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GIG REPORTS 2006

Rogers personal view of the gigs he has attended
Not all are Rock'n'Roll - Roger likes all live entertainment

Disclaimer: All the views expressed herein (unless otherwise ascribed) are those of the author and may
be unsuitable for overly sensitive persons of low esteem, or irrational religious beliefs. Any attempt
to sue me over the contents will constitute an irritating social faux pas.

                       

2006

 
23rd December we went to see The Jackie Lynton Band performing at The Jolly Butcher at Laleham, near Staines.

The pub was packed and the whole band were in good spirits.  Mike Windus had brought his new (well second hand really) guitar and Greg Terry-Short had brought his son, who sat in to drum for a few of the numbers and is very good.  Jack was in Elvis mood to start with, but quickly moved on to his favourite headbanging beat with a few breaks for classics like Unchain My Heart, as he put it, "to give the band a rest".   He also used a gap where Chris had broken a string to bring Greg to the front to sing their duet "Crash Bang Wallop" - only a lot ruder.

The pub has been "sound-proofed" to try to reduce neighbours complaints, and was packed. This is the fourth or fifth time the Jackie Lynton Band have played The Butchers and a lot of the local faces are beginning to look familiar. We also had welcome company from the visiting supporters in the form of Bruce's gang and Keith-The-Stalker and his entourage.  Jack unaccountably announced me as "Jolly Roger, our Manager" ;  Which I'm not - but it did give me the opportunity to give the landlady my phone number in case she wanted a "proper" band at any time ! 

Overall a great gig, although during the half time discussion all the band (with the exception of Jack)  agreed that they are looking forward to July 2007 when smoking gets banned in pubs - none of them like being kippered while they play.   Jack smokes cigars so he doesn't care.

The Lynton Band on Saturday

 

The Teens Rocking at Syon House.

The Nashville Teens appeared at Syon House on Wednesday 20th December. Syon House is set in what appears to be open country beside the River Thames, but is in fact a park set in the middle of the suburbia  of Brentford, just over the river from Kew Gardens.  This was a classic "Corporate Christmas party" for 1800 staff and families of the McLaren Motor Racing Team.  The party was held in a huge marquee with a host of sideshows (gambling, computerised racing, dodgems etc) and a static display of the Corporations current F1 cars and their "road car" (awesome !).  We spent five hours setting up and almost four hours striking the stage - but it was well worth it for 70 minutes of some of the best Rock'n'Roll on the planet.
Although Spud was nursing a cramped right hand, he drummed through immaculately and the whole band were on really top form.  To give Spuds hand a rest half way through,  Ray sang Put A Spell On You. Not always part of their one hour set, this delivery was a particularly outstanding performance by Ray.  Most of the audience were packed onto the dance floor for the entire set and obviously enjoyed themselves almost as much as the band did.  A great way to close another year for Ray, Spud, Colin, Ken and Simon.

 
17th December we saw The Ian Campbell Blues Band at The Wheelwrights pub in Winnersh, near Reading.   We couldn't stay for the full performance because my cough was gradually worsening as the atmosphere clogged with smoke, but we saw all the first set and most of the second.

The band were all on form, although Keith was a bit stressed because he had just moved house this weekend, but once he had a beer in his hand and a song to sing he cooled down immediately.   It was good to catch up with Simon Spratley and Ian Campbell over a beer at the break, and to wish Happy Christmases to Simon Baker and Les Calvert.

Ian Campbell

 
9th December I joined Ann, Fiona and Martha at The Pyrford Club to see The Jackie Lynton Band doing their thing.  Martha was there because her partner, Geoff Ward, was standing in for Mike Windus who was otherwise occupied that evening.  Geoff is a great slide guitar player.

Jack was buoyant, ready to try out a new song. Colin, Chris and Greg were busy grumbling that they hadn't rehearsed it and had no idea what was happening - but when he sang it they played as if they had rehearsed it all day !  The event was Sam's birthday, and after the first set we were all invited to participate in a huge feast.

During the break we were joined by Jacky, Pat and Paul King, who had been out somewhere for dinner together beforehand.  The first set had been good, but the second set was even better.  Paul got up with his harmonicas and joined in three of the numbers. The party rolled to a close about half past midnight and I eventually rolled home and got into bed at half past one.

Jack Lynton

 

Constant Speed

30th November ; Fran and I went to The Ambassadors Theatre at Woking to see the opening night of the Rambert Dance Company's UK tour.  This tour celebrates the 80th anniversary of the "Ballet Rambert" - one of Britain's oldest established ballet companies.  There is very little "establishment" in their performance though - twenty bright young dancers,  acrobatic, sinuous and apparently incredibly strong.
There were three sections to the performance.  The first was called Stand and Stare and was based on the works of LS Lowry.  Extremely acrobatic, with little or no relationship to the music (which was fairly discordant and nothing to write home about). The dance was good in parts, but slow in others and the cast weren't always precisely timed together.  This set had some amazing acrobatics where dancers threw themselves sideways through the air to be caught and whirled round by their partner.
The second set was a piece called Lady into Fox.  This piece was premiered by the Ballet Rambert in May 1939, although they haven't performed it since 1950 (decades before these young dancers were born). The music was reasonably good and the story was a classic transformation - a bit like Swan Lake, but not as pretty !  It started with a hunt, then the hunt ball. After the ball the lady of the house transforms into a fox, much to the surprise of her suitor who has hung about in the hope of getting his leg over.  She runs from the house and is pursued by the same hunters who have just enjoyed her hospitality at the hunt ball.  The dogs catch her and rip her to pieces. The end.  Nice dance though.
The third piece was very modern, commissioned in 2005 to commemorate the Einstein Year, it is called Constant Speed.   The music was by far the best of the evening, being a classical selection of pieces by Lehar from some of his lesser known operettas.  The dancers flung themselves across and around the stage in costumes which changed colour as they progressed through the piece. Starting all in white they became pastel colours, then bright colours.  This was my favourite part of the evening - modern dance with pace and connectivity to the music.

 
26th November  At least I could get my camera to work for this gig !  We went to The Wheelwrights Arms at Winnersh to see our old friends The Ian Campbell Blues Band  play.
Simon Spratley was grieving because he hadn't been able to get to The Teens gig on Friday and was concerned that he has now missed two gigs on the trot.  Keith Allen, Simon Spratley, Simon Baker and George (Les) Calvert were all on form and Ian Campbell was playing brilliantly.
Ian's solo on Who Do You Love was awesome.  It is a number which the band have lifted from The King Earl Boogie Band (both Ian and Les are members of that ensemble) but The Ian Campbell Blues Band have taken it on to a new level with Les's bass rifts driving it along and - as stated - Ian's guitar solo was mind blowing.  The band did two encores which included a great version of Baby Please Don't Go tailored to allow solo's by each band member and to enable Keith to introduce the whole band. 
The pub was packed and as the crowd dispersed the talk was all about the bands next appearance at The Wheelwrights, which is scheduled for December 17th.

