballs UK created such a great atmosphere with great encouragement from the audience towards the youngsters which spurred them to live it up that much more! The crowd went WILD in the end. Just check this out ‘Fireballs UK @ Crondall Ol’Black Joe /Runaway Boys’ & you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Russ plays some wild guitar on this clip, you see him get off the stage whilst playing & the crowd go mad! Absolutely brilliant! The Instrumental ‘Pipeline’ was a particular favourite of mine, the sound produced, sounded so original.
Fireballs UK gave us all a real treat that went down really well at Crondall. They sung the Stray Cats song ‘ Rumble in Brighton’ but changed the words to ‘Rumble in Crondall’

Martin always says to me that his 2 boys are the stars of the band, & in my opinion, they are the ‘biggest’ stars of the band & Martin & Darren are the smaller stars. The whole all round sound is made to sound as original as possible. Now they all work extremely hard to achieve this but are driven by Martin. Fireballs UK make a good team for a band, are very tight on sound & thoroughly enjoy what they do. The boys have come along incredibly well since they last played for us last May, & the confidence shows through as they manage to hold a stance for the camera.

They love to perform for all Teds, Rockers & Rockabillies & drive one song almost immediately into the other cramming in as many songs as they can into 2 sets, all fast numbers & ending with 2 encores at Crondall with a total of 4 songs within, finishing magnificently with Darren bringing up his side drum to front of stage with Martin lying on his bass while playing & covering ‘The Saints rock ‘n’ roll’....Phew! WHAT EXCITEMENT! We were all on a high for at least a week following the gig, including the band! The gig was ecstatic!
Fireballs UK’s first official cd which is named after a self penned track of theirs & has a typical authentic early 60’s Instrumental rocker sound to it, will be launched at their gig on 24th September in Lincolnshire. It will have 24 tracks on it, including the self penned title track ‘Wild Streak’ & will be an all British tribute cd, on ‘Fury Records’. Russ Sainty will be a guest singer at this gig & Fireballs UK will be backing him on a few songs. Now that’s progress for the lads & a big opportunity for Russ & Ant.
You’re in for a good night if you get to see this band! A big hit with the Teds ‘n’ Rockers alike, & I must say, the reception they received at Wildest cats in Town weekender in July was indescribably touching to say the least!

You can check out Fireballs UK at www.myspace.com/thefireballs1960 . You can also keep up to date with them via facebook under the name of 'Martin Smith'
Keep Rockin’ Janie.


Watch Fireballs UK at Crondall here


 Ol’Black Joe /Runaway Boys      Pipeline & Dance the Bop       Rumble in Crondall



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Review of June 25th - B.17s


B.17s, a 19 year old band who have a long way to go to hit Cavan’s record of 40 years, which is ‘exceptional’, but it’s still a mighty achievement for any band to have lasted as long as that, even! A lot can happen in 19 years, so well done to them. There aren’t many bands that I can think of that can claim that kind of reign. There are 4 in the band who are all just good mates & love what they do. Nigel, lead vocalist/Rhythm guitarist is the small fella with the big voice, & Nigel informed us from the stage that his is a large one! Ha ha...that was actually aimed at our barman anyway, ha ha. Phil from the place that is plagued with musicians – Essex! is on drums & maracas, Johnny is on bass who didn’t seem to be struggling considering he had tendon damage in the wrist he slaps with. Rob Smith is the one with the front. B.17s cover tracks like ‘Wash Machine Boogie’, ‘Gone Gone Gone’ & ‘Later’ a song only using maracas, bass & vocals, brilliant cover of the song by the famous Jodimars. They also have written some material of their own.
It was our barman’s birthday, Troy. He didn’t want any fuss over it, so that edged me to ask Rob to read out a msg to him from us for a laugh. It went down well & he got a great cheer at the end, after the crowd joined in singing Happy Birthday to him. B.17s cover the Birthday song really well, & I think our barman was duly embarrassed as planned, ha ha, bless his cotton socks.

