Let's just start by saying that with family and finances the way they are you can't afford to do the weekenders that you want to. However, one of my all time favourites was going to be appearing at Hemsby 41, so the question I asked myself was ' Is it worth the trip to go to a weekender for just a day?' I decided it's worth a go and so last Saturday set off to Hemsby.
We arrived a bit later than planned and so missed the first set of the day by The Tunebusters, so my apology to them for not being able to comment, but the task of being on first on a warm Saturday afternoon could not have been easy.
I had time for a bit of shopping in the record room and clothes stalls before 'Cat & The Hot Tin Trio' took to the stage . Billed as a tribute to Janis Martin, Cat did not disappoint putting in a solid show the middle section strayed from the Janis theme, but the material was excellent and so was the overall performances earning a good response from the afternoon crowd.
'The Kansas City Cryers' followed, I had no prior knowledge of these guys at all, but was pleasently surprised by their set. Energetic, humerous and highly original, The Penguin is just a great song, a band I will look out for in the future to get an idea of where they come from check the myspace page, I love it.
It was now time for food and final purchase of CDs before the evening entertainment kicked of.
'The Infernos' got the evening away to terrific start, they play a very authentic rockabilly sound, playing some numbers from their CD and others, they received a great response and would return to the stage backing Alton Lott shortly.
Alton is not someone many were familar with and indeed this was his first European trip! A great scoop for Willie Jeffery, the show was superb, Alton proved himself a very capable entertainer and guitarist earning an ovation from the crowd, having run through his own Sun & Ace recordings and covered some of his peers numbers.
Then for me came the reason I was at this weekender for the day. Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod gang, back on a UK stage, one of the founders of the UK Neo scene of the early 80's. With Mark Harman on guitar he took to the stage in front of a packed house and tore into Wild Youth, the younger set in the audience who were not even born when Dave first shook the scene up were leaping around, and the atmosphere was electric. About mid way into the set Clive Osborne was introduced to rapterous applause, almost 30 years since they last played together, they did some of The Blue Cat Trio classics, including 'Just Go Wild over Rock n Roll' etc, he did many of his original songs including The Trip, '56 Boys, On the Move, She Will Come Back and a great version of Pink Thunderbird etc, the entire set was pure brilliance, encores included, Tainted Love and was sung by what seemed like the whole crowd, and finishing with Love Me, my personal all time Neo favorite, by now even I was jumping around. Dave was thrilled by the reaction he got we were thrilled to see him, perfect!
Following this was going to be very difficult and that job fell to young Karling Abbeygate, a local girl who has found sucess in the USA, a small crowd enjoyed her country influenced set homage paid to Patsy Cline, Janis et all, not an easy slot for her it must be said.
The crowd gathered again for the final set of the night 'Rochee and the Sarnos'. However by now at 2.00a.m I knew I had a long two hour drive ahead of me, and sorry to say this but they were never really my 'cup of tea', and so I set off for home leaving them to play and the weekender to go on for the rest of the night and next day.
So was it worth it? Resoundingly yes! A great value day out. It has it's disadvantages, you can't drink and its a long day, but get over that and it's brilliant, a chance to say hi to acquantices and friends from other events, chill out and enjoy the music. Am I doing it again, you bet, see you there at 42!