Ian Campbell

 
24th November  A long trek up to Great Yarmouth with The Nashville Teens  who were appearing with Dave Berry and Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich  (without Dave Dee) at Vauxhall Holiday Park.   We had the journey from hell getting to Yarmouth, with traffic jams wind and rain.  Miraculously we were only an hour late and that just meant a curtailed sound check.    Sadly only a vague photograph of the 2000 strong audience this week as I had some strange settings on my camera which produced only blurs. This was the nearest I got to (accidentally) getting anything in focus.

The Gig was good. Unfortunately Simon Spratley couldn't make it and it was too late to get a dep, so the band went on as a foursome.  This made some of the numbers, particularly the key changes in The Who Medley, quite difficult - but they worked OK.  The audience was great and we were blessed by a visit from Rose and Ken, who had come all the way from Devon to see the band. We also had the joy of at last meeting Marianne Gibbs, of Talk 60's Magazine, whom we have corresponded with for years, but never before had the pleasure of meeting. She was there to interview Dave Berry.

The venue had their own sound and stage hands so I watched the show from out front with Marianne, and then as The Teens finished their false tab number Tobacco Road - we slipped backstage and listened to the encore number - Born to be Wild - from the wings.   We were on early, finishing at 9pm, and I had struck the stage and got all the gear into the van by 20 minutes past, which gave us all 40 minutes to chat with Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich before they had to go on stage. When we left at 10pm there was still no sign of Dave Berry (or his glove) so we left Marianne backstage waiting for him.  The journey home wasn't quite as bad as the trip there, but closures on the M25 and North circular meant that the trip home from Yarmouth to Chertsey actually went via the Embankment in London !  Interesting detour, but we were too tired to really enjoy it.

blurred audience !

 

soundcheck underground

4th November  I visited sunny Cornwall to see The King Earl Boogie Band  play the annual Whizz Bang Boogie at Carnglaze Cavern .    I had arrived early enough to enjoy a very informative conducted tour of this marvellous old slate mine before watching the band sound check in a cavernous dance hall several hundred metres underground. 
When the band were ready the gates opened and a capacity audience of about four hundred people flooded in to enjoy the proceedings in this strange -but lovely - venue. Among them were Dave Wade and Pippa Martin, the sound team from The Pigsnose, who seemed content with the sound quality - and Dave's a pro, so it must have been good.  The band performed an "acoustic" set - by which they meant that they were sitting down and Ian played the Mandolin.  Otherwise it was still quite "electric" !  The resonance in the cavern was very effective in enhancing Dave's vocals, and I was surprised that the other frequencies all seemed to flow well through the caverns with hardly any echo. 
They took a break while we all trooped outside to watch a firework display and eat dubious sausages in buns cooked by the local Scout Troop, only to resume with two sets of full on electric music when we all returned to the warmth of the cave.  The band really like this venue and it shows in the enthusiasm with which they played.
They featured virtually every number of their new CD - which was partially recorded at Carnglaze last November;  including the Blue Slate Slide, which is dedicated to the cavern.
A great gig - I'm sure they will be booked again for next years fireworks event - don't miss it !

 

28th October It was Graham P's birthday and The King Earl Boogie Band  played his private party at Pyrford Club .   The band were on top form and the audience included Mike Windus and Jackie Lynton.  For Jack it was an opportunity for a reunion with his old mate "Spud" - John Coghlan, The two of them used to work together in Diesel. 

The band was on top form and shared with the audience two new numbers from their ever growing repertoire.  A good show and a great party.

 

22nd October The Jackie Lynton Band  played Scratchers at Godalming.  Mike had a new guitar which had a lovely bright sound and did real credit to his already fantastic Chuck Berry style. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me so you'll have to wait for a picture until next time.  The band were on top form and hammered outs some great rock'n'roll.   They were joined for a couple of numbers by Paul King (a founder member of Mungo Jerry) who had brought his harmonicas with him.   A great evening.

John Coghlan & Jackie Lynton

 

Twist

20th October  and we went to a Dinner/Dance at Wellington College in Crowthorne to support the twin charities Breakthrough for Breast Cancer and Thames Hospicecare.  This very successful evening raised almost 10,000 for the chosen charities and was not only organised by friends, but the music was provided by friends - so we had to go. 

Before and during dinner we were entertained by three young people called Twist, who performed classical and light music on a wide variety of orchestral instruments; and the two girls sang beautifully. They were extremely good and very entertaining.

After dinner we rolled out  The Ian Campbell Blues Band  who were exactly right for the event - they started right off with rock'n'roll and had everyone up on the floor dancing at the very first number. An excellent show in which they managed to keep the whole audience engaged for two hours and were demanded to perform two encores.

Ian Campbell Blues Band

 
14th October The Jackie Lynton Band  were playing The Jolly Butcher at Laleham (near Staines - not to be confused with the other Jolly Butcher beside Staines Bridge ! ).   The initial vibes weren't good.  Colin was suffering indigestion and Chris was a bit stressed; but Greg and Mike were on form and Jack was positively bouncing with life,

Not a very big audience, but clearly an appreciative one. Jack was in excellent form despite an initial mini-annoyance when the landlady had the temerity to ask him to turn down the volume.   He pretended to for a bit, but we were soon rockin' again and having a great time.   Music is obviously a good healer because Colin and Chris were both on top form by the half way break.

I was accosted by a lovely lady named Caroline who was interested in my camera.  Turns out she has a Dad named Roger.   She proceeded to give me a free photography lesson and much to the amusement of the band I ended up lying on the floor with her trying to get a decent shot of Mike without seeing too far up his nose.   A good evening with good music and a good audience.

The Band - picture by Caroline

 

Keith Pearson

4th October was a rare visit to Baldock in North Hertfordshire to see Keith Pearson's Coup De Grass  who were playing a gig for the Baldock & Letchworth Folk Club at The Orange Tree.   For me this was a huge trip down memory lane.  More than forty years ago I used to frequent the Hitchin Folk Club at the long extinct Talisman Pub.  Their resident singer - and a great friend during my teenage years - was Keith Pearson.  To make the evening even more nostalgic I had alerted some other old friends, and the front row of the audience was composed entirely of folk in their late fifties remembering their teens! 

