Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rocking at Hemsby

A long night at the Hemsby Rock and Roll Weekender yesterday - with John Spencely driving and Ken Major for company - to catch Robin Luke, who sold three million copies of Susie Darlin' in 1958, playing in the UK for the first time. Still looking and sounding good, he went through a fairly short but top quality set featuring mostly songs he recorded back in the late fifties. Since his success as a teenager he's had an impressive career as a professor at Missouri State University, but he showed he's lost none of his vocal skills as he went through a selection of teen ballads and soft rock and roll numbers. He followed an opening Peggy Sue with Marty Wilde's Bad Boy - a rare example of a UK original being covered by an American artist. After that it was Can't Stop Me From Dreaming, Walking In the Moonlight, Won't You Please Be Mine, the upbeat Rotten Love and Ever Lovin' - a song made famous by Ricky Nelson - before finishing off with his rocking follow up single Chicka Chicka Honey and of course Susie Darlin'. After 30 minutes Robin had run out of numbers so he reprised the last two numbers as an encore, saying he's had 'more fun than a pig in poop', before finishing off with an Elvis inspired version of Blue Suede Shoes. Altogether a very enjoyable set - but I'm pissed off that my camera malfunctioned and I didn't get any photos.
I had heard a lot of good stuff from John about Swedish singer Eva Eastwood and I have to say I wasn't disappointed, even if my main interest on the night was Robin Luke. With her excellent band the Magic Keys, she ranged from rockabilly to sixties girl group pop and hard edged rock and roll. She's got a great voice and brilliant stage presence. I don't know her tracks too well, but she included Hot Chicks and Cool Cats, Everybody's Gone and Done It, Oh Peter, Love My Baby, the excellent Wendy's Wedding, 60291, Burning, You Should Have Asked Me and What Do You Know About Love. She finished with an excellent version of Sonny Burgess's Ain't Got A Thing and, as an encore, Ruth Brown's As Long As I'm Moving. Good rocking fun throughout.
This was my first Hemsby for over ten years, but on this evidence I may well go again.


At 7:57 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great night Nick. I was really impressed with Robin Luke. He kept, by and large, to his own songs and performed them per the records. I think he'll be back a time or two in the future as, by all accounts, he knocked spots off Gene Summers. Eva Eastwood as always was wonderful. Glad you came along - Question is, what about October? Looks a hell of a line-up!
John S


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