Review Rockabilly Rave #19 - 2015

Sold out in Sussex – The Rockabilly Rave 19 by Andrew Smith

So much anticipation, so many times checking the calendar and so much bloody traffic, we thought as we sat in nine miles of it at the Dartford crossing.  And they even have the cheek to charge you for it!!  Never mind, we are here and upright, a position many might find difficult to adopt over the next few days perhaps..

Yes it’s the nineteenth annual Rockabilly Rave, to paraphrase, nay, quote the lucidly eloquent delivery of main stage MC Dell Villarreal, and here we are in the confines of Camber Sands Holiday camp awaiting the arrival of a sell out crowd.  Thursday morning saw the avalanche commence, as in came vehicles of every style, age and size, containing people of every style, age and size.

Soon flags of origin were adorning windows and beer can pyramids starting to form.  The rumble of case wheels, the echoey clonking of folk alighting metal stairs, the lost souls looking for a chalet in a block that looks exactly the same as the previous one (trust me, you’re nowhere near the hall, keep right on walking stranger).

Now you’re in, check out and read the Rave program, chock full of quips and at times, laugh out loud moments.  Then plan your evening/weekend/beer consumption…

Raving dot…dot.  Best tracks at the Rave ever ever to billy your rocka for this year Don Head’s ‘Going Strong’ , ‘Do Do Do’ by Ronnie Dawson and Jimmy Pritchett’s ‘That’s The Way I Feel’……..  Our fixation and running battle with the resident gulls continues apace.  Walking through a chalet block there was this awful screeching and calling, that was frankly scary and deafening.  Then we realised it was a certain contingent of Rave-ers down from Essex sat on a chalet balcony…..Someone please get ‘Pascal’ a hearing aid, or a walkie talkie, so his friends can speak to him in single figure decibels….Rhythm Bomb Records’ output is phenomenal, and the thirty one track freebie CD given to each chalet, featured many of todays top artists…..Note to new readers, Main Ballroom is often referred to as ‘upstairs’ and the smaller venue as ‘downstairs’……It got so warm on Friday, in the traditional way, some males thought it necessary to throw as many clothes off as possible, and rotissify themselves in the middle of the chalet blocks, with all sorts of junk on display.  Gives a whole new meaning to ‘boil-in-the-bag’………That inventory in the chalets, if this goes missing you will be charged ‘x’ amount.  Did it occur to whomsoever compiled said inventory, to ensure those items were in situ to start with?  And was the Biblical infestation of ants by way of a bonus ball?.....

Lew flew in.  To the main hall, and don’t spare the horses.  The whole of Thursday evening is concentrated here, and so was the crowd.  What excellent numbers showed up for the first night too.  Lots in to take in the first act, not always the greatest supported slot of a  weekender, but chunky numbers nonetheless.

Lew Lewis and the Twilight Trio have been making waves recently and this gig did them no harm at all.  Young Lew is an enthusiastic front man, whether strumming his acoustic guitar or just singing alone.  Backed by competent and experienced musicians, makes for a full sound, whether performing their own stuff or covers.

‘Miss Diamond’, ‘How Could You Be So Mean’ and ‘Blow Your Mind’ rubbed shoulders with ‘One Hand Loose’, ‘I’m Ready If Your Willing’ and ‘I’m Coming Home’.  A really good solid set that got the toes tapping.

Don’t Seattle for Less.  Next up were masked men of mystery, the Margraves, dapperly decked out in their black suits and eye masks.  In complete contrast to the previous turn, this was a powerhouse guitar based four piece hitting us with early garage-y based surf sounds.  The three guitars, had been made from scratch by lead singer Roy Kay, and as well as looking good, they sounded pretty ace as well.

True this was something a little different from the norm, if indeed anything at the Rockabilly Rave can be described as ‘normal’.  ‘Blue Gin’ got us going, and potent tunes like ‘My Delilah’, ‘Head Hunter’ and ‘Run Run Run’ had lovers of that sound in bits with delight, and their version of the Jades ‘Blue Black Hair’ was also a kicker.

Scott ‘n’ Doel And ‘just like that’ (see what I did there) it’s another return for Scotty Baker to the main stage at he Rave.  From ‘Who’s Scotty Baker’ a couple of years ago, it’s now ‘Yay it’s Scotty Baker’, judging by the crowd assembling at the front of the stage.  This time out he was being backed by the Doel Brothers, also back for a third time on the bounce, and it was they who set the stage with a handful of ditties before bringing him out.

