Viva Las Vegas - day two
After a day trip out to Boulder City and the Hoover Dam, an impressive structure that straddles the Nevada/Arizona border, it was time for day two of the mighty Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender. The star was undoubtedly Jack Scott, who first recorded back in 1958. At the age of 80 he oozes sheer class, making it all look easy. He sang no fewer than 18 songs during his set beginning with his first recording Baby She's Gone and running through many of his hits, both rockers and ballads, including Leroy (originally called Greaseball), What In The World's Come Over You, What Am l Living For, Midgie, Cry Cry Cry, My True Love, Goodbye Baby, Save My Soul and Geraldine. He threw in a tribute to Merle Haggard with Okie From Muscogee, some high speed yodelling on Mountain Dew and a couple of encores, Flaky John and I'm Satisfied. It was all so effortless, and quite brilliant.
Also very good was Australian piano player Ezra Lee, who produced a rocking blues set with Jerry Lee styled boogie woogie on standards and several originals. One of his numbers was Rock And Roll Piano Man, which very much summed him up. Excellent band as well. Earlier, the swing band The Starjays were disappointing, with a rather tepid set, but a couple of UK acts later in the evening did well. Jackson Sloane, from Essex, has been around for a while and his jump blues set went down well, with good support from his band. Numbers included One Horse Town, Saratoga Boogie, Rocking Back To You and Ghost Train. Another Brit, Dave Phillips, has been living in New Zealand for several years and is best known for a version of Tainted Love. His trio is a fairly basic Rockabilly outfit, but they sounded pretty good on numbers such as Susie Q and Bluejean Bop.
The final act I caught on day two was R and B singer Jai Malano. Formerly with the Royal Rhythmaires, it's clear that her influences include Big Maybelle and Big Mama Thornton, as a great version of Hound Dog demonstrated. With two saxes on stage at times Jai made a good impression, ranging from pure blues to Little Richard type rock and roll.
It was another great evening of music, made even better by the Burlesque Showcase, a popular feature of Viva Las Vegas, which featured over a dozen gorgeous ladies, including the sexy Poison Ivory, Roxi D'Lite, Michelle L'Amour, Kalami Kokonuts, Kitty Bang Bang, Tansy and her ferocious lion, and Coco Lectric. Whoever invited the only male act, Prince Poppycock, however, apparently a finalist on America's Got Talent, who warbled his way through Bohemian Rhapsody dressed as a clown, should be fired.