B.17s are always dressed very smartly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen them any other way on stage. They interact with the crowd very well & are very relaxed, but what else would you expect from a band that has been rockin’ together for 19 years? Nice to hear Pick a Bale of Cotton again, just for me, for writing nice things about them, ha ha. Wonder what they will pay me after this review, ha ha. Money please...I need money, that’s what I want! People did what they wanted & let their feet guide the way to the song. Some strolled, yes strolled, just a simple stroll that obviously increases in speed like the song does. And some chose to bop. It don’t matter what you do as long as ‘you just let your feet know how you feel’ as Bill Haley stated in his great song ‘Rock this Joint’. That’s rock ‘n’ roll. Anyway, we had a damn good atmosphere & a great night had by all, including a couple of young newbies, one who’s not rockin ‘yet’, but wants to come back for more, & the other young chick Louise was helping our stall holder ‘ Flamin’ Star Clothing’ on this night.  Flamin’ Star Clothing was trying Crondall r ‘n’ rclub out  with the stall for the first time & absolutely & thoroughly enjoyed themselves whilst modelling some of the clothes off that Beth had made herself. Flamin’ Star Clothing sell vintage dresses & also some hand made clothing as well, with accessories like ear rings, bracelets, hand bags, e.t.c.

Just thought I’d add something different now. Before you read on, have a look & see if you recognize at least 3 people in the black & white pic here
who have remained rockin’ til this day, 30 + years on. Have a good look. The pic was taken by a newspaper reporter in a church hall in Guildford. This particular pic wasn’t published. This was the very first gig of the guitarist of B.17s, Rob Smith, who is playing lead guitar here. Spike, who has been in many bands, is on bass guitar & Russell Donavelus is on drums. As far as we know, Russell isn’t on the scene any more. The band, according to the newspaper clipping was named ‘Firecats’ which Ady can remember vaguely & Rob can’t. Rob says his band was called the Buccaneers, but could have changed from Firecats quite early on. So who is the 3rd person you might be familiar with here? Who is the young stage invading teddyboy at the end of the stage with the Leopard skin drape on, which (now here’s a clue) I now own. It’s DJ Dynamite Ady, the other ‘alf. Who would have thought 30 years on from this pic, that I would be writing this review, Rob would be playing at Crondall & Ady & I would be the organisers hiring him?

Keep rockin’ & supporting the cause, Janie

Watch B,17s at Crondall here

                           Gone Gone Gone

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Review of May 28th - Wildwind

Wildwind, a rockabilly’ trio from the mid 80’s/early 90’s who have, in relatively recent times, re-united. We saw them about a year ago not long after they got back together & decided to book them for Crondall. They were good back then & WoW! they’re even better now & certainly live up to their name ‘Wildwind’ and blew the roof off at Crondall. There was a bit of a major concern with one of the amps failing on sound checking & with the back up of our stall holder happening to live local & is an ex band member went on his way to fetch his amp, but the band managed to kick the little gremlin in the backside & luckily got their amp back to ship shape again.

Wildwind were absolutely fantastic, had 3 encores, & reckon they would have done a 4th if we’d given them a chance. They are a very enthusiastic band, travelled from Leeds to Crondall & still managed to give out more energy than Seeboard!

