One of the most loved Rockabilly festivals of the Europe takes place in Calella, a small beach resort situated less then a hour away from Barcelona.
This year's line up of bands and artists was outstanding and we had no hesitations to go there.
The main two concerts were on Friday and Saturday. On Friday night were performing Arsen Roulette, The Orangu-Tones, Santos, The Cadillacs and Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms - so as you can see, very diverse sounds. A great night started with Arsen Roulette who played traditional 50s style rockabilly, but playing so early the lack of audience didn't create the right atmosphere. People started to come closer to stage in the middle of the Orangu-Tones session. They made everybody stand up and dance with lively numbers in style of Sam The Sham, Frat Rock 'n' Roll etc. (They have couple of albums out, so check them out).
Then it was Santos, a very new "prodigy" of rockabilly style music from California. He looked like a young Elvis in his moves, he sung wonderfully, his was supported by The Stringpoppers and Omar on a lead guitar (very basic lead guitar, I would mention). The voice of Santos made girls scream and boys dance. Hot stuff, although my favorite 'Tease' didn't sound that good as on the CD.
The Cadillacs gave a fantastic performance, perfect harmony, much loved hits of the past and their own backing band made a good job. I have been lucky so far with original 50s artists and bands, as I haven't seen a bad performance from any of them. The original stars still Rock & Roll to me.
After a short break Jimmy Sutton's Four Charms came out with a superb gig. Jimmy's style of playing double bass is something special. Two encores showed that we loved the band.
The day started promisingly and finished on top. The DJ in the concert hall was playing music till late, so anybody who wanted more rockabilly and jump blues could dance for another 2 or 3 hours.
Saturday was a bit spoilt by very late announcement that Lloyd Tripp cancelled his gig, so instead we were shown Jack Face's band twice within 6 hours.
That night played Nick Willett, Jack Face, Ocean's Seven, Janis Martin and Omar & The Stringpoppers.
Nick Willett was backed by The Four Charms and played famous and not so famous numbers from Elvis, Ricky Nelson, and other rock' n' roll legends repertoire. Nick was something else, he was unbelievable. His voice, moves, looks all reminded of ELVIS. He was so hot that his concert was the best of the weekend in my opinion. After each songs there were a couple minute applause, and when he finished his set nobody wanted him to leave the stage. Jose, the host of the festival had to telling to the audience to calm down as there was no more time for Nick to play, but Mr Willett still came back to the stage couple times and his final song was REBOUND. You couldn't think of a more perfect ending....(please see my profile on MySpace for a short clip from his show)
Ocean's Eleven gave a jump blues set, so a few jivers were dancing at the back of the concert hall. But by that time the public was preparing itself to cheer The Female Elvis - Janis Martin. When she went on stage the place was full, hundreds (thousands?) of voices shows their respect to the much loved star. Her voice was pure and strong. She sung mix of old hits and some modernish material.
After her excellent show some people left for the bar and dance hall next room and some stayed to watch Omar & The Stringboppers.
The dance party continued until the early hours of Sunday, so our plans to go the next day to Barcelona didn't materalise, as we were lying with aching feet on the beach all day...
Then on Sunday night we went to a local night club where where THE BOP PILLS (who I never particularly liked until I saw them live) where performing. They were pleasure to watch, they played music very well and were adding some fun to it. If they are playing near you, go and see them:)
Monday morning it was a time to pack our clothes and get ready to go home, but we still a had bit time to go to the local beach party where DJ Tracy Dick was playing some hot tunes from 50's era and modern days.