The first band to play the ballroom that night was Lil' Mo & The Unholy Four, and that was a fantastic performance! The Kats'n'Kittens (including me) absolutely loved Lil' Mo and his very own version of classic Rockabilly and Rock'n'Roll songs.
The next act I watched was Tail and Lennox Records recording artist Don Cavalli and he also did a killer show with his brand of rockin' Country Blues, authentic Rockabilly and rockin' Gospel, a pleasure to see the "Pharao" back on the rockin' scene! Did I mention that he was also booked for the legendary Glastonbury festival two weeks after the Rave?
Big Sandy and the Los Straight Jackets also did a killer set of Surf, Mexican Rock'n'Roll and a bit of Rockabilly. I was really sorry that I missed most of the set by one of my favourite UK Rockabilly bands, the Tex Speed Combo, because I had a heavy attack of hay fever, so unfortunately an early night for me. If you've ever been to the Rave you know that you won't get much sleep, because your day normally starts around noon with record (or clothes) shopping, bands normally start a bit later.
The Hitones did a killer set of wild Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly, check out their stuff on El Toro and Wild Records! Shaun Horton and The Tennessee Trio were somewhat of a special treat because this fantastic, authentic Rockabilly band split up many years ago. Were they good I hear you ask? Bet your bottom Dollar kats, they were fantastic! Shaun, did ya' promise me a new album to be released soon? Ricky Rocket and the Phantoms also did a very kool set of late 50's and early 60's wild Rock'n'Roll, watch out for their soon to be released debut album.
The DJs did a killer job over the weekend and packed the massive dancefloor with cohorts of strollin' girls, boppin' kats and jiving couples. The Dutch Barnstompers did an absolute ace show with mid 50's rockin' Hillbilly style before another US wildman, Ramblin' James together with Bobby Trimble, Ashley Kingman and Wally Hersham was entering the stage. It was really great to see this krazy kat belting out his own brand of authentic 1956 style Rockabilly, Hepcat heaven!
aDuring the day it's a very relaxed atmosphere, bands are playing in front of their chalets, friendly people everywhere and loud Rockabilly blasting out from the chalets.
The line-up for the first day was outstanding and one of my favourite British bands, The Doel Brothers, started the weekender and went down a storm. After the Shooting Stars finished their hard hitting set (check out their excellent Watchtower Blues 10inch) it was high time for the Boston wild man Jittery Jack. He put on a fantastic show and belted out lots of his own material, also the lovely Miss Amy on the guitar was an absolute ace!
For the rockin' entertainment you have the ballroom on the first floor, the traditional Queen Vic pub and the club downstairs. Did I mention the Vinyl Junkies Club, which takes place in the pub where you can spend your hard earned cash on rare 45s??? The DJ's are on duty most of the day, playing a brilliant selection of 1950's Rockabilly, authentic new bands, wild late 50's and very early 60's Rock'n'Roll and a bit of Hillbilly / 1950's R&B. So if you'd like to hear authentic 1950's sounds only, the Rave is the place to be!
Rockabilly Rave, that's the place where the hepcats meet!
Oh boy, what a brilliant weekender it was! What could possibly go wrong, when there is a killer line-up that puts most other weekenders to shame. The sun was shining down on thousands of Rockabillies, Hepcats and Teds. Many arrived early on Thursday to start a fantastic rockin' weekend. All the fun takes place in a holiday camp with a capacity of nearly 3500 people, complete with chalets where you live for 4 days, the main hall, pub, supermarket, kids playgound, indoor heated swimming pool and tattoo parlor. Really everything you'll need. During the weekend there are ONLY rockin' people at the campsite, no tourists with day passes who fancy a look at the strange 1950's nostalgia that's going on. You'll see brilliant hot rods and custom cars there, so if you are a gear head you'll love it. There are lots of record stalls and loads of vintage and retro clothing stalls, even a rockin' barber! Be sure to take enough money with ya', otherwise you'll cry after the first day (am I talking 'bout me??).
Rockabilly Rave No.18
Time flies by fast when you are having fun and Sunday came much too soon. The first act to watch for me was Canadian Hepcat Lew Phillips with his Norman Petty production Buddy Holly sound. I think he was a bit nervous to play in front of a large rockin' crowd and so a few things went wrong during his set. Did the kats and kittens dig him? Yes, for sure! Listen to his album and see for yourself what a talent this boy is, guess Buddy would have been proud of this young man.
The first band to watch on Saturday was the lovely Mary Ann and the Tri Tones and they were absolutely top notch. Lovely Mary Ann has not only got a great stage presence but also a fantastic voice and the guitar player is top notch! At the moment the band is looking for a record label deal, so better be quick all you label bosses out there! In the evening Gene Gambler and The Shufflers went down a storm with the audience with their authentic Rockabilly, Rock'n'Roll anf rockin' Blues sound before Sid and Billy King together with RCA recording artist Joe "Ducktail" Clay gave us a hell of a good show. Scotty Baker who followed is in my humble opinion one of the biggest talents on the current rockin' scene. His songwriting, voice and stage presence are second to none. The kats'n kittens went wild for this mix of rockin' Country, Western Swing, Rockabilly and wild Rock'n'Roll, absolute killer! After a great set from the legendary Dave'n'Deke Combo (not quite sure about Deke's fashion sense...), it was time for Charlie Hightone and The Rock-Its and their brand of wild authentic Rock'n'Roll and Rockabilly, including their monster hit "Booze Booze Booze".