Two Little Ducks - Review Rockabilly Rave #22 - 2018

by Andrew Smith

As if it were a click of the heels, and here we are back at Camber Sands for the 22nd Rockabilly Rave.  Thursday through to the following Monday, close the gates and live in an enclosed world where music, cool clothes and sleek cars are king.  Thursday did throw a curve ball though, with leaden skies and a temperature we really weren’t expecting.  And that’s the organiser’s fault you know…..So without further ado….
Let’s go!  Thursday got going with the four piece from God’s own county of Essex, debuting at the Rave, The Doggone Honkabillies.  Now a settled four piece, they got a rowdy reception as lead singer Frankie Reidell launched into a massive Rockabilly classic, ‘Lonesome Train’, which has become one of the band’s signature tunes.  Two Johnny Horton covers got the crowd as well with ‘One Woman Man’ and ‘Cherokee Boogie’ hitting the high spots. 
They’ve got stuff coming out on El Toro Records, and three of their own tunes ‘Hog Wild’, ‘Drinkin’ For Your Leavin’, and ‘She’s Mine’ whetted the appetites for that release.  The set finished with a slow starting version of ‘Freight Train Boogie’ which gradually increased in volume and pace to a perfect crescendo.  Naturally they were called back on stage for a well deserved encore, and ‘Ghost Riders in the Sky’ fitted the bill perfectly. 
Next on, one of two performances by bands fronted by Bob Butfoy, this one being Bob and the Bearcats, featuring Darrel Higham on lead guitar, Nick Hoadley on bass and Les Curtis on drums.  Corking opener with Bobby Lollar’s ‘Bad Bad Boy’, powering through the hall.  This set took no prisoners with a couple of Elvis tunes ‘Shoppin’ Around’ and ‘Big Hunk o’ Love’, Ronnie Self’s ’58 cut on Columbia ‘Bop a Lena’ and even a bit of seventies glam, rocking up ‘My Coo ca Choo’.
It was almost a nostalgic trip back to the mid nineties with tunes from the albums ‘High Heels and Homicides’ and ‘Hold on Tight’, like ‘Love Me’, ‘Ain’t Got No Bail’, and ‘Queen of the Curves’.  Kickin’ set.

Dickerson’s Real Deal  Next on, the lofty presence of Deke Dickerson with the Ecco-Fonics.  Unusual not to see Crazy Joe with him, but take nothing away from the show folks, this is a masterclass in top rockin.  First rate Link Wray instrumental ‘Run Chicken Run’, accompanying as always the story of chasing your dinner around. 
He looked sharp in his red shirt with zebra print on the front, as he took on ‘Mama Hey Mama’, ‘Snatch it and Grab it’, ‘Mishapen Hillbilly Gal’, an exquisite version of ‘Luther Played the Boogie’ with references to setting Scotty Baker on fire to get the audiences attention at their shows, a beaut of a take on ‘Mexicali Rose’ and the mandatory ‘Mule Skinner Blues’.  Classic Deke.

​Finally on Thursday, the gravity defying hair and musical instruments of the Spunyboys, three young lads from Lille in France.  Double bassist and Lead vocalist  Rémi, somehow manages to get a tune out his bass even when bouncing it off security-men and fellow band members as well as balancing on it and throwing it around.  He’s back by drummer and backing vocals Guillaume and lead guitarist Eddie.
It’s not all acrobatics and visual buffoonery, there’s real musical talent on show here, with their liking for Little Richard to the fore, ‘I Got It’ and ‘Baby Face’ for example. ‘El Camino Real’ got the Spuny treatment as did ‘Hoy Hoy Hoy’ and ‘Rockabilly Legacy’ got it’s usual outing.  Somehow among the mayhem, we got to the finale of ‘Latch On’, which the diehard stopouts (ie us) loved! Tres bien 