What an ‘A’mazing bass player – Martyn Savage (also bass player of Phil Haley & the Comments) has got to be one of the top bass players goin’! When Martyn isn’t makin’ love to his bass, he’s restless, back ‘n’ forth like he’s got ants in his pants. He gets so wrapped up/connected with his bass & is in absolute awe with it & has some great techniques.
Martyn has claim to playing in a support band for Stray cats about 7 years ago, in a band called Cathouse Creepers. He has also supported/worked with, individually, Lee Rocker & Slim Jim Phantom. Saying that, I recall one of our customers after informing him of this info, that he said, Martyn Savage is (and ‘no’ disrespect to Lee Rocker here) better than Lee Rocker. That was his view anyway. You’ll have to see them for yourself to see what you think.
The band went down very well with everyone, even the 1 or 2 that aren’t keen on bands in general. Got a lot of good feedback on them. If you get the chance to see them, check these guys out at www.myspace.com/wildwinduk
The drummer Gary Wild, at most times of singing, has a good sound a like voice of Johnny Burnette & that’s not just http://www.myspace.com/wildwinduk  my opinion as others have told him the same. Gary likes to occasionally act like a monkey ...actually, he’s a cheeky monkey, ha ha...& while drumming, with no break, somehow climbs up onto his stool & continues to drum, what a clever northern monkey! He likes to give his sticks a twirl, give ‘em a twirl Gary, ha ha!
Slim Tim – he’s a little restless too, unless he is using the mic, great guitarist who puts out some nifty fast licks here n there & knocks out a couple of numbers on his lap steele guitar too. Just love the sound of those lap steeles.
The band all write their own material & have just released a brand spanking new cd, at Crondall as it happens. Cds were delivered personally by hand from Foottapping records just before the night kicked off. This is their 2nd release since they got back together about 18 months-ish ago.
 Cd is called ‘Lift Off’ & consists of 12 very original tracks which you can quite easily pick up & sing along to, if you are that way inclined, & only 2 covers – ‘Rock ‘n’ roll Guitar’ & ‘School of Rock ‘n’ Roll’. It’s a great cd, available from Foottapping records or the band & best heard loud on the car stereo! The band still have other self penned material ready & waiting to be used & they all sing, so there’s good variety. I already look forward to a 3rd cd.

We had a young lad of only 11 years in the house on this night. The whole time the band were on, he was up & filming them with his Mums phone. He loves the Music & is often taking pics of the bands at Crondall. I have to say this, there he was, young Wig Wam Willie, filming, but finding it extremely difficult to NOT dance. There he was enthusiastically moving to the rhythm & beat as much as he could & yet still continued to record the band with a bit of a wobbly hand. The future of rock ‘n roll is in good hands, but we could do with a few more youngsters like Willie.
Keep on Rockin’, Janie

Watch Wildwind at Crondall here


Drivin' Wheel                       Rockabilly Boogie & Slip slip slippin' in


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Review of April 23rd - Hicksville Bombers


Hicksville Bombers have been a favourite of mine since I clapped eyes on them in Crondall r ‘n’ r club about 16/17 years ago, thanks to one of the club’s previous promoters ‘Paul Prictoe’ who brought the band down South. There is one thing I don’t like about them though.
They are almost as fast a band now as they were back then! They haven’t slowed much, regardless to the fact that there have been a couple of line up changes in that time & are still all 3 of them about the same age as me. So what’s that all about? Rock ‘n’ roll I guess. I should have been a musician, ha ha.

You can always guarantee you’ll have a good night with Hicksville Bombers. They have a great rapport with the audience, are open to requests and will have a go at most, even if they only manage a couple of lines just for a laugh.
They’re Fast, Friendly & Frivolous & if you don’t leave a Bombers gig revived of energy, there’s got to be something wrong with yer body chemistry, ha ha.
Hicksville Bombers produce such a sound that they could send ripples of excitement to the next town, lol & that guitar playin’ just drowns the electrical impulses in my brain!

For those of you who haven’t yet seen Hicksville Bombers yet.....WHY HAVEN’T YOU?! Ha ha. Actually, for those of you who haven’t seen them, they have an air raid siren  which they take around to some of their gigs. I did ask Dave Brown – Frontman/ guitar to make sure he brought it along as I so wanted to have a go on it myself. Well, as I was on the door when the band started, I missed the chance to start off the set, and the band managed to get a volunteer to do the honours by another huge Bombers fan, Julie.  I put my head together with Dave’s in the break & we decided that I’d finish the 2nd set as a grand finale after the encore. Oh yes......Great FUN! Love it!