Massive outpouring of love greeted one of the scene’s true writing and performing talents as he launched into the embittered lyrics of ‘Wasted My Name On You’.  The Doel Brothers had clearly put in a lot to getting the backing just right as they were spot on throughout.  ‘Broke On Pay Day’ sounds familiar doesn’t it readers, ‘Tyre Kickers’ resonates with anyone selling a car privately, ‘I Don’t Care’ was tinged with a slight at anyone who considers him a Cash clone, and ‘Move To The City’ has an ironic twist, given where he now lives.

Every track was greeted with the same rowdiness, and, with maybe the exception being ‘Just Like That’ (there’s soooooo many words), the audience were singing along to them.  The closing trio of tracks were out and out rockers, ‘C’mon and Fight Me’, ‘Knockout’ and ‘Cheater’ are just outstanding.  With his recently ‘Bopped’ hair now rather dishevelled, Scotty ended another memorable show, which seemed to fizz by.

Mouse’s House.  Strap yourselves in for the next act for sure.  The Space Cadets, a four piece from heaven knows where, were next to hit the stage with their own brand of no nonsense rockin’.  It would be remiss to suggest it was an incarnation of Restless fronted by Mouse Zinn, but basically that’s the personnel involved in this wreck-fest of a show.

These guys seared through their set with rockers like ‘In Space’, ‘Astrobilly Rockin’, ‘Flying Through Outer Space’ and ‘Be Boppin’ Baby’.  The place almost came unglued to ‘Awakadee Awakadoo’ and a trusting Mouse crowd surfed, falling backwards into his audience.  A breathless tear-up for sure 

Busted Into the wee small hours we go, and a really electrically charged ending to the night with Bill Fadden and the Rhythmbusters, in what is now a rather rare UK performance.  Never disappointing, always on top form and firing on all cylinders, Bill, bouncing around the stage strumming the bejesus out of his acoustic guitar, hit the high spots with every number.

He’s got a great voice akin to Skeets McDonald and that ilk, set against the expert backing of the ‘Busters’, Kemlo, Nedin, and Biggs.  Some of it is familiar, like the versions of ‘Snatch It and Grab It’, ‘Suzie Q’, and ‘Doggone It’, and some of the set isn’t, like ‘One Dead Man Ago’, ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘Devil’s Ride’.  Everything was top drawer, and loudly cheered by the crowd who all but demanded the customary encore of ‘Lordy Hoody’ and ‘Ragin’ Sea’.  And it’s only Thursday (ish), we’ve got three more days of this yet!

DJs, do right daddies, and daddettes.  Kudos to the DJs who keep a dancefloor moving during the breaks between bands.  Shouts out to Danny from Spain, who always  mixes classics in by the dozen, and always plays Eddie Cochran!  Rudy, Be Bop Kaz, Little Carl and the debuting Dillinger and Gary’s Red Hot and Blue played some ace stuff among their sets.  Missing was Blip Blop, and so therefore was a good old Western Swing set in the main ballroom.

Rip it up.  Friday dawned bright and clear around noon when everybody seemed to be surfacing.  A glorious day in the offing as the temperature gradually climbed into the seventies.  Friday afternoon heralds the first of the downstairs sessions, and first out the traps here, was a new band to us, from the UK, the Barnstormers.

It’s always good to find a band that you might have seen on the gig list from time to time, and enjoy their show like this one.  The set wasn’t a well trodden ramble through a thrown together playlist, it was one that had some pacey rockers and a slower almost country sound from time to time.

The lead singer, Dallas Roots, did the occasional knee slide, which might not have been the wisest move for his slacks, as both knees tore up.  I don’t think I’ve seen anyone remove trousers from the ankles upward before!  That notwithstanding, tracks like ‘Uranium Rock’ and ‘Two Timin’ Woman’, mixed up well with ‘Hot Rod Mamma’, ‘On The Run’ and ‘Blue Eyed Blues’.  I wonder if I was the only one who picked up on the irony of ‘New Shoes Blues’, which could have been slightly adjusted to include trousers.  

Eye-eye.  Next on, another band who jumped into a slot left by a band unable to attend.  This was five guys in masks a la Jerry Lott, aptly named, The Phantoms.  A frantic lead guitarist Darren Lince just made the show in time, and then set about stealing it.  His searing guitar breaks during tracks like ‘Bad Boy’ ‘Let’s Dance’ and unsurprisingly ‘Love Me’ (by the afore mentioned Phantom) were breathtaking, as were the two instro tracks, ‘Miserlou’ and ‘Run Chicken Run’.

