Monday, June 17, 2019

Doug Kershaw at the 100 Club

After a great weekend of soul music 'up north' I hurried back to London to catch the first ever UK performance by the 'Rajin' Cajun' Doug Kershaw at the 100 Club. This was yet another in the long run of Tales From The Woods shows organised by Keith Woods and it was good to see a fair sized crowd present for this one off occasion, including quite a few music industry people.
Providing the backing throughout was the ever reliable Tales From The Woods band (John Spencely, Claire Hamlin, Rob Davis and Jeff Tuck) who got things going with a few well chosen numbers, including 'Ain't Got You', Gene Terry's 'Cindy Lou', 'I'm On Fire' and 'Thirty Days'. John's vocals are getting more confident and he really got the songs across strongly.
The support act on the night was veteran rocker Graham Fenton, who sang a couple of Gene Vincent numbers, along with 'Wild One', 'Pretend', 'Buzz Buzz A Diddle It' (from his time with Match Box), Conway Twitty's 'I'll Try', Ronnie Hawkins' 'Southern Love' and, inevitably, 'Rockabilly Rebel'.  It was a good solid set and Graham was to play his part later in the main event of the night, the Rajin' Cajun's London debut.
Doug Kershaw's appearance onstage, in a bright red jacket, really got the place jumping. He's 83 but his stage act is as animated as ever. It's riotously chaotic, with piles of papers on his music stand and bows for his fiddle flying here and there. But what a great performer he is. He attacks his fiddle with ferocity, smiles and winks his way through every number and you can't help smiling yourself as his engaging personality fills the stage.
He first performed in 1948 with brother Rusty and many of his songs date back to his Louisiana days in the fifties and early sixties. He began with 'Diggy Diggy Lo' and he was joined on stage by his son Zachary for 'Hey Sheriff', with added vocal support from John Spencely. 'It's Better To Be A Has Been' went down well, as did 'Goin' Down The Road', a song he recorded with Rusty back in the fifties. A solo stab as 'Cajun Joe (The Bully Of The Bayou'), was short but quite magnificent with some manic fiddling, and another Rusty and Doug number 'Why Don't You Love me' followed. He said he wished Rusty was still alive to see how the music still lives.
He turned to his guitar for his next song, 'Love Me To Pieces' and Graham Fenton came on stage to provide added support on 'Hey Mae'. 'There was a group approach to his classic 'Louisiana Man' and as an encore the Cajun anthem 'Jambalaya'. Finally, after a few minutes, he returned for a second encore, this time of 'Hey Mae'. Throughout his set the band did a sterling job and this was a fantastic night of music. Once again Keith has pulled off a triumph on 'the stage of legends' at the 100 Club.


At 5:28 pm , Blogger Pete Gold said...

Great and accurate review on a wonderful night of musical excellence from all.

At 6:05 pm , Blogger Unknown said...

A triumph it certainly was and gave us youngsters a masterclass in stagecraft.

At 11:14 am , Anonymous Gordon Fleming said...

Yes, a great night

At 1:21 am , Blogger Unknown said...

Enjoyed! Thank you Keith.

At 2:27 pm , Blogger ted carroll said...

It was a great show and wonderful to have opportunity to see one of my idols performing live ~ thanks Keith!


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