Paul Cambers is on his trustee ol’ beautiful turquoise coloured stand up bass slappin’ them slippery sweaty strings! And Shaun Cutts (once member of ‘Boogie children’) on those shiny smooth skins...oh dear, I get worse don’t I? ha ha. Shaun also has the added element of doin’ a bit of lead vocals, singing ‘Domino’, much to the delight of an American lady who was in our midst this night & had great pleasure in telling the whole club that it was Roy Orbison’s birthday that day, and vowed her love for the band. Somehow, this lovely lady got the band to do ‘Domino’ a 2nd time later on, much to the delight of some of the customers who thought this particular track was worth doing twice . What a great cover.

Some of you might have seen a HOT Hicksville Bomber T.shirt (above right) wonderin’ around at various gigs in an assortment of shapes n sizes. If you fancy one of these, you can buy one from their website on the ‘Buy cds’ link @ www.hicksvillebombers.com or at the band’s gigs.
Same with ‘AROUSED’ – the title of the Bombers latest CD, available on ‘Cool & Crazy Record's’, released no later than a year from the previous release ‘Deal with the Devil’ (also available) & has the same cover pic with extra colour as on their tee shirts. A CD with a lot of self penned tracks & a few good rockin’ covers. Also available from the website or at gigs.

Tonight, we thought we would give a young DJ wannabee (below left) a chance at spinnin’ a few discs of his own. He doesn’t have his own gear just yet, but would like to become a DJ. He’s only just 20 & goes by the name of DJ Billy Bayou. He specialises in western swing/hillbilly/1950s country/bluegrass & seems to know some decent stuff considering his age. Coming from a rockin’ family who’s sister was once a DJ, has obviously helped in his knowledge of the music. I wish the best of luck to young Billy. Not only do we need young blood forming bands, young DJs are also the future of our scene.


Keep Rockin' whether you're still in yer bobby sox or progressed to a rockin' chair, ha ha!






Watch Hicksville Bombers at Crondall here


Domino                     What If


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Review of March 19th - Hot Doggin'

Another band we hadn’t seen, like the Caezars who we had in January. ‘Hot Doggin’ ‘ is their name, a 3 piece from Staines & 2 from Essex. Don’t ask me why they are called ‘Hot Doggin’, I didn’t ask that one, lol. John Standen, the stand up bass player, bless him, had been on our case for a few years, wanting a gig at Crondall. He finally sold his band ‘Hot Doggin’ to us a year ago. I have to add here, it may not always take a few years for us to give a gig, it’s just the way it works out sometimes. There are so many bands out there after gigs & only booking 12 a year, it’s a hard task for a promoter. Us promoters just can’t fit them all in as much as we’d like to.

‘Hot Doggin’ is basically John’s previous band re named from Silouhettes, who originally formed 4 years ago. In 2009, John, together with Rick McKay & their then drummer finally went out on the road & are now known as ‘Hot Doggin’ with drummer – Paul Richardson (No relation to Dell by the way, or Spike!) As Lee Gocher of Sundowners quoted to me on the night ‘the band have pedigree’ . They do have a certain degree of class & I just loved the history lesson of the song ‘Matchbox’ which Rick informed us of & performed to us all, the original version ‘The Old Pipeliner’.