Raving dot….dot.  Best tracks at the Rave ever ever to clean up your guano for this year are Ricky Nelson’s ‘Summertime’, Johnny and Jonie’s ‘Kee Ro Ryin’ Paul Marvin’s ‘Cinderella’ and Carl Perkins’ ‘Let My Baby Be’……..A guy walking across the grassed area from his car to the chalet appeared to be getting shorter, or was it the furrow he’d formed with the number of times he went back and forth……..Billy ‘The Kat’ Brookes impressive debut DJing at the Rave, it’s a scurrilous rumour however, that ‘the Kat’ attempted to crap in the children’s sandpit…….Jerry Chatabox has his name all over the Rave, even the big yellow forklift that lifts the aircon unit into place, has his initials on it……..I met some people who had a complaint about their chalet at Pontins.  They had nothing to complain about.  I wondered if they’d forgotten to come…….What do those gulls eat?  I’ve seen some guano splats on the roofs of cars in my time going to the Rave, but these were the size of an LP!......Most appearances by a drummer at the Rave?  Bobby Trimble, followed by Axel Praefke……Top MC Del Villareal upstairs, has articulated the potentially awkward silences between bands and DJ for some years now with considerable accomplishment.  But someone must’ve noticed that virtually every lead singer’s microphone is set eighteen inches shorter than he is.  Get the lad a field mic before he does his back a mischief, cos where there’s blame, there’s a claim…..Can you believe it?  Some people played music over their mobile phone, via a Bluetooth device.  What has the world come to?  Where are your Dansette players that you screw into the light bulb pendants, and a barrowload of vinyl records?  Get a grip Rockabilly Rave-rs….
Frid-Hay.  First full day’s entertainment at the Rave, and the opening of the downstairs hall for the afternoon sessions.  These are up close and personal performances, with the audience a guitar headstock away from the performers, who are just elevated on a small stage.
The opening act were the Hayriders, almost unrecognisable from a couple of years ago, now with players, Darren Lince on lead guitar, Ricky McCann on drums and Pat Reyford doing dawghouse duties. Ever present Neil Wright fronts the band on rhythm and vocals, and they presented  a well conceived set of popular Rockabilly, which was top drawer.
I don’t hear bands ‘do’ ‘Who Slapped John’, very often, but this version was up there.  Elvis’ ‘I Beg of You’ and ‘Big Hunk o Love’ got a well received run out, as did some Sun classics, ‘Love My Baby’, ‘Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache’ and a powerhouse ‘Do What I Do’.  Also chipping in, was Pat on vocals, with ‘Ain’t Got No Home’ (I know, not Sun, no need to pillory me on Facebook!).
Yeah, one of the best shows I’ve seen the Hayriders put on, testament also to the quality of the sound in that downstairs hall, and the band on accomplished form.

Time F-Lew by.  Lew Lewis and the Twilight Trio, took to the stage next, a dependable four piece that always put on a solid show, and immediately we heard ‘How Could You Be So Mean’ we knew it was another good ‘un on the way.  A fine blend of own material and covers followed, with ‘Boppin The Blues’ ‘One Hand Loose’ and ‘Treat Me Right’, rubbing shoulders with ‘Live Wire Woman’, ‘Ooh Wow’ and ‘Trouble Bound’.
This line up has been consistent for six years, although there was a slight disappointment as Lew announced that the three lads in the band Tom Hayes on lead guitar, Nick Linton-Smith on bass and Tony Wood on drums, were all retiring.  Shame as this was a consummate line up, and this show was a super send off.  Look out for Lew’s next project.

Don’t Miss Mary-Ann.  Final act on Friday  Estonia’s Mary Ann with the Berlin Boys (or Cherry Casino and the Gamblers, Ike and the Capers etc etc if you will). Mariann Lants had played the Rave a few years ago with the Tri-Tones, and tore the place up, so it was  a welcome return. Indeed, she represented the only female act on at this particular Rave.
Fast forward to the present day, and here she was again, rocking out an olive green dress, loads of tumbling blonde locks and slinging her acoustic rhythm guitar.  The show was a joy from start to finish and the Berlin Boys were the perfect backing for her.  ‘Shout Baby Shout’ opened followed by a corking take on ‘Mr Lee’.  Rose Maddox’s ‘My Little Baby’  rocked as did Linda Glover’s ‘Counting Sheep Over You’, the ideal sound for her vocal delivery.
Loved Billy Harlan’s ‘I Wanna Bop’ and Ersel Hickey’s ‘Going Down That Road’ and Dodie Stevens’ ‘Pink Shoelaces’.  ‘We’re Gonna Rock and Roll Tonight’ just about summed up the upbeat mood in the hall, and the encore of ‘Tongue Tied’ was a fitting end to an ace set. Suurepärane

