Monday, January 29, 2007

Rocking at the 2i's

Sunday's marathon show at the 100 Club in Oxford Street, featuring many of the remaining British skiffle and rock and roll acts from the late fifties, was sold out. And deservedly so, since it's not often that this many half forgotten artists of the very first era of popular UK music perform together.
The six hour gig featured around a dozen acts. more or less equally divided between skiffle acts such as the Eastside Skiffle Group and Chas McDevitt, and the more rock and roll influenced singers like Vince Eager and Wee Willie Harris. Of course, it was all incredibly derivative - the only original number during the whole evening that I noticed being Wee Willie's Rocking at the 2i's - and tame compared with the American originals. But overall it was an enjoyable evening, and certainly the crowd had a good time.
The skiffle section left me rather cold with some rather plodding numbers interspersed with the occasional high spot, but the show came to life in the second half. Vince Eager and Danny Rivers rocked the joint with covers of US hits. Buddy Britten, who recorded in the early sixties, was less impressive, but Terry Wayne, looking remarkably young and dapper, got things moving again with some decent rockabiily - and a rather out of place version of Stand by me. Final act was Wee Willie Harris. who was almost as outrageous - and certainly as amusing - as he was in his prime. Dressed in a bright red suit he gave his all and eventually stripped off above the waist in true rock legend style.
Keith Woods and Ken Major are to be congratulated for staging such a successful show - Tales From the Woods' entry into the big time perhaps. Even if some of the music was dodgy at times, the evening itself was a huge success.


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