Keith has developed into an awesomely good banjo player, the master of intricate picking.  I have on occasion had opportunities for personal virtuoso displays by such banjoists as  Pete Stanley -  and I think that Keith is now well within the same class.  He was supported by his band - Coup De Grass - who were all excellent musicians.  I was especially impressed with "Tarzan", his bass player - who plays his instrument as if it were lead guitar and has a wonderful voice (turns out he was classically trained) ; and by the harmonica player - James Darby  - who shares my adoration of the Yardbirds and the late great Keith Relf.

They obviously have a good reputation among "muso's" because Dave Peacock (of Chas & Dave) had come along to join the audience and watch the band.  It was a very polished and cleverly structured show.  Well done Keith.

 
24th September The Ian Campbell Blues Band  were playing at The Wheelwrights Arms, at Winnersh. We don't get to see this band often enough, especially as three of them are good friends.  Bass is held up by Les Calvert and the lead is - of  course - Ian Campbell, both of whom we know from The King Earl Boogie Band.  Keyboards is Simon Spratley, from The Nashville Teens. The drummer is named Simon, don't know his surname, but he has depped with the Teens while Spud was laid up with a knackered knee.  Vocals and rhythm guitar is Keith - don't know his surname either - but he used to be a drummer with Marty Wilde's band, The Wilde Cats.   Between them an impressive heritage of rock history ranging from Alexis Korner and Jona Louis, through Thin Lizzy to Mungo Jerry.

They played two sets which showed off their talents to the full and ended with a magic rendition of Gloria, which the whole pub joined in with.

 

Colin and Dave at Barcombe

16th September - found us at the village of Barcombe, near Eastbourne.  We were there to see Dave Peabody & Colin Earl who were topping the bill at the Barcombe Beer Festival. The audience was small but very appreciative and the real ale was extra-ordinarily good.  

Colin and Dave put on a great show, even attempting Money To Burn and Who Do You Love - both of which really require a drum/bass driving line - but they presented them exceedingly well.  They were joined by a local singer for a rendition of I Just Wanna Make Love To You, which was to celebrate a young lady's birthday (she looked far too young to be drinking beer - I must be getting old ! )

This is the third year running that Colin and Dave have played this little festival - let's hope it continues and grows.

 

The Lynton Band stick together

9th September and we went to The Weyfest.

This is a annual festival of music in support of various local charities.  This year it centred on The Exchange, a  pub next to Farnham Station.   The Jackie Lynton Band were top of the bill and when we arrived we found them - and all the audience - in thoroughly good moods. The place was a bit smokey, but otherwise fine.  The performance was great - the magic that occurs between performers in a good mood and an appreciative audience was almost tangible - they wound each other up into a sort of ecstasy.  Certainly Chris & Mike played astounding - and loud - guitar solos,  while Colin & Greg provided a powerhouse for what turned out to be verging on a "heavy metal" evening.

Jack and Chris feel the soul

 

Mike (left) and Cryin' Out Loud

Sunday afternoon, 3rd September  a private "open house" party at our friends Mal & Kate (Mal was drummer with the King Earl Boogie Band for many years).  He had selected  Cryin' Out Loud to entertain his guests.  This band - fast approaching its twentieth anniversary - is led by the lovely Mike Windus, whom I hadn't seen since 2 o'clock that morning when I had left him on Colin's driveway after the "Buntingford Travel Event". (see below)

The party was great with Kate's superb catering and an excellent selection of friends and neighbours to talk to.  The band were good too.  It is never easy to get a good sound out of doors - the main casualty often being the vocals.  Today however was focused in an extremely small outdoor area and sounded OK.    Well, OK for a funny old Peavey system anyway !  The band played some Chuck Berry - for which they are rightly renowned locally - and also a nice catholic mix of Rock numbers, including lovely renditions of Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone,  and the Yardbirds arrangement of Too Much Monkey Business, which sort of collapsed at the end as Mike changed the lyrics make an appeal to Colin Pattenden to come round and mend his new TV which couldn't get channel 4 !   Challenging lyrics which didn't rhyme or scan, but they worked at the party.... although I guess they probably wouldn't work on stage !

 
2nd September The Jackie Lynton Band  were engaged to play a fascinating little pub called The Crown, in the pretty Hertfordshire town of Buntingford.  A long way to go for a gig - and an eventful journey, eventually completed in an AA Relay truck at 2.00 am in Chertsey !   The gig was interesting for other reasons.  The event was an extravaganza to raise money for Cancer Research, featuring half a dozen bands and following a classic car rally.  The stage was an open fronted container in the street outside the pub !  Sadly for half a dozen old folk, the stage was right beside some almshouses and they didn't appreciate the loud music.

There were few people out in the damp street when Jack started,  but after half an hour the numbers had swelled to about 150 and they were game to dance in the rain - so despite the weird stage and the awful sound system the band got quite a kick from the gig.   We were grateful to have Geoff Ward standing in for Chris Bryant who was on holiday in Spain.  Geoff is a wizard guitarist and has a special bottleneck ability.

Buntingford is a long way for the JLB to travel, so we were not best pleased when the fuel pump in Colin's car broke - we had to wait for the AA Relay to take us all home and we didn't get back to Chertsey until 2am.

Geoff Ward

 

Sleepwalking?  sleep-playing

29th July - another hot evening and it was The Jackie Lynton Band again.  This time at Pyrford working mens club.   The audience was small and the band really weren't that together.  They had three gigs in the previous week (I missed The Eel Pie Club because I was in the USA) and they were tired.  At one point Jack managed to forget the end to Blue Suede Shoes and it went on for a further two verses. Luckily the band carried it off musically, although they were all grinning.  The band made several little mistakes themselves - but they were all in a good mood so they just laughed it off. I don't think anyone in the audience even noticed !

As if to demonstrate the tiredness, during one very slow number - Georgia I think, Chris sat down and apparently fell asleep while playing his guitar very gently.  (Those of us who know Chris can easily believe that he plays the guitar in his sleep)

 
28th July - a Hot Summer evening at The Windlesham Theatre and Club to see a part of that evenings performance by The Jackie Lynton Band.  I had arrived at Heathrow that afternoon after a 36 hour journey from Lake Tahoe in California, so I was a bit tired and only stayed for the first set - but it was great to see my mates and hear some live music again.

It was a very warm evening, the temperature still up in the eighties after eleven pm, so most of the party stayed out in the car park.  The hall was quite large and full of echoes, but the sound quality improved as more people drifted in to dance.   The band played what they liked and enjoyed themselves, with Mike and Chris giving wonderful solos.   While in California I had the fortune to hear (but not see) most of a concert by Crosby Stills Nash and Young - who were appearing in the open air at Harvey's Casino - only three hundred yards from the motel I was staying at.  That performance - although "perfect" and doubtless "cabaret" if I could have seen it as well as hearing it -  seemed flat and mechanical by comparison to Jacks band tonight.

My heart was heavy though, because at Harvey's tonight - seven thousand miles away - The Yardbirds were appearing. 