Ain’t we Lucky?  First cab off the rank Friday evening, the energetic Lucky Bullets, from Norway.  Originating in Oslo around twelve years ago, it had been five years since they had graced the Rave main stage.  So when the early strains of ‘End of the Line’ echoed round the hall, the audience fronted up around the stage, anticipating the inevitable explosion.
Explode it did, with lead singer Tank Harvey flying around the stage, strumming the bejesus out of his rhythm guitar, and delivering punchy and pacey tunes ‘Name Tattoo’, ‘Saturday Night’ and ‘High on Fire’.  Neil Sedaka’s ‘I Go Ape’ benefited from the Norwegian treatment, and the classic ‘Gold Digger’ stood out too.  ‘Cry of the Wild Goose’ topped off the set, and the tear-up of ‘Sixteen Chicks’ made for a breathless encore.

Big sound from Smalltown.  Another returning band after a  considerable absence, were the Smalltown Casanovas.  This band play a slightly unconventional type of Rockabilly, and offered a contrast from the frantic act that had just finished.  You can hear influences of all types of Roots music, from Folk to Jazz, within their show. 
Much of the set wasn’t familiar to many. however the band won new fans with tunes like ‘As Long as I Live’, ‘One After 909’ ‘Am I to be the One’ and ‘Six Feet Under’, all of which grace a super EP on Witchcraft Records.  Right in among these tracks, a barely recognisable reworking of ‘I Put a Spell on You’ and the finale of ‘Shot Down’.  Solid show folks.

Three rings.  Shaun Young, the of High Noon and The Texas Blue Dots, is now fronting another band, with the Three Ringers.  A ringer in the USA, is someone hired by a company for uses other than their job, for example an ex MBL pitcher, just to join the company baseball team. 
The Ringers in this case, Todd Wulfmeyer on bass, Tjarko Jeen on lead guitar and the omnipresent Bobby Trimble on drums.  And let’s get this straight, they are spectacular.  Add to this, the vocal adeptness of Shaun and you have a show, readers, as ‘Knockout’ opened up.
Some of the song’s sentiments were a little on the sad sounding side, the calibre of  ‘Heartache Heartbreak’, ‘My Heartaches Been Confirmed’, and ‘Drink ‘til I Can Feel the Pain’, but the delivery was exquisite.  I could run out of superlatives for Tjarko’s guitar work on ‘Jeen’s Jive’ a Gretsch-tastic instrumental that had Cliff Gallup running through it.  Everywhere you could pick out riffs from the original, played by today’s master.
As I was chatting to a mate describing the cover of the 45, ‘Wiggle Walk’, sure enough, it was the encore track that ended a supercool show.

Heiss.  There was a buzz in the hall, as for the first time in fifteen years or so, Hot Boogie Chillun were going to play in the UK.  The band had brought the nostalgic generation in and loads of the youngsters who had hardly been spawned last time they were on a British stage.  They mix Rockabilly with thundering rocking blues, surf and garage, at a level that could make your ears bleed.
The crowd were rapturous throughout and the three guys in the band were certainly enjoying playing their classic tunes.  Every time a certain chord was struck, the cheers were deafening.  ‘Black Cat’s Bone’ raised the roof, so did ‘Chillun Walk’ and ‘Desperado Love’.  But for sheer racket, ‘F*ckin Sweet’ , that was on the LP ‘Sweets’, saw the place all but come unglued at the seams.  Sure they are an acquired taste, and it’s a taste the majority in the hall already had.

Slip out the back Jack.  Rounding off the night, the last show at the Rockabilly Rave for Jack Rabbit Slim.  Bob Butfoy remains the only original member, with Tony Hillebrandt on drums, Nico Sc’erri on bass and Gautier Golab, lead guitar. 
We had seen the band’s first ever performance, been there through Sleazabilly, and now here we are along with many other fans from the last dozen years plus, digging the sounds for one of the last shows before the band and name is retired. 
It was cool to hear ‘Cherry Pie’, which debuted at that first ever show, along with JRS stalwart songs ‘Rocka Cha’, ‘Blues Caravan’, ‘Rabbit Love’  and ‘Kitten With a Whip’.  Elvis’ ‘Wolf Call’ sounded excellent, as did the Johnny Burnette styled ‘High Tone Woman’.  There was even space for ‘Tight When Loose’ from the new album, and inevitably, the encore of ‘Justine’.  Thanks for the memories!

