It is so nice to look back again and remember how it was - my first time at The Rave. And it was better than I expected!
It was about 11 pm when I arrived to the Pontins Holiday Centre and the partying had already started. The Barnstompers was the first band I saw take the stage. The brilliant Dutch western-swing band was a great start for me! The next performer for that evening was Deke Dickerson and company. Deke was amazing (as usual) just as his band: Jimmy Sutton - double bass, Crazy Joe – lead guitar and Chris "Sugar Balls" Sprague playing the drums. All of them made a great job as vocalists too!
The last band for Thursday night was Wildfire Willie and the Ramblers from Sweden. It was interesting to see them after lots of stories I have heard and knowing how popular they are among Russian Rock 'n' Roll fans.
The sunny Friday afternoon began for me with Flatbroke Trio, the Finnish band I had already seen in Ellivuori Midsummer Jamboree in Finland some years ago. And what can I say? Those guys are getting better all the time and I am glad I had chance to enjoy their performance again!
Charlie Thompson was a discovery for me. How has it happened that I have never seen him before? Great vocals and great show!! Every song sounded perfect!! The Barnstompers were a nice addition to that rockabilly set…
It was interesting to see Mack Self live, but unfortunately I cannot add anything else. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. And after short rest, I was too lazy to come back to main Ballroom to see Portuguese band 49 Special.
Saturday afternoon the Wagtails were the first band on the stage downstairs. They were pretty cool, singing 50s stuff with some rockin' tunes. The last song in Finnish was a treat for Finnish fans… and I have to say, there were many of them! The Baboons from Belgium were the next band and it was just contrast to the previous one, but also great. Talented guys playing wild rock'n'roll!
I came upstairs just in time to see French / Portuguese band Carl and the Rhythm All Stars. I enjoyed their good rockabilly sound.
Billy Lee Riley was absolutely one of the best at Rave. The man is full of energy and still feeling young! Watching him I was thinking that some men would be never too old for rockabilly music.
The nice ending for the Saturday Night was the Star Mountain Dreamers from USA. The power they introduced us to via their music was great! I love European performers, but Americans always sound different. And I like it!
On Sunday morning the rain started. The beautiful dresses disappeared and almost everyone was wearing jeans. It was kind of strange. At the last festival at Rockin' Race Jamboree in Spain the best dresses, make up and hairstyles were left for the last day. Here it seemed that people were a little bit tired already, or maybe just the weather played the huge role in it. But the Rockabilly Rave went on. Randy Rich and the Poor Boys from Germany were like the sun warming the public with their brilliant performance, followed by Jack Face and the Volcanoes playing some good hillbilly stuff
Unfortunately I missed The Mean Devils that evening. Almost everyone was so positive about them!
The Lucky Stars (from USA) were amazing with a perfect hillbilly and western swing sound! Without any doubt they were one of the greatest bands at Rave.
But what I liked the most was Carl Perkins Tribute with Deke Dickerson and the special guests (such as Ruby Ann, Randy Rich, Sue Moreno, John Lewis and many others). Deke Dickerson made the tribute perfect, just exactly like it should be. He and his guests showed how they appreciated everything that Carl Perkins brought to rockabilly music. The crowd was singing along. In the final all of performers came to the stage and sang the greatest hits of Perkins - Matchbox and Blue Suede Shoes together… Superb!
The last band for the Rave was Shaun Horton and the Tennessee Trio from the United Kingdom. Wild and energetic they made a good finish for one of the best Rockabilly Festivals in the World! Big thanks to Jerry, all the bands and my friends I had chance to meet. See you next year!