Kaboom. This onomatopoeic word is the name of the band and pretty much describes the sound, as the Spanish four piece fair exploded onto the downstairs stage to close out the Friday afternoon sessions.

The Kabooms pack everything into their show, around twenty songs and originals at that.  It’s not aggressive thrash, it is well performed Rockabilly with a frantic acoustic guitarist and vocalist, Matt Olivera, backed by three equally enthusiastic musicians.

A listen to ‘Only Mine’, ‘Headin’ Down South’, ‘Point Blank Range’, ‘Hunter With No Gun’, should give you the basic idea.  And ‘Half Ton Mama’ and ‘Johnny Rocket’ embedded themselves in the memory.  Top stuff.

Quite the Caper.  Upstairs in the Main Hall again, for the start of Friday’s live acts.  Ike and the Capers, from Germany, are just a drumless trio at first sight, but they contain three extremely talented musicians in the form of Axel Praefke (Cherry Casino) on lead guitar, ‘Humpty’ (Round Up Boys) on bass and acoustic guitarist and lead singer Ike Stoye.

You know what readers, they were kind of wasted being on at such an early hour, as once again this show was a massive highlight.  They, as many do, have a huge liking for Elvis, and a chunk of the set was made up the King’s tunes.  ‘Hurt’ I have heard murdered before.  The version by this band was exceptional, vocally and musically.  ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’, perfectly suited to the trio sound as was ‘Fool Fool Fool’, ‘I’ll Never Let You Go’ an ace up the sleeve for sure, and the harmonies on ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, excellent.  Top cover of Billy Ward and the Dominoes ‘Sixty Minute Man’ too.  And not forgetting the call and answer ‘Frankfurt Special’, with ‘help’ from the audience.  Simply sublime set from Ike!

Rock away Kay.  A band that has been nigh ten years away from the Rave, took to the stage next.  The Roy Kay Trio last played in the downstairs hall to massive acclaim.  With a much too large gap in between times (other than the Ranch party a couple of years ago) Roy was back with the familiar line up of Robin Cady and Mike Geglia.

This band’s sound is a country bop with a western rockabilly twist, showcased by Roy’s delightfully joyous vocal lilt.  There’s talent in the song writing too, and my personal favourite ‘Go Now’ opened the show.  Formed in 2001, and with a wealth of experience performing, the trio turned out a fine show, taking material from all their album releases.  ‘Mad and Blue’, ‘Heartache’, ‘Juliet’, ‘Lonesome Moon’ sounded fantastic, as did the cover of ‘Sweet Love On My Mind’. Excellent.

We’re ‘Louvin’ it.  Next up, the return to the Rave, of the duet of Charlie Thompson and Miss Mary Ann, with the Ragtime Wranglers, and their Hillbilly Harmony show.  This is always a peach of a show, and 2015 was no exception. Take ‘Hopin’ that You’re Hopin’ by the Louvin Brothers for example.  A super song that was perfectly presented vocally, and fortunately Mary Ann and Charlie got on better than the original duo!

‘In The Jailhouse Now’ (Webb Pierce or Soggy Bottom Boys, or whatever your pleasure) was mighty fine, as was the Barker Brothers’ ‘Hey Little Mama’ and the Everley’s ‘Claudette’.  Oh and dispatch mentions for ‘Hello Sadness’,’Gee Whizz’ and ‘Love Me’ too.  First class play list, ideal for a show like this one.

Ring the Bell.  Making another welcome return were the Bellfuries, and their own brand of class Rockabilly.  It’s got to the stage now that the audience could perform the show, with songs like ‘Stealing Kisses’, ‘Your Love (All That I’m Missing)’ and especially ‘Just Plain Lonesome’ and the mandatory ‘Hey Mister Locomotive’.

But just for the Rockabilly Rave, they brought a bunch of their new CD, which the audience were treated to as a first, it’s not actually released in the USA until August.  Named ‘Workingmans Bellfuries’ it has been produced by Jimmy Sutton, and we were treated to a couple of tracks from it, the names of which escape me at the time of writing, however they sure did sound good.  Joey Simeone is one of those songwriters who puts poetry to music and an infectious beat.  I sense, by what we heard, another classic.

The batter end.  So to the final band of the night, the Go Getters from Sweden, immensely popular with so many people.  Lead singer Peter Sandeberg bashing seven bells out of his drum kit, welcoming everyone to his hell, is just the ticket for a late night crowd…..if you like that sort of thing.  I await the brick bats.