Hey Mr DJ (and Mrs).  I’m not sure we saw all the DJs play a set, certainly we did in the upstairs room.  Jimmy Guntrip’s opening set on Thursday, choc full of classic Rockabilly, Marc Rondeau, Steve Stack of Wax, Billy Brookes, El Dedo, Little Carl, Lauren Brown, Annaleigh, Carrie Hope and Blip Blop.  Each DJ had their own style and stamp on the event.  If we didn’t mention your favourite, or indeed you, it was probably that we didn’t see your set.  Nothing personal (Bettajive disclaimer)
Quick nick into the Vic.  Being vertically challenged as we are, arriving a nanno-second after the band starts in the Queen Vic pub, means we are way at the back and unable to see all but the tallest of players on stage.  Clearly it was Jack and the Real Deals, as we could hear ‘Joker’s Wild’, ‘Chains of Love’ and the like, and the assembled early birds (trust me, 1pm is early at the Rave) loved it.
Ed Start Into the downstairs hall, and another band new to us hailing from Paris, Eddie and the Headstarts.  This is Rockabilly in it’s simplest and most effective form, just lead and rhythm guitars and an upright bass.  The result?  A catchy rhythm and full infectious sound & beat.  Lead singer Eddie Gazel, looking sharp with his monogrammed Maverick tie, is a power-pack on vocals an rhythm, backed wonderfully by Stephane Beaussard and Thibaut Chopin. 
Their selection, was ideal for the afternoon session, you’ve got to get some of ‘My Name is Eddie’, ‘The Cramp’ and ‘Midnight Blues’ for example.  Their CD ‘It Feels So Good’ is only a couple of months old, and the title track impressed, as did their version of ‘Blues Stop Knocking’, and the addition of a $ in the guitar strings added authenticity to the version of  ‘Mama’s Little Baby’.  Great stuff.

​From France, to Spain and Los Volidos sharply dressed lads in their brown hats and black jackets, powering onto the stage with their version of ‘Driving Wheel’.  This was another sound show downstairs with the play list including a first rate ‘Go Boy Go’ and ‘Johnny Law’ , the suggestively titled ‘Ride on me Baby’, and a brace of hot roddery sounding tunes ‘Hot Rod Boogie’ and ‘Hot Rod Nite’ 

Wheel remember this.  Another debut band, combining an Irish vocalist and three Scottish musicians, forming Rampage Records recording artist, Mons Wheeler and the Tone Kings.  Lead singer Mons was already known to some of the audience, as one greased up rave-r shouted something incoherent, but clearly amusing to him just before the show.  And what a show.
This cat can sing folks, and the set was off the beaten track, starting with Marty Robbins’ ’56 ‘B’ side, ‘Respectfully Miss Brookes’.  Sure two standards followed ‘All I Can Do Is Cry’ and ‘Knee Deep in the Blues’, then we got the versatility of the band with their own ‘Down by the Bay’ which is one side of their latest single, and it’s a beauty!
Relating a tale of when his school was bombed, as a very young lad, Mons recalled the song he sang that day.  Just him and his acoustic rhythm guitar and a version of ‘The Cattle Call’, which would have brought a tear to a glass eye.  Outstanding. 
Back on the rockers with the Everly’s ‘Claudette’, the flip of the 45rpm, ‘Nothing but Pain’ and topped off with some Jimmy Wages, with ‘Miss Pearl’.  The world needs to hear more of these guys!