The trio
have plenty of individual professional performance experience behind them which we didn’t know about until after we booked them. Here’s the lowdown - John Standen is on bass/some lead vocals - Ex River Boys & has played with Paul Ansells no. 9 as well as joining a theatre production called ' Rockin' on Heavens door' for a while. Rick McKay – Lead Vocals & Lead guitar, a Gretsch, I have to mention, just love the sound of the Gretsch which gives a hint of Eddie (Cochran) sound. Also played with Paul Ansell's no.9, & has had lead roles in some theatre productions. Paul Richardson - Drums, vocals - backed lots of artists including Wee Willie Harris & has supported the Comets on a few occasions.
Irrespective of all this, Hot Doggin’ are still a relatively ‘new’ band & although have a lot of experience between them, want to establish their band as any other new bands do.
They cover tracks like ‘Modern Don Juan’, ‘Born to Love one Woman’ & ‘Try Me’. Rick also writes a fair bit of his own material which is always a bonus in my opinion.
Doggone it ! I darn fergot to try on Rick’s cowboy hat...ooops, stetson inn’it? Just as well, ‘cos it was doing the perfect job of keeping a rather large egg warm! Wonder if anything will ever hatch from it, ha ha. Oh, of course, Rick hatched out & the hat remained stuck! He said it’s been there for about 10 years, it must get awkward when he’s in the shower, ha ha!
We were a little low on numbers than usual, and I don’t think that has any reflection on the band at all, there were quite a few gigs/events going on elsewhere, but it was still a fantastic night with a great atmosphere. Everyone seemed to like the band, & the band have since very kindly reported back & stressed how much they enjoyed themselves too, which I thought was rather nice.
It was most unfortunate for the band on leaving as there van broke down before departing the car park. John came under his own steam, but Rick & Paul had to get back to Essex with the broken down van with all the gear in it. Unfortunate for them to have to wait for a recovery vehicle, but damn lucky to get a lift all the way back to Essex! Although they were freezing in the recovery truck. Bit of a bands worst nightmare really, having a problem with the motor on the night of a gig, which has only happened to 3 of our bands in all our almost 6 & half years of running the club. That’s not bad going.
The band have a cd out simply called ‘HOT DOGGIN’, available on, & at, Foot Tapping records, the band at gigs, & at their website www.hotdoggin.co.uk where you can also check out their gig guide or maybe you would like to book them yourself & add to their gig listing.
Watch Hot Doggin' at Crondall here

The Old Pipeliner                Modern Don Juan


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Review of February 26th - Porky's Hot Rockin'

The problem with running a club sometimes, especially if it’s busy, the gig all happens so fast! But knowing that you’ve created a great night for a lot of people makes it all worth the while. Porky’s Hot Rockin’ was EXTREMELY HOT at Crondall ! And they certainly did their bit of creating part of a great night, no sweat!
Firstly, they arrived in their van all the way from ‘where crabs taste good’ somewhere nearby to Norwich. Apparently it was rather windy in the van throughout their long journey & Porky was relieved to be able to open the back door!

Do crabs make you FART ?! lol. Cut down on the crabs fellas, lol.

Anyway, travelling from Norwich is a flippin’ long ol’ stretch to Crondall village, must be at least 3 & half hours! And there’s loading the van & collecting everyone involved too. So really, this is not just an hour & half’s work on stage & a laugh in between. This gig is an all day & all night & into the next morning gig. Porky had been compering the night before at the Mundesley weekender & was going to be compering some more the next day! All those hours of travelling to Crondall & back for one gig is enough on it’s own to take it out of yer, let alone everything else.
Despite all that, do we have Porky’s Hot Rockin’ on Top form or what?! Oh yes, they were on top of TOP form! Line up being, Porky aka Pakefield Beefcake – lead vocals/rhythm guitar/harmonica, his brother Johnny on skins, the amazing Mark Harman on lead guitar & Tim (Danny & the Seniors) – bass player.

From the first song, Porky had the crowd filled with awe, & they gave a great warm & roaring reception from the word go. So it’s party on band.....just let yourselves RIP! Porky’s Hot Rockin’ brought the house down & trousers, but that comes later . They sing some great original stuff of their own as well as a few covers. But man, can Porky go WILD! He may be a little beefcake, but he knows how to move & we don’t have sound on here yet, but ‘wolf whistle’ here, he’s a little mover. He loves performing, they all did, but being frontman, it notices more, lol. He’s passionate with the singing anyone can see that. He & the amazing Mark Harman bounced on & off each other like 2 magnets attracting & repelling & having a great laugh.
Porky’s Hot Rockin’ do a cracking cover of ‘Long Black Shiney Car incorporated with ‘Baby please Don’t Go’ thrown in mid way with the aid of Porky’s harmonica. Just damn good ‘ROCK THERAPY’. God, this one was so good for the soul! Was that the finale? Nope, would you believe, something even topped that! Exit Mr Porky singer – Enter on encore, ‘Mr Porky Bully burlesque beefcake’! Another ‘wolf whistle’ here. No. make it 2!
The finale, which incidently, was the point when Porky became COMPLETELY possessed. He had become partially possessed earlier on, when he thought he was a fly using a padded bra for his eyes!  Here Porky is, possessed with the spirit of Crondall,  showing off none other than a pair of Bully the Bull boxer shorts, a pair of black & white shoes, black socks, a long coat  upon his 3 quarter NAKED body! And it wasn’t just for a blink of an eye, it lasted for the duration of the next song WHICH escapes me, as at that point I had no choice but to do another last minute collection for Help for Heroes charity & I needed time to count it all up.

