Saturday, February 16, 2008

Andre Williams - doowop or sleaze?

I have a ticket to see Andre Williams at the Luminaire next week but it's fair to say that I've no idea what to expect. He's best known to me for his 50s doowop classics such as Jail Bait and Bacon Fat, and he's also the writer of 60s hits such as Shake a Tailfeather and Twine Time. When he performed at Utrecht with the El Dorados a few years ago it was, as you might expect, a doowop set. Looking true to his Black Godfather nickname, in a dark suit and hat, he came across strongly.

But he seems to be better known in recent years as the father of sleaze rock, as a result of an album called Silky. He has been compared with Dolemite, also known as Rudy Ray Moore, who I saw performing his pimp character at the Ponderosa Stomp a few years ago. His act comprised a torrent of sexist abuse and it didn't go down well with some of the audience. I wonder if Andre will follow the same route or stick to his doowop roots. I know which I would prefer.

We raised a glass at the blues contemptibles meet up last night to Freddie Bell of the Bellboys, who has died. Freddie is best remembered for Giddy Up a Ding Dong, one the more inane song titles of the 50s. In truth he was little more that a footnote to the history of rock and roll but he was one of the first US acts to tour the UK, when he co-starred on a package tour with Tommy Steele.

Also dead is prankster Jeremy Beadle. I despised his lowest common demoninator TV shows but I have to admit that I found him an civilised and charming man when I met him at my son's school fete in Barnet a few years ago.


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