Guitar maestro Deke Dickerson
made a rare visit to the UK yesterday, his first in 20 years, when he brought his blend of rockabilly, hillbilly, country and rock and roll to Nambucca in north London. I have seen him many times at music festivals in the States and in Spain and he never fails to provide superb backing for any act he plays with. As the leader of his own band, the Ecco-fonics, a trio featuring London's own Brian Nevill on drums and Thibaut Chopin, of Nico Duportal's band, on bass, he was equally impressive, with a set that was a joy from beginning to end.
As a guitarist he has no equal, as he showed on instrumentals such as Link Wray's Run Chicken Run with its bizarre chicken sounds, and he is equally at home as a vocalist. Songs included several of his own compositions, including the rather non-PC Misshapen Hillbilly Girl, The Nightmare Of A Woman (the only thing he got from the girl in this particular break-up was a disease, according to the lyrics), and You Can't See The Forest For The Trees. There were hints of his hillbilly past, as one half of Dave and Deke, with numbers such as Too Hot To handle and No Good Woman, but there was also rockabilly (Deep River), country (Johnny Horton's Let's Take The Long Way Home and Feeling Low), and straight ahead rock and roll. There was some Johnny Cash (Luther Played The Boogie) and Gene Vincent (Baby Blue) and a couple of first rate instrumentals. As an encore he played a rocking version of Mexacali Rose and Muleskinner Blues, with some rather off key audience participation on harmonica. London has waited a long time for this visit, but Deke will be back in the UK at the Rockabilly Rave later this year: not to be missed.
Following Deke on stage were some more visitors from California in the form of beat group The Outta Sites.
Featuring Chris Sprague on vocals, Jason 'Mongoose' Eoff on keyboards and Rikki Styxx on drums, they are an energetic band with an excellent 'together' sound and a good stage act, exemplified by the rubber legged Jason Eoff. I caught their first few numbers, which included Shake All Night and Good Good Lovin', before I had to dash off to catch my train home, but I was impressed and would like to see more.