We raised in total together with January’s collection £520.77. Thanks to everyone who supported us & Help for Heroes that night.

At time of writing this (early March) Porky’s Hot Rockin’s very latest cd ‘Peace in the Valley’, with 7 self penned tracks, is scheduled to be released soon on Footapping records & has cds for sale at his gigs.
You can listen to Porky’s Hot Rockin’ at www.myspace.com/porkyandthepinups & for any bookings e.t.c you can e.mail him at Hotrockin@live.co.uk 

Our stall for the gig was ‘Chantilly Lace’ run by young 18 yr old Lisa Marie with the help of her Mum & Dad, Julie & Pete, who came all the way from Devon. A huge thank you to them & of course our regular Record/cd/memorabilia stall Runicorn records comes from Kent each month. Really appreciate the effort they put in, to be there.
A big thank you to the above for donating raffle prizes & to everyone else who donated a raffle prize, especially Phil Morgan of www.bellfieldsautos.co.uk for donating an MOT (is also a monthly donation), R & R security who deals with classic car keys, who will be sponsoring a complimentary ticket for 2 each month, the Crazy Cavan Fan Club, Rat Pack, Leopard Trio, Cut throat clothing (Furious t.shirts) & of course Porky’s Hot Rockin’ for the cd & the display of Porky’s body, our bar staff, Pauline & Dave – HOT food & our helpers Sue, Adrian & the kids.

Watch Porky's Hot Rockin' at Crondall here

Long Black Shiney Car              Jukebox Jessie

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Review of January 15th - Caezars & guest DJ Steve Stack O' Wax



HAIL CAEZAR! This song finished the night, ably assisted by a brilliant participating audience. No disrespect, but if Caezars performed in Rome, they would make Caesar rock in his grave! Seriously, this relatively new & one of the hottest bands on the circuit just totally blew us away, they were just awesome! To see is to believe. If you dig wild bands with stacks of life, you can’t go wrong with these young lads. They are mega WILD, crazy, full of enthusiasm, energy & originality. The 4 lads from London, Brighton & Portsmouth have built up quite a following, young & old, & have progressed tremendously in their relatively short life together as a band.

We were approached by 2 of their parents a little over a year ago saying their sons were forming a band & would love to play at Crondall at some point, we checked
 the singer out on myspace, performing a couple of numbers on a clip with a more established band behind him. My immediate thoughts were ‘he's a young version of Rudy la Crioux in the way he performed. We decided to book the band, on the basis of them all being very young, we wanted to give them a chance & basically encourage the young blood, what we saw of A.J, the crazed teen, but passionate singer/occasional rhythm guitarist/natural performer/Uni student, was impressive (still a risk on only hearing 2 songs though), & knowing Danny O is a majorly talented teen guitarist/college student (of about 5 years) & hearing
his enthusiastic reports of admiration for AJ’s talents in performing & song writing & the passion which Danny O himself shows for the music.
Mikey, the grinning cheshire ‘pots n pans bashing’ teen cat/gap year from Uni & Steve, 22, a banker & the SEEMINGLY most placid of them all, who likes to lye down with his bass, we knew nothing about. We went ahead & booked them soon after they got together, & by that time, they were soon going to be signed up by
‘Wild records’ in America! Now where was this going to go? We had booked the band to play as up & coming, yet now they’re about to be signed up to a big record company.

