Monday, 25 January 2010
Rockers Reunion 2010
The 27th Annual Rockers Reunion at Reading was a cracker. I missed the Lonesome Valley Boys but was lucky enough to witness Porky's Hot Rockin'. Porky is a tidy singer with good stage presence but you do get the feeling that having the legendary guitarist Mark Harman in your band is a bit like cheating. It's like doing a two man relay against your mates and having Usain Bolt as your partner. They do a few Johnny Burnette covers and the wonderful version of the King's Angel. Highlights of the set for me were Eddie Cochran's My Way, Dale Hawkins' Little Pig (ideal for a guy called Porky!) and Restless' neo-classic, Ice Cold. I've waited about thirty years to see Mark Harman so to watch him burn up the guitar on Ice Cold was a magic moment.
Johnny Fox and the Hunters were next up and they did a really fine set with a couple of Cavan covers and a well worked out version of Deano's Little Ole Wine Drinker Me. I've seen the Jets loads of times and I love them to bits but I was slightly disappointed this time with their set list. I like things like Razor Alley but because I was with doo-wop lover Steve Walker I was hoping they would do a load of the doo-wop strollers they're so good at.
The headliner was Gene Summers and he's been a regular over here for over thirty years. He still looks good for his age and has a friendly, confident stage presence which helped him win the crowd over straight away. With a set list that included Alabama Shake (twice), School Of Rock 'n' Roll and the opener , Twixteen, he couldn't go wrong. I was surprised not to hear Nervous but he made amends with fine covers of Wine Wine Wine and The Rebel Johnny Yuma. Rockin' Daddy was a meaty slab of rockabilly and his reappearance for the encore decked in a Confederate flag was iconic.
The show closed with Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers. They are simply amazing. How some fans give them the cold shoulder I can't understand. They rock like crazy and have all the menace and boy bad antics that rockabilly was supposed to be about. Drinking whiskey from the bottle to bopping with dozens of fans on-stage, these boys are what I imagine olds school 1970's Ted shows were all about. A brilliant performance to round of a great night. It was great to see the Shakin' All Over crowd there, including regulars Kevin Carey, John Howard and Tony Wilkinson, newcomers Steve Walker and Colin Kilgour, plus non-shakers Bunter and my mate Tony Fry. I look forward to next year - only 363 days to go.