Jack and the band

 

The Nashville Teens at Ramsbury

16th July Tonight it was The Nashville Teens turn to headline at The Ramsbury Sunsplash Festival,  In the intervening 24 hours the main PA speakers which had been overdriving for The KEBB had been replaced, and although the sound quality on the stage foldback system still wasn't great, the PA sound out front was really good. Well done Nick. The stage lighting had been reduced a bit too, but when we checked the three pin from which the lighting rig was all run we were amazed that it wasn't on fire, it was so hot.  Never mind - the show must go on.

It went on brilliantly. And, although they were a bit peeved from being late on stage, the band played really well. The audience were up and dancing and the quality of sound was quite remarkable for an outdoor event.  The fine still weather probably helped a great deal.  The show was supposed to end at 10pm - but the band were still rocking at 25 past when I had to give them the signal to wind it into Tobacco Road.   Then disaster struck when Colin broke his G String.  It was a lucky break for the audience because Ray decided to sing This Little Bird to fill the re-string time - A song which we all love, but which he rarely sings because he thinks it isn't quite "rock'n'roll" enough for the bands image.

The final calamity came half way through Tobacco Road, with all the audience up dancing.  The power failed !   The lighting rig three pin hadn't caught fire, but the sound system one had ! Out of the ashes of despair rose hope - Albert mounted the stage and announced that he would book The Nashville Teens back for his monthly blues club so that everyone could hear the ending !  A chaotic - but very enjoyable - gig, thank you Albert.

 

Jason Manners (with Les on bass)

The King Earl Boogie Band

15th July The King Earl Boogie Band again.  This time at The Ramsbury Sunsplash Festival, which is hosted in the village of Ramsbury, Wiltshire - not far South of Membury Services on the M4.

This is the fifteenth annual event at Ramsbury.  It is masterminded by the inscrutable "Albert" - a local war lord who supports the Ramsbury primary school by arranging this ever growing festival of music.  The venue is The Bell public house, smack in the middle of the village, and because it is a tight village and the event is in support of the local school, the place is alive with kids really enjoying themselves. Very reminiscent of the Cleves School gig, but on a much bigger scale.

There were eight bands on the Saturday listings, I arrived during a performance by Full Tilt, who were reasonably good but I didn't get a chance to see or hear them properly because I was greeting Les Calvert (a very alcoholic affair) and trying to ensure we had a full set of cymbals and a snare for the KEBB slot later that evening.  It was also good to meet up with Shelly (Colin Earls daughter), her man Paul and their friend Mark - a really nice bunch of people.

I did get to see and listen to Jason Manners, who played with a trio including Les Calvert on bass.  It was very heavy guitar blues which was technically great - Jason is an Ace guitarist -  but which didn't seem to quite fit with the carnival atmosphere.  This was followed by a hectic bit of activity while we tried to get the stage set up for The King Earl Boogie Band.  The sound engineer Nick was good, but his equipment wasn't brilliant.  Throughout the gig we had cut-outs and fades and at one point all the lights went out !   I suspect the main problem was the mains supply, but although the cabling on the stage was very neatly laid around the edges, it was a bit of a hens nest mid-stage and the monitors weren't the best I have seen or heard.

The KEBB played extremely well despite the sound and lighting system and plugged several numbers from their new CD, as well as playing This Little Light of Mine and Drifter Blues - my favourites in their current playlist.  The audience loved the KEBB, dancing and shouting for more - at the end Albert cajoled them into performing two extra encores, by leaping on stage and announcing that he wasn't going to pay them unless they played at least two more! 

 
14thJuly The King Earl Boogie Band  performed their annual extravaganza at The Cleves School, Weybridge.  This event started as a simple PTA picnic with a bit of live music, but over the years it has adapted into an open air picnic with the band, bouncy castles, and lots of young amateur performers getting up and doing their stuff on stage.  It has also become a bit of a local jam session with local "guest" artists joining in during the second half.  This year we saw Ray Phillips (Nashville Teens), Colin Pattenden (Manfred Manns Earth Band) and Grahame White (Englebert Humperdink band) guesting alongside the KEBB line up. 

There was no doubt among the regulars who frequent this gig that the KEBB have changed up a gear since they were joined by John Coghlan (Status Quo) on drums.

Youngsters enjoying The KEBB

 
1st July The Nashville Teens played a private party at Bisley Pavilion. This was a good opportunity to try out Colin's new lightweight (well, not so heavy anyway) PA system.  The sound quality was great, but the hall at Bisley (National Rifle Association) has some awful acoustics, and despite almost three hours of calibrating the system to a pink noise generator it still sounded boxy.  Combined with this we managed to blow the bass on one monitor and the horn on another - so Colin had to drive home to collect some spares.   The 1st July was extremely hot - and Colin and I were pouring sweat by 7pm when we had built the stage.   No time for a proper sound check so we both headed for our respective homes and showers before returning about 9pm.

The event was a wedding party, and although The Teens were a high point (The brides Dad is an avid fan !) there was a disco for most of the evening.  The combination of the extreme heat and the tinny sound of "Northern Soul" records drove us out onto the patio at the front of the Pavilion where we enjoyed a lovely summer evening until ten o'clock rolled round and it was time to be on stage.

The stage was hot and the hall is huge - so the wedding party - which was still mainly up the other end of the hall, or outside in the cool evening - seemed very distant.   However, it only took a few bars of Railroad to get curious people into the hall, and by the time Jailhouse Rock came up the floor was heaving with beautiful - but sweaty - dancers !  The acoustics in the hall were as poor as ever, but on the stage the new foldback system worked a treat and it all sounded great ! The band played for an hour and a half - and the audience loved them.

The Nashville Teens

 

The Strawbs at The Half Moon

 21st June and I spent the evening getting good news in good company at The Half Moon in Putney.  I had come to see John Hawken playing with his main band, The Strawbs.  The good news was that half way through the support act - a band called Dead Like Harry - I received a call to say that I had become a Granddad for the second time.  But as my daughter and new grandson were in California I couldn't do much about it except celebrate. 

It was good to meet up with John, he lives in the USA and was last over here in March, when we enticed him to temporarily rejoin The Nashville Teens and come with us to a gig at Skegness.  Tonight he played a whole different sort of music.  I haven't seen the Strawbs since the late sixties (when Rick Wakeman was among them) and had forgotten how much I like their music.  It was an excellent gig enhanced by an excellent sound man and because of my sensitive state as a new granddad among friends, it was also enhanced by far too many glasses of whisky!