Oh Doctor!  Saturday night and a real mix of acts and styles, one might say, something for everyone, starting with Dr Bontempi’s Snake Oil Company.  Now a lot of people know Marcel Bontempi for his Headless Horseman, Spiderman, Train of Sin, Dig a Hole stuff.  This is different, it’s erring toward Western Swing with a Gypsy Jazz lilt, and an off the wall vibe, described on their Facebook page as a ‘religious organisation’
They’d co-opted the sliding steel talents of Phil Morgan, to complement the fiddle/guitar/dog house sound.  The selection of songs contained some familiar titles, presented in an unfamiliar way in some cases.  ‘Who Said Shorty Was Coming Back’  for one example, stripped down, and a call and answer vocal style.  Carl Perkins’ ‘Dixie Fried’ for another, a slightly slower tempo, a ‘chunk chunk’ rhythm, and cool harmonica sound.
‘Country Cousin’ and the ‘Hawaiian War Chant’, added to the delights, and the encore of ‘Diesel Smoke, ‘Dangerous Curves’ was just exquisite.     

Spot on ColtonFrom Austin Texas, another debut, Colton Turner, was up next.  Pencil slim and tall, and understated visually, but musically a treat.  The somewhat serene ‘Saturday Night’ appropriately opened the show, with the rocker ‘That’s Right’.
One of the tracks on his El Toro release suggests ‘Honk Tonkin Ain’t What It Used To Be’, sure enough, this guy shows what it’s like today, and it’s ace!  Sure they covered a brace of Glen Glenn tracks with a pretty-much-perfect ‘One Cup Of Coffee and a Cigarette’ standing tall.  Another winner on the main stage.

Diggy diggy Doug.  Top of the bill act for many, sprightly eighty two year old Doug Kershaw, backed by the Dave and Deke Combo.  Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock for all these years, he wouldn’t need any introduction, having been a performer since 1948 (with a break for military service).
Dave Stuckey and Deke Dickerson make up the combo, by name, and they whetted the appetite with a couple of duets, like ‘I’m Just too Lazy’ breaking the music stand in the process, before the main event made his entrance.  A slight fellow, in a black and white western shirt with horse head emblems on it, took to the stage with his bow and fiddle, and a huge smile.  The place went nuts as he slid the bow over the strings for the opening bars of ‘Diggy Liggy Lo’.  Sawing on the fiddle, not even playing it under his chin, just resting it on the crook of his elbow, it was something to see him play the tune note perfect.
The ‘Ragin Cajun’ as he was often referred to throughout, was a pleasure to watch and hear as song after song captured the audience.  ‘Hey Sheriff’ what a delight, and the extended and idiosyncratically delivered ‘Hey Mae’ had many reminiscing about the first time they’d heard it, jived to it or bopped to it. 
One of the biggest cheers was when Doug announced that he’d done Cajun, Country, and now he was doing Rockabilly!  Deke took on the Wiley Barkdull role as ‘So Lovely Baby’ made the hairs stand up on our necks.  The word soup that is ‘Cajun Joe (Bully of the Bayou) was delivered with assurance and panache.  We went back even further to the pre-Hickory Records days, as Doug and the band recited ‘It’s Better to be a Has Been Than a Never Was’ from 1953 on Feature Records.

The biographical ‘Louisiana Man’ was sublime too.  Massive mention for Dave Stuckey who vocally was with Doug all the way.  ‘What key’s this one in?’ asks Doug.  ‘C’ answers Dave.  ‘C?’ replies Doug in mock astonishment, and away we went again.  ‘The Supernatural Doug Kershaw’, says Dave.  ‘I may well be super’ answers Doug with a fill-in-your-own-punchline pause.  ‘Hey Mae’ was reprised again, and to be honest he could have sung that song all through the set and no one would have minded.  Matchless performance.

The Fifth attendant.  It seems that there was never a time when we didn’t know the name Scotty Baker.  From that first show at Rave #17 in 2013, talented songwriter and singer Scotty has wowed audiences across the globe, with his cleverly constructed lyrics and varied singing styles.  This one represented his fifth Rockabilly Rave out of the last six, and once again it was the Doel Brothers backing him up, with fellow Aussie Ezra Lee on piano, and sax ace Kenny Tomlinson from Scotland on sax.
The embittered and venomous ‘Wasted my Name’ opened the show, as it has done before, a song about marrying in haste and finding it was the wrong choice.  If there has been a track that has filled floors across this fair land with more regularity than ‘Pop The Question’, I’d like to know about it.
Loved ‘Bump Stops’, ‘My Baby’s Dress’, ‘Move Back to the Country’ (the answer to ‘Move to the City’) and the sauce-fest that it ‘Katerina’ in among a ripper of a set, he says without the slightest stereotype.  Scotty’s popularity is as consistent as ever, and his show every bit as flawless.

