Keith Bridge our guest DJ for the evening kicked the night off with his vast collection of vinyl recordings. Yes, I said vinyl! Keith's one of the last DJ's in the country that plays authentic rockabilly in the authentic way. Track after track Keith seemed ever popular with the punters. In the wings Howard and Annushka supplied their stall from Raucous Records, and as per usual there was no shortage of interest.. Thanks for the T-Shirt and CD Howard, I'll get the money to you soon, I promise! It wasn't long before the first of the nights action commenced. The Drugstore Cowboys hit the stage with a mind blowing rendition of Ghost Riders In The Sky. Now, if you haven't seen them before The Drugstore Cowboys are one of the UK's top rockabilly acts, and they don't' come any better as they blast you with hi octane, foot to the floor, balls to the wall rockabilly! . On lead guitar and vocals is the master of the Gretsch - Nick Whitfield.. On Dowghouse Slap Bass - Gary Powell, and last but not least the powerhouse sledgehammer of the band, on drums - Damon Claridge..
Next inline was Lou Millet's 1956 hit Slippin' In and not far away was Ray Smith's / Charlie Rich's Right Behind You Baby. Already these guys drew more applause and cheers from the audience.. Running On Gasoline and a jazzed up version of Kenny Rogers Lucille earned them more praise.. Now as I have mentioned on numerous occasions I always seem to say how good the drummer is, and so on... Well, After watching Damon beatin' those skins, he's in a class of his own! Gary on bass soon took pole position with Ronnie Dawson's Shim Sham Shimmy and a brilliant job he did too! There was no way the crowd was going to let these guys off so lightly, so it was encore time and after 2 encores, Nick and the lads took a well earned break.. Well time rolled on and it was time for Keith to impress the audience again, of which he did with ease.
Ladies & Gentlemen, it's showtime again! These guys had travelled all the way from Croatia to entertain you tonight.. If you've never heard of them before, then you know them now.. The Madmen!! The Madmen entered the stage to a rapturous applause as they produced a spectacular version of The Dazzlers 1958 hit Something Baby which was shortly followed by Gene Vincent's I Knocked Bim Bam.. The Madmen are: Branko Radovancevic on Rhythm Guitar & Vocals, Darko Grosek on Lead Guitar, Marko Tizaj on Drums and finally standing in for their own bass player.. Our very own Andy (Big Bass) Sykes.. Well, on with the show! Roy Orbisons Mean Little Mama was as wild as ever and a superb version of the Larry Collins' hit Whistle Bait.. The band got applause after applause as Branko soon became the wildest cat around as he shimmied and shaked to the rhythm, but it wasn't until he lay on the stage still gyrating to the music did the audience want more!
Well time stands still for no man, especially if your rockin' the night away.. The band finally bid their farewell, as they had to fly back to their homeland during the night.. Well, that's what they thought.. How wrong can one be? Again, encore after encore after encore.. If they could, they'd have played all night! Well I can tell you right now.. We've received that many requests for The Madmen to return, we've booked them to return for our annual all dayer in August. See our Gig Guide for details of who's on.. Well it's time for Keith Bridge to do what he does best again, and as expected, he did a superb job. To close the night it was time again to see and listen to The Drugstore Cowboys..
Now if you think their first appearance was great, then the second knocked you off your seat! Their second slot of the night started with the title track from one of there albums, Crash and burn, then it was a Planet Rockers number called Tennessee Woman.. There are many attributes that go together that make up a great band: Good Musically, good vocals, and raw talent! these guys had it all as this came to the fore when they hit the venue with Johnny Horton's 1957 rockin' chart topper; I'm Coming Home and if you thought they couldn't get any better, they you was sadly mistaken as they exploded into Roy Orbisons Rockhouse.. The band just went from strength to strength and to add to their ever increasing talent, one of my all time favourite instrumentals was kicked off my Damon.. The Safaris 1960's hit Wipe Out! I was breath taken by Damon's sheer talent as a drummer as he attacked the drums like a man possessed. Ahh well, all good things have to come to a close, so it was time for the band to exit stage right.. Well, that was the plan.. No chance, so it was onto yet another encore and it was Elvis' Baby Lets Play House that one saw that the night was completed on a high note.. Well I don't know about you, but The Drugstore Cowboys are one hell of a tough act to follow.. Great job guys! And we must not forget The Madmen.. Another professional top class act that are fully capable of stealing the show.. Well until next time! You all take care, and keep on rockin'!