 
10th June   The Jackie Lynton Band played The Jolly Butcher at Laleham.   I had surfed the web looking for The Jolly Butcher at Staines. No problem finding it - parked outside and went in.  Five guitars I didn't recognise + a drumkit I had never seen before + a thin guy I didn't know crawling about the floor plugging up cables.  My job !   I beat a retreat and phone Colin who told me that when he had said "Staines" he had meant "Laleham"- which, in his defence, is quite close.  Ten minutes later I was at the right gig and chatting to Colin, Mike, Greg, Chris and Jack.   We were also blessed with a visit from Jeff Ward who was accompanied by his lovely lady Martha and her brother Tony. 

Jack was a bit stressed because the landlord kept telling the band to turn it down. This was understandable - it was a very hot evening and people wanted the doors and windows open, but he also had to worry about his licence.  Despite the minor stresses it was a great evening. The audience were all very amicable - and very drunk - having spent the whole afternoon there watching the first of England's World Cup matches. 

Chris brought out his old Fender Telecaster for its annual airing, but after a couple of numbers he switched back to his usual Gibson - which felt like a quantum leap into another dimension, so much more tone and vibrancy. The Fender came out again though during the second half when Jeff Ward was tempted onto stage to play a guest number. He used the old Telecaster with a bottleneck to play an excellent slide blues number.  A good evening enjoyed by everyone.


Mike, Colin, Gregs arm, Jack and Chris


Jeff Ward and Chris's old Telecaster

 

Chris Feeling the Blues

20th May and  The Jackie Lynton Band played The Camphill Social Club at West Byfleet.  It has been almost six weeks since I saw a decent live band.  Or in fact, any live band !  So my expectations were high.  The club was crowded, possibly because most of the regulars from the Pyrford Working Mens Club gig seemed to have commuted down the hill into Byfleet to see their favourite band. 
The guys were full of stories of the previous nights gig (which I had missed) where, because a cock-up in the assignment of deps, Grahame White had joined them and they had ended up with three lead guitarists !  Apparently they all enjoyed it though.  The acoustic quality of this little club is surprisingly good, although the lighting is dreadful being a single small fluorescent ceiling panel. While this contrived to keep Jack's face in gloom all night, it also enabled Colin and Chris to play at "Startrek beaming up" behind him when he wasn't looking.   A further distraction was a blackboard beside Greg, on which he and Chris - much to the amusement of the audience - played noughts & crosses between numbers.   The hall was lively with a little heckling of Jacks jokes and a scattering of dancing - which always encourages the band.
They played really well, especially the Chuck Berry numbers which Mike Windus is so amazing at.  Jacks' voice got better as the evening progressed and his penultimate song, Women and Men, was brilliantly presented.  A cracking good evening.

 

 

The Most Blueswailing Yardbirds

 

 

Dave Wade - soundman extraordinaire
 

 

7th April I drove down to Devon, collected my friend Stephanie from her farm at Winkleigh, and took her to Pete Webber's haunt,  The Pigs Nose Inn with the objective of  reliving our youth by watching our favourite band from that era,   The Yardbirds.  Stephanie and I both loved this band in the mid sixties when we were an innocent pair aged 14 and 15 respectively and going to as many of their gigs as we could contrive to given our ages and our ability to blag our way past "over eighteen only" signs.  In those days it was fronted by the late great Keith Relf and the band had a promising young lead guitarist named Eric Clapton.   Above all the group had a raw excitement about merging blues into a driving beat - which we both loved.  Dave, the sound engineer at The Nose had put our names on the door so we were well received.   First stop was to greet Dave and Pippa (Princess of microphones) and then walk to the clifftop to check that the sea was still there.  Then after a pub dinner I got some photos of Chris Dreja and Jim McCarty holding a picture of Colin and I with the Two Andi's.  Colin P and I had enjoyed lunch with the two Andi's the previous weekend while visiting Budapest - and discovered that they are also friends of Chris and Jim.

The gig commenced with The Train Kept A Rollin' and Steph and I were immediately transported back to our youth when we watched the original band perform this at The Marquee.  The band have still got that amazing "Blueswailing" feel which made them one of the most important evolutionary influences on British R&B.  Their new lead guitarist, Ben King was awesome - still a very young man,  he is following in the footsteps of the great and looks as if he has all the makings of joining their ranks ! (Previous lead guitarists with The Yardbirds who made it big were Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page).   The rest of the band is Jim McCarty (drums); Chris Dreja (Rhythm guitar); vocals and bass guitar are by John Idan.  These guys were all with the band last time I had worked with them , which was around 1998 when they and The Nashville Teens did a gig at Ryde on the Isle of Wight.  As well as Ben King, another new face to me was Billy Boy who performed backing vocals and can make his harmonica wail every bit as soulfully as Keith Relf did. 

There was a fair amount of new music from their current Birdland album, but they blew us away with some old favourites including Shapes of Things  ;   Mr. You're A Better Man Than I  and Over Under Sideways Down ; as well as the unforgettable For Your Love.   A brilliant performance - well worth a round trip of over 500 miles.
 

 
1st April and we saw  The Jackie Lynton Band yet again !   This time they were playing Scratchers (The Three Lions pub) at Godalming.
Another great night - the band were really together.  Tonight was Mike Windus's night - he was really on top form.  At one point he was quietly strumming a little Johnny Cash type riff while waiting for Jack to tell a joke - Jack turned, told him to turn it up a bit and then started to sing Leaning On A Lamppost to it - Mike, with a little help from the rest of the band managed to keep his tune while Jack sang the main body of the song, but as soon as Jack took it up an octave for the middle eight the rest of the band collapsed - coming in again to support him when he came back down to the main tune again.  The band did a couple of storming performances of Women and Men and Let It Rock,  Mike and Jack did a duet of Georgia - with just a little swish of brushes on drums from Greg - the pub was hushed.  It ended far too soon, with both the band and the audience declaring that they had really enjoyed it.


Scratchers 1st April 2006

 

Jackie and Gail

31st March  The Jackie Lynton Band played The Phoenix at Staines.  This gig is renown locally as the birthplace of Mungo Jerry, who were the house band here in the sixties. Indeed, we still try to get a King Earl Boogie Band gig here whenever Paul King visits from his home in Cornwall.  
Tonight the pub was packed and very smokey - with a really appreciative audience.  The Jackie Lynton Band usually perform "locally" around Woking and Guildford.  Staines is up on the Northern edge of their "manor", so they don't get to play here very often.  Jack had a nice surprise because among the audience was his youngest daughter, Gail.   The performance didn't start until 10:00pm with a second set at 11:45, finishing at 1am in the morning. The band were tight, and obviously enjoyed the gig.  They made an amazing recovery in the first set when Jack had a "senior moment" in the first set.  He announced that he would sing Tulsa Time, and then as the band went into that number he started singing Nadine.  Luckily the beat and key are the same so Colin, Mike, Chris and Greg shifted - apparently effortlessly (but with a lot of laughing) into the Chuck Berry classic.    Overall a good gig.