Mo Ravin’ dot….dot.  Annual Rave gripe.  In nearly forty hours of being in and around the main and downstairs halls, once again I didn’t hear Hal Harris’ ‘Jitterbop Baby’ played.  This track is the purest Rockabilly gold, people…..The camp implored patrons not to feed the Gulls, so the ‘orrible oiks just help themselves nowadays ….. Glorious sunshine outside, dark in the downstairs room.  Result, a log-jam of people trying to accustom to the sudden change by standing wide eyed at the door with a semi permanent look of amazement on their face, and eyes like a bush baby…..Congratulations to Lucy-Mae Donnelly for winning the inaugural Miss Rockabilly Rave at the Pageant…….The showers in the chalets.  They vary between permafrost cold to lava-flow hot with one gnat’s knacker sized movement of the dial.  The head has ‘three exciting settings’.  That would be dribble, shot blast, and tolerable……Other attractions, Sick Sorry or Sober sessions, Honky Tonk Juke Joint and the Sugar Bowl, all in the intimacy of the Queen Vic pub……Some of the loudest cheers for performers on the stage, come from other performers in the audience …..’Chalk it up to the Blues’ playing on the decks, a full floor, and the most prominent video-er?  Big Sandy….How to tell if a Rockabilly Rave meal is ready?  Just listen out for the ‘beep beep beep’ of the smoke alarms….

Brazil, it’s just like watching Brazil. Another fine day dawned, presumably.  By the time many were up and at ‘em it was around mid day.  And by two, the first band was on, a drumless trio from Brazil called the Mystery Trio, lead by charismatic lead man Elvis Martinatto (at least that’s what it said on his guitar!).  I believe these guys were called the Flatheads until a few years ago(?)

These bands without drums make a super sound readers, and it works especially well in the intimate environment of the downstairs hall.  Opening with the instantly recognisable ‘Hungry For Your Loving’, they then launched into some of their own material as well as the odd cover.  Interesting how many of the songs had one word titles, ‘Rollin’, ‘Strolling’, ‘Geisha’, ‘Pretending’ and ‘Eternity’ just an observation. 

Covers like ‘Watch Dog’ and ‘Juke Joint Johnnie’ made up a really solid and well received set.

Shorty’s long on talent. Another drumless trio with a different sound followed, Shorty Tom and the Longshots.  Snappily dressed in pristine western wear and hats, the trio, formed in 2012, occasionally employ a steel guitar that complements Tom’s signature vocal delivery.

Good to hear tracks like ‘Bill Collector’, ‘Honky Tonk Fever’, ‘So Dumb’ and ‘Lomg Gone Daddy’.  Another well performed set in the afternoon.

Raise the Tempi The evening was upon us and the line up in the main ballroom was diverse and interesting, starting with Marcel Bontempi  and Ira from Germany, backed expertly by Bill Fadden and the Rhythmbusters.  Marcel’s now dancefloor must-do bop track ‘Dig a Hole’, a reworking of the Maddox Brothers and Rose track, almost drew the crowd in before he had struck the first note of his set.

The record ‘Witches, Spiders, Frogs and Holes’ kind of gives an off the wall impression of what you might expect from the show.  In fact it’s darn good stuff.  There’s covers, but not as you might know then, ‘Race With the Devil’ is completely different, and of course ‘Dig a Hole’, which started as the stroll version and graduated to the familiar bop version part way through.  Oh and the theme to ‘Spiderman’, also got the Bontempi treatment….., honest!

‘Parchment Farm’, ‘Shag Rag’ ‘Pick Up Your Hammer’ ‘Holler after Midnight’ and ‘Headless Horseman’ are a few more examples of the unusual themes and titles in a show featuring this talented showman.

Gord blimey.  Robert Gordon, I’d suggest was close as this years Rave got to an ‘original’ act, born in 1947, and around at the height of the Rockabilly revival of the late 70’s and early 80’s.  As close as many would get to ‘nostalgia’ methinks.  He was backed among the band, by Chris Spedding on guitar, slinging a traditional orange Gretsch, as opposed to the ‘Flying V’ you might have seen in the early seventies, in ‘that’ band, if indeed you ‘Remember’…..

Gordon’s voice is deep and powerful, perfect for the opening song ‘The Way I Walk’ and the Springsteen composition ‘Fire’.  A good version of Sanford Clark’s ‘The Fool’, also hit the mark.  The crowd called for ‘Driving Wheel’, and were duly accommodated.  A good set vocally, but for me the band were under rehearsed and hands waving around to speed up, slow down, quieten down, didn’t look that great.