Kaboom! OK tin hat time, the Delta Bombers  are on stage to close the Saturday night out.  Masses around the front as the Wild records four piece Chris Moinichen, Andrew Himmler, Gregorio Garcia, Kirk Highberger exploded on to the stage, with their kick-arse, down and dirty Rock n Roll
The anthemic rocker, ‘The Wolf’ was greeted with tremendous adulation, as was ‘Sorrow and Pain’.  The joint was jumping throughout an hour long set.  It’s not for me, but hey, what do I know? (rhetorical question), several hundred people jumpin in unison , can’t be wrong!

Mo raving dot….dot
Some more best tracks at the Rave ever ever to de-slug your chalet are Royce Porter ‘A Woman Can Make You Blue’, Charlie Rich’s ‘Philadelphia Baby’ and Charlie Feathers' 'That Certain Female'   …….With four days, goodness knows how many records, over sixty hours entertainment on offer, and over thirty acts, it’s fair to say no one will like everything.  So this article is my viewpoint…….Shameful modern day ducking stool mentality on social media following one record apparently played at silly o’clock in the morning.  However not for one DJ whose set didn’t contain a single Rockabilly tune…… Thank heavens for those who still worship at the alter of ‘Jitterbop Baby’, so good to hear that a number of times over the weekend……How come the same French guy gets lost outside our chalet every year at 3am and has to find his way by yelling at the top of his voice?.......’Why don’t you ever write about the cars?’ I was asked.  Well I know that a car has a wheel at each corner for balance and you put fuel in it.   That is all……..I wonder what the percentages are for, when a hot rod gurgles by, people stop and look in admiration, and for when the driver revs it so much it scares the crap out of you?  And what percentage cheer, or just think ‘Tw*t’……We had a rather static Rave this time, as June’s knee hadn’t recovered fully from surgery.  Amazing how such a metaphorical ball and chain changes your outlook at an event……Jerry Chatabox’s program notes, and the occasional sideways swipe contained therein.  Surreptitious barbs that occasionally lacked the necessary surreptitiousness to remain surreptitiously surreptitious…… 

A Shoe-in.  Sunday already?  How did that happen!  But hey, three more bands downstairs to enjoy, starting with the intriguingly named Same Old Shoes from Forli in Italy.  From the opening bars of the sublime ‘Shoop Shoop’ everyone knew they were in for a bit of a treat.  A talented four piece, with Dario Magnani expertly delivering the vocals and skilful lead guitar work from David Biserna.
This set mixed up classic rockers like ‘Bottle To The Baby’, ‘Sag Drag and Fall’ and some cool yip-yip in ‘Sweet Rockin’ Mama’, with their own music.  Such is the quality of their own material, it stands well with the covers, ‘Real Gone Baby’ and ‘Can’t Get Enough’ for example.  Interested to hear their cover of ‘Beautiful Baby’ originally written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, the partnership responsible for a lot of Everly Brothers material among others.  A great set!

Lightning bolt.  Time now for a bit of Western Bop, with a German combo The Lightning Ranch Boys, led by vocalist Joe Crocetti, to start with anyway reciting Ferlin Huskey’s ‘Bebe Beautiful Baby’ with excellent accuracy.  Must mentions also included Faron Young’s ‘If You Ain’t Lovin’ You Ain’t Livin’ and Bill Wimberley’s ’56 cut on Mercury ‘Ole Mister Cottontail’.
Switch round and different vocalist, different vibe with ‘Mobile’ and ‘Sugar Doll’ before another change and a laudable rendition of ‘Jitterbop Baby’ , plus ‘Italian Belle’ and ‘Easy Money’.  A cool change of pace during a hot set.