 
28th March  we went to the New Victoria Theatre at Woking to watch Matthew Bourne's new ballet, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS.

This was its first night in the national tour which follows the London debut and the theatre was packed.  The staging, lighting and sound quality (live orchestra) were excellent, and the costumes were out of this world !      We enjoy modern dance, and Matthew Bourne represents the very best of current modern ballet.  This representation of Tim Burtons original story was another high point for Mr Bourne, until I saw this I had his "Highland Fling" as one of my favourite ballets.  The story - a sort of macabre American version of Pinocchio set in the 1950's - was first made famous through the 1990 film starring Johnny Depp.  Matthew Bourne has created an equally amazing dance spectacular around the story, brilliantly choreographed and so busy (it has a cast of 27) that we shall have to see it again several times before we can take it all in.  

The character of Edward was wonderfully portrayed - wearing a tight leather suit with dangling scissors for fingers and electric spiked hair.  The dances were tight and interesting, and on occasion they also looked quite dangerous as other dancers ducked the flashing blades as Edward span and cavorted.  This is a ballet I want to see again.

 


Neil Korner, ray Phillips, Tom Nolan
 


Wee Willie Harris

26th March  EVERYBODY played at Twickenham to raise money for The South Tyneside Hospital Ward 10 - for terminally ill patients,  where Carlo Little died last Autumn.  Carlo was one of the most influential drummers of the sixties and seventies, playing originally with The Rolling Stones and eventually being a mainstay of Screaming Lord Sutches band, The Savages.   He is credited with teaching Keith Moon of The Who how to drum - and judging by the fantastic line-up on Sunday night - he had a lot of friends.   It was without a doubt THE CARLO LITTLE NIGHT OF HONOUR.

The turnout of musicians was fantastic - they came from all over the World and not all of them got a chance to perform.    When I arrived I almost immediately ran into Ray Phillips (The Nashville Teens) and was quickly joined by John Hawken (The Strawbs) and Jack Lynton.  Jack was in his element -introducing me to loads of his mates, including the legendary Alan Baratt of The Good Old Boys.    At last I had a chance to meet Neil Korner ("Kornflake") who had been bass player with The Nashville Teens in the mid sixties. He now has his own band playing in the Croydon area and we promised to trade gig lists.   Among acquaintances renewed were Tom Nolan and  Don Craine (Downliners Sect) and Mick Avory (The Kinks).  Jack also introduced me to the infamous Wee Willie Harris, who later that evening gave a blindingly good performance.   Sadly Jack himself didn't get to perform.   The Eel Pie Club put on a fascinating static display in one of the bars, old photographs and press cuttings, plus a short but amazing DVD of the late Long John Baldry backed by Cyril Davis's band with vocal backing from The Marvellettes !
 

The evenings performance opened with Tom Nolan and the Bluescasters, who set the scene for rock and rhythm and blues, sixties style.   Tom had been a mastermind behind the arrangement of this gig, and he and his band are the mainstay of The Eel Pie Club, which sponsored the event.   They gradually merged with changing players until they become a mixture of heritage players from The Artwoods  including Art Wood himself.   The gig was not very professionally structured, with poor sound quality and fairly chaotic stage management (or lack of it) - but it was fun.  The next performers were Phil May and Dick Taylor of The Pretty Things - now looking comparatively tame, with Dick playing bottleneck blues on an acoustic guitar.  It was an interesting act, but wasn't in line with the rest of the rock/R&B feel of the evening.   

Wee Willie Harris hit the stage with his band - his diminutive figure still sporting an enormous "quiff" of hair,  strutting his stuff in his red drape jacket with his name written large on the back. This was real Rock and Roll, verging on skiffle at times.  A classic performance.    He was followed by Vince Eager - an amazing vocalist who's band included his own grand-daughter on bass guitar ! 

Next up was the auction.   This was conducted by three gorgeous girls - well, ladies really.  They had been Tiller Girls in the early 1960's and came all dressed up in black bodices, black tights, tophats and sequinned jackets - they must have been in their sixties,  but they each looked absolutely stunning.  Although there were a lot of sixties characters who managed to attend, the event was also well supported from a distance.  Auction items had been provided by many who couldn't be there, including Mark Knopfler,  Ronnie Wood, Sir Mick Jagger, Jeff Beck and Chris Farlowe.   Jagger had donated two VIP tickets to any Rolling Stones concert in their 2006 UK tour - those tickets alone fetched 1000 for the hospital !

After the auction break we were thoroughly entertained by The Good Old Boys, led by Carlo Little's best mate Alan Baratt. Alan and Jackie Lynton go back a long way and hadn't seen each other for ages. I was with them when they met before the gig and it took seconds rather than minutes for them each to assess that they had both become fanatical Delbert McLinton fans, and Alan went on to demonstrate by performing a couple of Delbert numbers during his set.  
 


The 1960's Tiller Girls
 


Jackie Lynton and Alan Baratt


Colin Pattenden, John Hawken, Ray Phillips and Neil Korner
 


John Hawken

 

The penultimate band was a sort of version of The Nashville Teens.   John Hawken (keyboards) Ray Phillips (vocals) and Neil Korner (bass guitar) were originals, supported by Tom Nolan, another guitarist and a drummer, neither of whom I knew - but both of whom I have seen hanging about the Eel Pie Club !  Stage management had been pretty pathetic during the gig so far, and by the time The Teens got on stage the whole event was running almost three quarters of an hour behind schedule !  So they only performed a couple of numbers;  Route 66 and Tobacco Road.    We had planned for Jack Lynton to join them for a final number (Lawdy Miss Clawdy) but he had sadly had to leave earlier because Vanessa, his wife, has only just come out of hospital and he hadn't planned to stay so late.    

Running late on a Sunday night isn't a good thing for those of us who have day jobs, so after the Teens set we did a quick goodbye to all our friends in the artists bar and we left for home just as the final band were starting on stage.  Not sure who was doing what, but Mick Avory (The Kinks) had the drums and Tom Nolan was ready to play again.

The full list of artists scheduled to appear was:  Eddie Armer, Mick Avory, Alan Baratt, Mike Berry, Rick Biddulph, Simon Bishop, Johnny Casanova, Alex Chanter, Alan Clayson, Doc Cox, Don Craine, Julian Dawson, Vince Eager, Graham Fenton, Mark Freeman, Peter French, Keith Grant, Wee Willie Harris, John Hawken, Richard Hudson, John Idan, Chris Hunt, Jackie Lynton, Phil May, Ali McKenzie, Paul Neon, Tom Nolan, Rick Parfitt, Peter Parkes, Nick Simper, Dick Taylor, Top Topham, Mickey Waller, Geraint Watkins, and Art Wood.    I'm sure lots of other people were there, and some of them "appeared" on stage;  and I know there were one or two apologies (like Ricky Parfitt who is under doctors orders not to strain his voice, and so took absence to be the better part of valour.)