Jack it Up.  One of the two headliners for the Rave was on next, Sweden’s Jack Baymoore and the Bandits, and thoroughly deserving of his Saturday night slot they were too.    This is a band that has rocked the house wherever they go, and tonight was no exception as ‘Ain’t That a Dilly’ rattled around the hall.

So much to enjoy here, whether it was ‘Move On’ or Tooter Boatman’s ‘Thunder and Lightning’, which was just sublime, or indeed ‘Tag Along’.  It’s something when after all this time, people identify a band by one or two songs, and in the case of Jack Baymoore, it’s the cracking bopper ‘AV8 Boogie’.  The crowd double dug it!

Big Deal!  Yet another highlight followed in the form of Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys graced the stage next.  I tell you what readers, this chap is like a fine wine, getting better with maturity.  The set he played at the 2014 Hot Rod Hayride was something, but I reckon this one pipped it. 

The hall was all but full, and a massive cheer greeted him and the three lads making up the Fly-Rite Boys, as they launched into ‘Heaven is the Other Way’.  This performance was class in it’s purest form, as ‘My Heart Loves Only You’, ‘Love That Man’, ‘Spanish Dagger’, ‘If You Fall Out of Love With Me’, ‘Hey Lowdown’ and Tequila Calling’ delighted a raucous crowd.  Ashley Kingman on lead guitar was first class too, like on ‘Sad and Lonely’ the acknowledgement of Bellfuries Joey Simeone front and centre in the crowd, and ‘Catalina’.

Again, latter day fans tend to associate Big Sandy with ‘Chalk it up to the Blues’, and it was the opening notes of this track that all but brought the house down.  Outstanding.

Pole dancing.  So from the sublime to sub-blimey!  On came the Polecats at one in the morning, with an almighty bang!  This was an energetic set, completely off the wall, as Tim boinged relentlessly around the stage to ‘John I’m Only Dancing’, followed by the flip of that pink vinyl, picture sleeve release, ‘Big Green Car’. 

By ‘Red Ready, Amber Set, Green Let’s Go’, it looked like Tim was melting.  ‘Little Pig’, ‘What Do I Get’, ‘Rockabilly Guy’ ‘Jeepster’ and ‘Rock Bop’, they were all there.  There was wrecking in front of the stage as the ‘Cats tore through the set, bear in mind their initial hits are coming up thirty five years old.  Polecats are go?  You bet they were!  Some thought it was a bit ‘punk-with-a-bass’, others were in Neo-Heaven as the night wore on into Sunday

Nice Noise.  Sunday afternoon and the last couple of live acts downstairs, started with the Noisy Boys, from the Lake Geneva area of Switzerland.  This four piece is lead by vocalist and rhythm guitarist Walter Steiner , and have been active since their inception in ’99. 

If any of the crowd were a little jaded, having partied since Thursday, the Noisy Boys did their bit to blow away any cobwebs with a master class in Rockabilly, played enthusiastically and with style.  There was classic stuff like ‘Whatcha Gonna Do?’, ‘Just Thought I’d Set You Straight’ and ‘Going Strong’, mixed in with solid numbers ‘Tax Payin’ Blues’, the wonderfully titled ‘Wash Machine in My Brain’, ‘Money in my Shoes’ and ‘Out Of Gas’.

Un-Calyp his wings.  After the Rave talent show, it was probably the nuttiest set we’d seen at this year’s event, Jake Calypso and Red Hot from France.  Actually, taking the stage in his pink blazer, nice shirt and Maverick tie, if you weren’t already in the know, you might expect this show to follow a similar format to some of the other four piece bands that had played.  Oh no, and so not so, il est complètement fou!

I guess the only way I could convey the feel of this performance would be to cross a Frenchman with the late Robin Williams, and give him a guitar and a spot at the Rockabilly Rave.  That’s not to suggest it was all visual buffoonery, and the music suffered as a consequence, indeed not

Right from the start, the band and the crowd were into it, emotionally and physically, which if you were trying to get a photo, especially physically!  Jake played the crowd brilliantly as he rattled through his playlist, having them sing along with the up-a-bup-a-bup-a-bup’s in ‘Call Me Baby’.

