Wildcat Night 2015
Saturday, April 25th
Saturday, August 29th
Friday and Saturday October 30th + 31st
As always at the Orange Peel, Kaiserstr.39 in Frankfurt (Main)
Why the hell is this guy writing about a German weekender in Frankfurt (Main) I hear you ask? Is it because the bands they book are always brilliant? Oh yes, maybe .... Or is it because the Wildcat Night is one of the longest running record hops on a monthly base in Germany and there may be the possibility that some of you cats will visit lovely Frankfurt for a few days anyway. What's better than having a great rockin' nite out on your holidays? It all started in 1991 when some rockin' folks including Felix Schuetze (aka DJ Lucky Shooter) got together to do something for the local rockin' crowd. In 1991 there was not much of a record hop culture in most German towns like there was in England or France. The scene was split up into Rockabillies, Psychobillies, Teddyboys, a group called Jivers (this tribe vanished a long time ago, they mostly dressed in 1940's gear, listened to 40's and early 50's Jive, R&B, Swing and Doo Wop) and the new breed of Rockabilly fans, the sharply dressed Hepcats. From the start this record hop was "Vinyl Only" and most DJ's played records like the Desperate Rock'n'Roll albums, Sin Alles, Born Bad, White Label and Bison Bop. Nowadays most of the DJ's there use only 45s, only a few are still willing to carry a heavy box of albums. The first record hops took place in the famous "Dreikoenigskeller". It was a very small place, not much space for dancing but always a great atmosphere. After 18 years the organizers called it a day and moved to the "Orange Peel", a much bigger venue near the main railway station.
Enough rockin' history, now on to the weekender:
This years Wildcat Night Weekender took place on the 24th and 25th of October. The place was packed with rockin' people when we arrived at 10 o'clock. The DJ started as usual at 9 o'clock on the ground floor, a nice little venue complete with a bar and enough space for boppin', jivin' and strollin'. The first DJ on the upper floor starts at 10 o'clock. This venue is much bigger than the ground floor and this is the place where the bands play at the weekender.
The regular Wildcat Night DJ's are Lucky Shooter, his lovely wife Doo Wop Baby, Stephan Umbach and Nikki Morgenstern. They do play a very nice variety of different rockin' styles like German Rock'n'Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Rockin'Instros and a bit of Doo Wop, so there is something for everyone in the scene. The first band were the Intruders from Sweden and boy, they are killer!!!! They play wild late 50's rockin' instrumentals and very early Surf, absolutely amazing! Do I have to mention that they went down a storm with the audience? After a great record hop set done by one of the best English DJ's, Steve Stack-Of-Wax (check out his brilliant radio show on http://www.mixcloud.com/stevestackofwax/ ) it was time for Ray Collins Hot Club, a dancers favourite with their jivin' R&B and swingin' Rock'n'Roll sound. One or another band not your cup of tea? Than you had the chance to go down to the ground floor to check out the DJ's playin' the best in rockin' sounds. The party always lasts into the early morning hours and after a bit of sleep you can explore the city of Frankfurt, there are some good record shops to stock up your collection!
The second day of the weekender started after a very nice meal at one of the many Asian restaurants in Frankfurt. This time there were even more rockin' people because the organizers booked two of the heavyweights of todays Hepcat scene: Mark & The Wild Ones plus the legendary Hi-Winders! Mark and the boys unfortunately played one of their last sets as lead singer Mark takes a break from the music business. Sad to see them break up I have to admit because these boys were one of my favourite German bands. I wish them all the best for their future and hopefully they will reunite in a few years. As always they played a hard rockin' set of late 50's / early 60's styled desperate Rock'n'Roll with many favourites from their two amazing albums on Rhythm Bomb Records. After a kool DJ I haven't heard of before (Rockin'Blues from Paris, France) it was time for the legendary Hi-Winders and suddenly it was the 1990's again, the time when the German Hepcat scene started, every kool kat'n'kitten went to Hemsby, dressed "hep" and Continental Restyling was a must-read. Jan Svenson (aka Wildfire Willie) was belting and screaming their classics like "Miss Angel Face" or "Whole Lotta Power", Hepcat heaven! After many hours of excellent live acts and brilliant DJ's we called it a night. In my opinion a fantastic weekender, nice people, great music and venue. What more do you want?!