Friday, June 06, 2014

From the sublime to the faintly ridiculous at Screamin'

Day 2 of Screamin' in sunny Spain was a varied one, with acts ranging from some sublime Doowop to the faintly ridiculous. The sublime aspect was provided by an instrumental/Doowop group from Sicily called Freddy Velas and the Silvertones, a band who not only have some of the sweetest harmonies around but play instruments, including guitar, bass, sax and keyboards, at the same time. They were superb on such numbers as Big Girls Don't Cry and an Italian version of Donna the Prima Donna whilst remaining note perfect instrument ally.  Chatting to them afterwards it seems they honed  their skills busking in London and they gave John Howard and I a super impromptu acapella version of I Wonder Why. They have incredible enthusiasm and are well worth seeing.
Representing old school rockabilly were Sun and Ace recording artists Alton (Lott) and Jimmy (Harrell),  Alton is a very good guitarist and was excellent on original material such as No More Crying The Blues and on the more recent Still Shaking. Jimmy was off stage much of the time but Alton had no trouble getting some genuine excitement going by himself, with backing by the Doel Brothers.
The faintly ridiculous act of the evening was Graham Fenton doing a Gene Vncent impression, complete with leather jeans and gloves, blue cap, microphone stand handling and upward pleading stares. He performed Rocky Road Blues, Be Bop A Lula, plus Rockabilly Rebel, which the rather sparse crowd enjoyed. Graham was good fun but unfortunately his performance, and that of The Jets who he was playing with, was ruined but a ridiculous amount of echo and loud volume. Not good for the eardrums.
Another act on day two was LA based Alex Vargas, who struck me as being a bit middle of the road despite having a good voice and performing a varied set including soft rockabilly and blues. Fortunately he was backed by the excellent Nico Duportal band so it was an ok set overall.
Photos will follow when I get back to the UK.
Nick Cobban.


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