23rd and 24th of November were two nights when the Cruise Inn celebrated its birthday. The show must start at 8 pm but by the time we arrived there (around 9 pm) we found the long line waiting to get in. The lineup for Birthday parties was great, so it was the reason for so many people from different countries to come. Tickets were booked in advance and to Cruise Inn was added a big tent for people who wanted to cool a bit after being in hot crowd of Cruise Inn or just have a chat, so you didn’t have to shout to be heard.
The first band was the Barnstompers. Really a good choice as a “aperitif”. They can make you hungry for more rockin’ music. And surprisingly for me they had a very jolly repertoire this time. Let’s say more rockabilly.
The next band was Carl and the Rhythm All Stars. Carl was in the best mood for dancin’ and jumpin’ , while his band was trying to keep coolness and playing rockabilly seriously. Well, it was an interesting contrast! And despite of not the best sound (problems with mic?), the public seemed to enjoy the band.
The Chessnuts were the third band on the stage this night. “Blast from the past” says the poster. Yes, the Chessnuts used to be very popular band of the Netherlands, which have not been playing for quite a long time. And now they are back and playing perfect! It was interesting to see the familiar faces on the stage (lead and rhythm guitar – Kees and Jeroen - both are playing in Barnstompers nowadays, the bass player Bopper in El Rio Trio, and drummer Jan is playing in the Bizznizzmen of Rock’n’Roll and used to play drums in Reno Brothers), but they showed us something different, which was not rockabilly, but beautiful harmony singing of rockin’ Doo Wop. That is how I would describe this style. Amazing! People didn’t want to let them go, so the guys sang some songs once again before they left the stage.
And now was the time for the act lots of us had been waiting for, Big Sandy and his Fly-Rite Boys. Oh boy, they know how to make the show, they know to draw attention, they know how to play and sing… and they have been making it so easily that you can just wonder! But right, they are one of the best! I must admit, it was a good choice for Anniversary party!
The next day party started kind of early, around 5 pm. So many visitors of previous one didn’t hurry to come and stayed at home to prepare themselves and have their dinner. So El Rio Trio, the first band, didn’t have that much judges of their talent, but still they played very well! Last time I saw them they were dressed up to El Rio Style, but now everything was simpler. So has seemed to me their music.
And now rockabilly is coming! Mischief! was discovery for me! Never seen them before… how it could be? Well, they play exactly what I would call rockabilly! Great sound, superb performance and really good repertoire! Next time I will go (definitely) to their gig and make a separate proper feedback about their show.
Ronnie Nigthingale and the Haydocks – Dutch Teddy boy band was on “the queue”. So time for dancing, because there is nothing really much to see, nothing to listen carefully to and not to get asleep of the same beat, better to dance! But they made happy the German people who came to the party! The teddy boys occupied the first rows and as you could see their hands all the time in the air you would understand how delighted they were to be there! But maybe it was the band they came for?
Reinstallation of the musical equipment has last for a whole hour… or maybe even longer. Another endless break as Ronnie Nigthingale and the Haydocks brought everything with them, so now they were gathering all their equipment and preparing place for Pep Torres and the Rock-A-Tones. We went closer to the stage and finally it was time for Mister Torres. What a sweet and emotional person he is! He was not only good in making faces and broadly smiling, but also he performed brilliantly. For me it was a big surprise, because I didn’t like his CDs that much. But it showed me once again that there are some bands which are better on their recordings, and some, which are better in live shows. And as for me, I enjoyed this performance a lot!
The last band for Birthday Party of Cruise Inn was Wildfire Willie and the Ramblers. They are not my favorites at all, so I was not so longing to see them again. As the evening started "Wildfire Willie" had been sitting at the bar the whole time, so to the end the band was “well prepared” and personally I don’t like funny drunken shows, so I preferred to escape and get a good rest before the Sunday (which was also “busy” for me).
Looking back I can say it was great “festival”, one of the best Birthday parties I had chance to attend! Happy Birthday Cruise Inn and let your further life will be as wonderful and joyful as those two evenings for all of us!