In the space of the year, Caezars have proved to be a very 
successful band, have played across Europe & have done 5 gigs in the states, are gigging every weekend, never rehearse & are now managed by Jerry Chatabox, which brings me to mention that Rockabilly Rave kindly offered to sponsor one of our events about last March. We selected the Caezars night as we thought it would be good promotion for the band. We didn’t know at that time that Jerry was going to end up managing Caezars. Rockabilly Rave kindly sponsored the gig, made up some wonderfully posh fliers for us & supplied loadsa Rockabilly Rave T.shirts & Dvds to give away. Now that was a laugh, ‘cos the ones we didn’t give away at the door, I threw out from the stage to some of the raised hands saying ‘pick me, pick me’, after drawing the winning number for the coveted Rockers Reunion ticket, kindly donated by Rockers Reunion, to help raise money for Help for Heroes (bigger raffle in Feb for H4H) which totalled with a collection at £257.28.
Getting back to the gig, Caezars only do a 1 hour set as opposed to 2 x 45 min sets. They are much more comfortable with that & feel they can give a better performance on the whole.
 These guys are 100% Nitrogen on stage. I guess to liken them to anyone would be to, a cross between original 50’s artist Johnny Carroll, Rudy la Crioux & $lim $lip & the $liders of late. They give their all, & just thoroughly enjoy themselves, taking up the whole stage the whole time with jumpin’ ‘n’ struttin’ or rollin’ about on the floor like nobody’s business, and AJ cueing Danny’s riffs by calling out ‘DANNY O’ like it’s part of the song. They certainly keep the stage kickin’! And the energy AJ has, I think he must be hyperactive or somethin’, he hardly ever keeps still...such a fidgety, such a natural & very confident, passionate performer.

The band dealt with a minor mishap really well & kept the entertaining goin’ as they sorted out the problem of the lead falling out of the mic during mid song. Brilliant! They are a little flamboyant off stage as well, but they are all very nice but typical teenage lads, just havin’ loadsa fun & generally muckin’ about.

We had lots of birthdays goin’ on including Jessie’s of Jessie & the Orbits & some of the teds. We had a full house with good rockin’ cats, teds, rockers, some stray DJs, random singers & musicians ha ha, havin’ a good time together. It was an amazing night, with Special guest DJ Steve Stack O’ Wax & our resident DJ Dynamite Ady supplying the perfect build up, hyping everybody up to the release of energy from CAEZARS!
Ady & I had not been able to see the band before they hit the Crondall stage & as we had heard a lot about them, were real eager to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about. We loved the Caezars as most of the crowd did & can’t wait to go see them again.
Mikey, the pots n pans basher, would you believe finished the night before they left, craving for a drink of milk! Yep, he ended up with my spare 4 pint bottle of milk! Coke wasn’t good enough. So, the high octane energy secret has to be MILK! ha ha.  If you like wild, exciting & entertaining bands, check them out. We need more like the Caezars – Young, enthusiastic, passionate & dishing out fresh original material, just like they did in the 50’s. Check them out by searching youtube, facebook or www.myspace.com/thecaezars

Watch Caezars at Crondall here - Dirty Robber & Sitting on the Top 

Comments from Jerry Chatabox - Promoter of Rockabilly Rave.....

A big thank you to everyone who made us feel so welcome at Crondall for the Caezars night sponsored by The Rockabilly Rave. Here is a club that deserves the support of the rockin scene, by tirelessly putting on great entertainment, often at their own financial risk. To continue to keep this very old club going, and to have such a great team of helpers and supporters says a lot about the commitment of Janie... a one woman whirlwind of rock 'n' roll activity! Hail Caezar! And long live Crondall!!!
Many thanks
Jerry Chatabox

Here's what the Caezars had to say.....


"Thank you all very much for your support (and milk) we had a blast and hope to see you all again soon... HAIL CAEZAR!!!!"



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