There was rolling around on stage, crowd surfing profuse sweating and crazed facial expressions, along with some high ranging, almost yodelling vocal inflections amongst the rockin’.  ‘My Baby Rocks’ has delighted dancers for some time now, and delighted this audience too, along with ditties of the ilk of ‘I’m Fed Up’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Yesterday I Talked to my Bottle’ (honest’), and ‘Miss Froggie’.    C'est ça qu'est bon?  Indeed so.

Buono Bonnie. There are acts that you just have to see at weekenders, and the first on in the main ballroom is one such example.  Italy’s Rockin’ Bonnie and the Mighty Ropers took the main stage at the unfashionable time of 7pm, and put on one of the best performances of the weekend.

Bonnie, looking great in her modified black and white fringed western dress, is slight in form, but has a powerful voice to deliver songs like the opener, ‘I’m Movin’ On’.  The Mighty Ropers, guided by lead guitarist Max Zampini, were spot on throughout, I’m a sucker for steel guitar, and there was plenty of that during the show.

So many songs vied for the attention, some originals, some covers.  Their reworking of George Jones’ ‘Tall Tall Trees’ by them was new to me.  Other favourites, among the excellence, were the pacey rocker s ‘Burnin’ and ‘I Wanna Make Love’, and the more rambling ‘Gotta Honky Tonk’. 

Major cheering from the audience brought the band back on for their encore and the cover of Hardrock Gunter’s ‘I’ve Done Gone Hog Wild’.  Musically and vocally, this was an outstanding show.

Goin’ Dutch.  From there the stage was taken over by some guys with a clutch of stringed instruments.  The Hillbilly Boogiemen played the Rave in 2010 to great acclaim, and this show was full of energy and pluck-tastic banjo and mandolin playing, and top fiddle sawing.

For a four piece, as they were on this occasion, they make a top mountain hillbilly sound, with some delightful titles like ‘Boil ‘em Cabbage Down’.  The crowd had swelled considerably in numbers by now and each number was rowdily enjoyed.

Treat us nice.  A first for the Rave, an Elvis session not based around the halcyon days of Sun Studios.  No, this was based around the period of years after Elvis had left the Army (March 1960) and arguably recorded some of his most recognisable songs.

The show consisted of Jack Baymoore on lead vocals, with the Jets harmonising the ‘oos, aahs, ja-jas and wops’, Ike and the Capers plus two extras, the music.  And the result was just superb.

Jack Baymoore vocalised the songs without the flaky moves and trying to impersonate Elvis, the Jets backing vocals, unsurprisingly, were spot on.  ‘Western Union’, ‘Please Don’t Drag That String Around’, ‘Return to Sender’, ‘She’s Not You’, ‘Girl of my Best Friend’, ‘His Latest Flame’, ‘Judy’, ‘Stuck on You’, is there any one of those that you’ve not heard of?

Good also to hear ‘I’m Coming Home’, ‘Gonna Get Back Home Somehow’ and ‘In Your Arms’ for example.  The audience were swept along with this show, and a quick change between end of, and encore, saw Jack in GI clothing for a rollocking rendition of ‘Frankfurt Special’, again with enthusiastic audience participation.

It was refreshing both to have a show like this at the Rave, and to hear these songs, often mauled in clubs, done very very well.

Bye with a bang. Last on with a wallop was something you don’t see every day.  Four masked men, masked in the style of Mexican wrestlers, from Japan.  Del Villarreal introduced them and quickly got out of the way as they threw off their masks, to reveal, other masks!  

Four Japanese guys, playing loud guitar driven music, singing some of it in Spanish, like ‘La Bamba’.  It’s what Danelectros were made for apparently!

Noooooooo.  It can’t be Monday already!!  You with the beer bottles on the table, where are you going?  Don’t let them make us leave, they can’t chuck us all out, say you won’t go until they put another band on.  Do a dirty protest…..Oh I see some of you have already, I’m liking your work guys.

Yes, it was over for another year.  What a brilliant Rave it was too.  Yeah yeah, it’s my favourite weekender of the year so I am going to say that aren’t I.  But true to form, the Rave always comes up with the best of the best and then some.  The Elvis sessions were inspired, a little different from pounding away at the traditional Sun stuff.

Delivering our keys back to the main desk, there were farewells to be said to many of the foreign visitors and friends, and the hope for a shorter time between visits. 

The last endearing image was of Jerry Chatabox standing on a wall hand raised in a defiant gesture proclaiming himself the king of all before him.  Or more likely he was trying to get a signal on his phone.

The nineteenth Rockabilly Rave sold out, with the parting shots from people we spoke to, I might venture the 20th will follow suit!

© Andrew Smith, June 2015