Overall it was an amazing evening, with avid fans rubbing shoulders with stars of the sixties - and everyone enjoying the blast of live music.  Its a shame that this sort of wake only happens when someone has died.  At the end Alan Baratt got Carlo's famous hat as a present from Iris Little. A very touching present.
 

 


The Teens at Skegness


John after his guest spot

11th March  The Nashville Teens played at Butlins Skegness as part of a sixties weekend package.  This always seems a very remote gig, and it was reassuring to look out from the stage and see the regular fans are still there.  After the years you get to recognise many of them ! 

This year six of us crammed into Colin's People Carrier, together with keyboards and guitars, and set off from Chertsey. It was absolute pleasure travelling the 150+ miles up to Skeggy because we had a very special guest on board - John Hawken, the original pianist and founder member of The Nashville Teens.  Remembered as a gawky looking young man with thick rimmed spectacles and an amazing touch on the piano; John has evolved into a tall slim grey haired guy with rimless specs and an easy going manner.  He is now an even more amazingly accomplished musician, as he showed by just "checking the tuning" on Colin's piano with a boogie riff.  The four hour drive flashed by as he an Ray reminisced about the old times and he gave us little insights into his career since the early days with The Teens.   John has lived in America since 1973 and played with bands like Renaissance, Spooky Tooth and of course, The Strawbs.  He told us that he returns to the UK most years to tour with The Strawbs, which is what he has been doing for the last few weeks.

We arrived and sound-checked at 5pm and then had all evening to eat and drink and watch the other acts - and the audience.  Over the years these sixties events have increasingly become fancy dress parties for the audience, and this year seemed to have taken a quantum leap !  At least two thirds of the audience were in either sixties style clothes (mini skirts, Op Art dresses, bouffant hairstyles etc) or were dressed as their favourites. I lost count of the Sonny and Cher's; there was a whole table full of Elvises in white jump suits with capes (who obligingly posed for John's camera), and more Sergeant Pepper costumes than I knew existed !    The venue has two main stages and a smaller stage.  On Saturday night the "Red" venue was packed with between 3500 and 4000 fans ready to Rock'n'Roll to The Teens.

The first band of the evening were The Counterfeit Kinks, who were very good - playing almost note perfect to the original records, and adding some sparkle by dressing in red jackets and looking vaguely like the original gang.  I'm glad we didn't have Mick Avery with us because his "look-alike" on drums didn't look anything like him, and somehow didn't have quite the same verve.  (Although the look-alike hadn't gone grey yet ! ).    When they had finished we milled about behind the curtains setting up stage and working out how we could let John do a guest spot.   Apart from a last minute panic to clean up and replace Ray's glass of Guinness which one of the sound techies kicked over - the set up was as near perfect as I have ever experienced
.

The curtains swished back and the show took off.  The crowd were really wild for some hard driving rock, and the band reacted to their enthusiasm.  The sound engineers (apart from kicking over beer) proved to be excellent and the sound quality in the auditorium was one of the best I have ever heard.  The band really loved the performance - this has to be one of the best for years.   At the cue for Honky Tonk Women Simon retreated while I shoved a stack of three piled chairs up to the keyboards so that John could perform his guest spot.  He is too tall to stoop to Simons keyboard level and one chair wasn't high enough for an easy reach to the keyboard, so we ended with him sitting on a precarious stack of three stacked tubular framed chairs !   He played brilliantly and instead of leaving stage I just hung around and videoed the performance from the back.  After John's bow I whipped the chairs away and Simon resumed. The cameo performance had gone down extremely well and everyone was satisfied. 

The set over-ran and Tobacco Road started  three or four minutes after they were supposed to have completed their act - for which I got lots of hassle from Jacky,  the otherwise lovely lady stage manager.  The band still got their encore though and blew the audience away with Born to Be Wild.   John seemed to really enjoy his trip down memory lane, having to "rough it" on the road instead of the comfort of tour coaches and soft hotel beds.  We left as the strains of the next band, Marmalade, started from the stage and we headed off into the freezing black Lincolnshire night.  We did our coffee stop at Norman Cross about 2am and reminisced about other night stops at other places in other times.  Ray and John fondly recalled taking Chuck Berry for coffee at Watford Gap !  - I wish I had recorded the anecdote conversations - there was enough for a book !  We eventually arrived back at Chertsey about 03:30am,  and I got home just before 4am.  An excellent gig and a memorable trip.



After the gig, the band pose in the dressing room with John

 
6th March  The Mo-Rockan Soul played at Sands at The Bleak House, and we went there for dinner.  This is a nice restaurant with a live band on the first Monday of each month.  This band was three guys and a girl playing a fairly catholic range of pop music to an appreciative audience.   They had a good drummer and a good lead guitarist.  The bass was OK and vocalist was enthusiastic. She sounded better on duos than as a solo, but was very entertaining. 

 
4th March  The Jackie Lynton Band played at The Brunel Club, again - on the outskirts of Reading.  This was the last night ever for the gig - it is being bulldozed next week. The place was packed and the bar was almost free with drink measures being slightly generous (Mike asked for a Jack Daniels and was given a quadruple ! ).   The band were on form - reflecting an appreciative audience and the dance floor was packed for most of the time.  One of the most poignant moments was when Jack performed one of his smoochy love songs and half a dozen lady Angels dragged their men onto the floor and made them dance!  The lads are all big and dangerous looking - but all looked very sheepish when circling the floor with their girlfriends clutching them tight.  I hadn't got the heart to take any photographs, these guys live by their ego's.   As we packed up the stage things started to get out of hand and by the time the gear was all safely back in the cars there were fire extinguishers going off, furniture breaking and all the girls in thin tops had mysteriously suddenly got very wet (and didn't seem to care).  It was time to go !
This is a gig which the band really didn't like playing, but we all agreed that this last gig had been a really good experience and that in a funny sort of way we would miss the place.

 

Earl, Campbell, Peabody, Calvert, Coghlan

3rd March  The King Earl Boogie Band played at Jagz, in Ascot.   An excellent upstairs gig with dinner tables and a dance floor (and a disco downstairs, but the booming through the floor doesn't start until the upstairs entertainment is over).   The band has gone through a major evolution in the last six months with the influence of Les Calvert's R&B heritage now being gently welded into a more insistent pulse by the excellent drumming of John Coghlan (ex Status Quo).  The offering the band now make has a wider, and broadening, spectrum of musical types. They still perform some music from their Blues/Jug-Band roots, but have also moved both toward the folksy blues of Dave Peabody's heritage and toward the hard rock edges of Les, Ian and John.   Colin Earl remains benignly in the middle, loving Country Blues, but playing anything which involves karate chopping his keyboard!

