Tommy Hunt gets Screamin' Festival off to a flyer
Legendary soul and Doowop singer Tommy Hunt was the highlight of the first night of the Screaming' Festival in Calella on the Costa Brava with a superb set of classic Flamingos material. Backed by the New Flamingos (aka the Velvet Candles) he set the place alight. Looking fit and very dapper - and considerably younger than his 80 years - he mixed it up with sweet soulful Doowop and pure rock and roll in a set which included a truly moving version of Old Man River with fine support from the Spanish vocal group. He began with the up tempo Kokomo, moved through Sam Cooke's composition Nobody Loves Me Like You, the slower A Kiss From Your Lips and Baby Let's Make Up. I'll Be Home - a song which Pat Boone 'tried' to do, in his words - was a master class and Crazy Crazy Craxy really rocked along. Other songs included the beautiful Lovers Never Say Goodbye, the Latin flavoured Your Other Love, Heavenly Angel and the rocking Jump Children, before ending, inevitably, with I Only Have Eyes For You. A truly excellent set and probably the best I've seen this year.
Another very good set was that of Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes. This six piece French band played a varied set with some bluesy numbers composed by Nico, an excellent guitarist, including Going Back To You and Real Cool Woman. Guitar Junior's The Crawl was a surprise inclusion in a set which showed off the talents of the two sax men, bass player and pianist to good effect.
Also pretty good, and starting the festival off to a noisy and rocking start, were Spansh band Double Six, whose rather tubby late period Elvis lead singer's raw voice and in your face approach was effective if less than subtle. Songs included, surprisingly, such popular UK numbers as Baby Sitting and Dancin' Shoes.