Paul, that’s all.  The crowd swelled (nothing to do with over imbibing of the local libations) for the final act downstairs of Rave 22, Paul Ansell’s No9.  It’s been a while since the band had played the Rave, Paul himself had guested on a few shows in between times, and it was clear just how many wanted to see him back with his band.
This was a very diverse set, with out and out Rockabilly classics, ‘Lonesome Train’, the catchy beat of ‘Rockin’ in Memphis’ and ‘I’ll Cry Instead’.  From the ‘Movin’ On’ album we also heard ‘Jukebox has Found a Friend’.  Favourites ‘Sea of Heartbreak’, ‘Passengers’ and ‘Red Light Spells Danger’ made their customary appearances.
There was even time for a bit of ska sound ‘I’ll Never Let You Go’, and some Billy Fury from the early 60’s in ‘I’d Never Find Another You’, and a tip of the Stetson to Bullmoose Jackson with ‘Big Ten Inch’.  A rowdily received set to top off Sunday downstairs.


Band of Brothers.  Upstairs for the final night, and Rave regulars, the Doel Brothers kicked it all off.  In an upbeat set, they started off with a bounce and ‘Rockin’ and Flyin’.  Gotta flag up ‘Juke Joint Johnnie’ and ‘Go Boy Go’, great accounts of popular tunes, musically and vocally.
The three brothers, along with Steve Apache on upright bass and Phil Morgan, reclaimed from the other guest appearances, as steel guitarist, drew a good crowd despite the early hour of their performance.  They also showcased a new song ‘New England in the Fall, Let’s Have a Ball’, and guess what, they’re playing in New England this very fall.  Cool beans
‘Country Bum’ and ‘Beer Bucket Blues’ hit the mark as did the encore of ‘Pig Pen Boogie’.  High standards as always in a Doel Brothers show.

Weeeellll.  It was time for the now regular artist tribute section of the Rave, this year, Gene Vincent.  This show I reckon, came under as much scrutiny and interest as any that had gone before.  The backing band consisted of Darrel Higham, Graham Murphy, Pete Pritchard and Rob Tyler, and a number of different vocalists, performing a variety of Gene’s tracks.
Most of it, unsurprisingly, was from Gene’s catalogue of Capitol Records recordings, involving Go Getter Peter Sandeberg showcasing ‘Rave With The Devil’, Lew Lewis ‘Jump Giggles and Shouts’, Deke Dickerson ‘Rocky Road Blues’ and Lotta Lovin’ for example.  Joe Newbon took on the most frantic hits like ‘Who Slapped John’ and ‘Bi Bickey Bi Bo Bo’.
For the more unusual approach, we had Paul Ansell, who performed a cracking take on ‘Unchained Melody’ and one from Gene’s mid 60’s Challenge sessions, ‘Poor Man’s Prison’.  Dave Phillips, the one time go-to guy for all things Vincent years ago, swung in from Germany to take on the likes of ‘Red Blue Jeans and a Ponytail’ and     ‘Well I Knocked Bim Bam’.
Lew Lewis and Dave Phillips took the encores of ‘Double Talkin’ Baby’ and ‘Hold Me hug me Rock Me’ to close a solid tribute to the Cat Man.  I’m not sure it reached the heights of previous year’s tribute shows, but it was a good ‘un nonetheless.

Go Get ‘em.  As with the previous three nights, the final act was loud and proud.  This time it was the Go Getters from Sweden, led by Peter Sandeberg in his characteristic black clothing and sunglasses, and stood behind his upright drum kit.
From there, it was non stop, frenetic, thundering, rocking stuff, from ‘Welcome to My Hell’, to ‘Like a Wolf’, ‘Teenage Kicks’ and ‘Mexico’, you get the picture.  For many who had stuck around, it was a fitting end to the live entertainment of another top Rockabilly Rave.
Boo hoo.  As if it isn’t bad enough on any Monday morning, waking to the dawn chorus of the rumbling dumpster train, incessant gull squawking after left overs from people’s chalets, folk having a hawk and a spit and the trundling sound of wheel along cases, heralds the end of the Rave.  Yes readers, it’s time to take down those flags of origin, put away your music and head out of those gates into the ghastliness of normality.

Rave 22 had so many high spots.  Musicians on top form, and applauding other musicians also on top form.  A diversity of sounds and styles that fitted everyone’s brief.  Top sound quality, and a timetable that ran like clockwork. 
And above all?  The promise of it all happening again next year with some bands already booked.  Dig it

© Andrew Smith, June Smith, The Bettajive Review July 2018