The first set was an acoustic one - really showcasing Dave Peabody's guitar talents, and featuring Ian Campbell performing incredibly fast fretting on a mandolin.  All this backed by John Coghlan playing his drums with brushes !  It would have been great to get Ricky Parfitt or Jack Lynton in there to see John playing while they performed "In The Summertime" - he wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face.

The second half was far more raunchy ranging through Country blues and rock, with a little gospel thrown in for fun.  An excellent performance with a good quality sound system and an appreciative audience.

 
17th February saw the Jackie Lynton Band  playing at the Brunel Club, in Reading.  This is an odd little gig - upstairs above what is essentially a small transport cafe on the old A4 to the east of Reading.  The band don't much like playing there because it is upstairs - you try dragging all that equipment up a steep narrow staircase and you'll start to sympathise !  On Friday the band initially almost outnumbered the audience, which was later swelled by a visit from the local chapter of Hells Angels - a dangerous looking crew, but we've met them all before and they are all nice guys when you get to know them. Colin was late so the band didn't start until just before 10pm, and the performance, while interesting, was rather ragged.  It felt more like a rehearsal than a gig, with quite a few silly mistakes and a lot of laughing.  When some of the girls in the audience got up to dance the music improved measurably - it is obvious that the lads react much better to an appreciative audience than to an otherwise almost empty room.  The presentation of Jacks new number, Women and Men was particularly  good.   At one stage one of the Hells Angels girls on the table next to me took her jacket off - which resulted rather spectacularly - if temporarily - in her breasts falling out either side of her skimpy tie top.  She had an extremely large boyfriend with her so I was grateful to be able to focus intently on photographing Chris playing a solo and thus avoid any risk of being involved in any potential "what are you looking at" conversation.  After the gig we learned that the club is up for sale, and likely to be destined to be demolished in favour of a new housing development, so this may be the last time I have to drag Colin's heavy bass bins up and down those stairs.

Chris helping me concentrate

 

Bad Influence - not very well lit !

6th February we went to Sands Restaurant - formerly The Bleak House pub - and while we ate a superb dinner we listened to Bad Influence a really good blues band with a gravelly voiced lady singer.   The bass and drums were deps, but were very professional and provided a rock steady backing.  The guitarist, named Richard, was very good, almost in the same class as Grahame White or Chris Bryant.  Vocals and rhythm guitar were handled by a large blonde lady with a gravelly voice who favoured Bonnie Rait numbers.  Her voice was good, but  limited the type of songs she could perform, and her enunciation suggested that she hadn't had formal singing training.
The whole show was very professionally presented and clearly they had rehearsed well. One of the songs at least was original, and apparently made it to the semi finals in some sort of songwriting contest in Nashville.   If we get the chance to see Bad Influence again I think we would make the journey.

 
4th February we went to Scratchers at Godalming to see Cryin' Out Loud, Mike Windus's band.  Never seen this band before and very much enjoyed their performance.  Mike showed a different side of his character both in singing and in playing much more exuberantly than he does with the Jackie Lynton Band.   The music was a reasonably catholic spread from blues, through to Country Rock, well presented and obviously well rehearsed.   I was interested to hear a different Delbert McClinton song from those which Mr Lynton promotes - perhaps because Jack is into Rock, and this was one of Delbert's more "Countryish" numbers.  The band also performed an extremely good version of a Leonard Cohen number which was so well presented that nobody in the audience even thought about slashing their wrists!  The highlight for me was to see Mike playing as he really loves - the Chuck Berry style.  He did a really good version of Reelin' and Rockin' with guitarwork rivalling Mr Berry's original.   Overall the band were much quieter than the music we are used to,  Fran commented that she didn't have to wear her earplugs - must be something to do with Colin's bass not being there.....

Cryin' Out Loud

 
28th January was the first gig of the year for The Nashville Teens. They were playing a private party at the Whitstable Rugby Football Club, near Herne Bay in Kent.   Colin and I had spent much of the afternoon setting up the PA and the drumkit. The gig was upstairs - always a horror when we have to move all that equipment - so we were quite tired by the time the others started to turn up at about 7pm.  Simon gave us a quick burst of Mozart for his level check (today was Mozart's 250th birthday) and I got to have a bit of fun banging Spud's drums to get the sound levels set for them. However,  because the party had already started by the time the rest of the band had arrived, we had no proper soundcheck.  
The event was Buddies 21st birthday - Buddy being one of the daughters of Alan - an old friend of Ray's (and a new friend of Colin and myself).  Miraculously the sound was terrific and we had a hugely appreciative audience who bopped from the beginning of the first number right through to the very end.  The band loved the gig. Unlike many private parties,  the band all felt as if they were guests rather than entertainers!
This ambience reflected in the bands playing - they were exceedingly good, with Ken giving an awesome solo on Red House.   After the formal party most of the band went back to Alan & Sarah's home for the next phase of partying.  An excellent gig and a wonderful party. Thanks to the Williams family.

 

Jack and the band at the Eel Pie

25th January saw The Jackie Lynton Band playing  The Eel Pie Club in Twickenham, which is upstairs from The Cabbage Patch Pub.   A mid-week gig, but well attended and an exceedingly good performance. 
The performance started a few minutes late because Colin had been held up in traffic, but the effect was that they performed straight through without a break - good for the audience and the band.
The audience at the Cabbage Patch blues nights usually comprise several noted "muso's".  Tonight was no exception and we were graced with the patronage of Rick Parfitt himself - recovering from throat nodules which had prematurely terminated the current Status Quo tour.  He obviously enjoyed watching and hearing his old mate Jack and applauded every number - especially Ricky Rocket, which is one of Jack's own numbers, dedicated to the memory of a young Rick Parfitt.
An excellent evening - thank you Jack.

 
6th January first gig of the year was The Jackie Lynton Band playing at the Camphill Club in Byfleet.  The audience wasn't huge, but it was appreciative. It has to be admitted that the band wasn't at its professional best - not that the quality of musicianship was poor - quite the opposite, they are all masters of their instruments.  It's just that they all seem to have reverted to being schoolboys and they all had a really good time with Jack forgetting the words dissolving into laughter on more than occasion.  (Indeed the club is right next door to the junior school which Colin Pattenden attended in the 1950's).  There were some really nice moments and the band gave its first public performance (and first full rehearsal) of a new number Jack has written.  Because the audience was small and several friends had come along,  it had the feel of a party rather than a real performance.  A good start to the year.


START OF 2006 - and start of this blog.