Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rockin' Race gets underway

The Rockin' Race rock and roll festival in Torremolinos is a great way of escaping the rain for a few days in the sun. But the Rockin' Race itself is more of a marathon than a sprint, with the final acts coming on stage some time after 3am. The main venue is a circular space age building called the Palacio de Congresos which one person I spoke to said had less atmosphere than the Moon. And poor sound doesn't help. Which is a shame because some of the acts are excellent (although some aren't).
Star of the first evening was Mike Sanchez, whose great voice and keyboard skills overcame the fuzzy sound on a succession of excellent boogie woogie/R and B numbers including Red Hot Mama and I'm Ready. The second evening featured five acts, culminating in Los Straight Jackets who came on stage at 3.15. They are a surf guitar band who perform in smart suits and wrestling masks and are pretty good. Their act featured an Elvis Costello clone called George on twist vocals such as Twist Party and Domino Twist and an attractive stripper named Eva, who certainly woke the audience up. All gimmicks of course but good fun.
Shiny suits were also in evidence for British act the Rapiers, but their Shadows style act was rather milder. The are competent though and ran through cover versions of Please Don't Touch, Move It Baby, Buckleshoe Stomp (originally by The Snobs), Brand New Cadillac, Dr Feelgood, I'm A Hog For You and a few instrumentals including The Breeze And I and FBI. Out dated they may be but I enjoyed them, which is more than I can say about the local Spanish acts featured under the heading of organisers Sleazy Records All Star Artists. I don't know who the various groups are or the numbers they performed but suffice to say they were less than stunning.
Other acts on the night were a lively instrumental act called Mambo Jambo with a convincing Johnny And The Hurricanes sound, and the Rollin' Records Southern Sound,  a sixties style R and B combo featuring a Harmonica player who gave a good impression of Nosferatu as he bent himself double playing his harp. Overall there were probably too many instrumentals and more than enough stand up bass players during the evening but it was quite a good evening, if a long one. There's more tonight, with some rather bigger names. Photos will appear on the blog when I get home.
Nick Cobban.


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