Juvies (the)

The Juvies – Playin’ Hookie

Rage Records Rage LP 106 [1990]
Blackboard Jungle Alligator Shoes No Way Out Breakin’ It Up Gotta Run Playin’ Hookie Jukebox Jill Sunset This Morning On The Road Into The Fire

The Juvies, from Yorkshire, formed around 1984 with Darren Juvie, aka Darren Pawson (vocals and guitar), Mitch (drums), and Gary Brooks (double bass). Like Fractured, with whom they share more than one thing in common, The Juvies released only one too-short album in 1990 before disappearing two years later.

That a band of this quality leaves only these ten songs as a testament to their talent, while groups like the Rockats (the Dutch Psychobilly group) managed to release three albums definitively proves the non-existence of any Rock’n’Roll gods (sorry, guys, nothing personal).

The album starts with a strong punch in Blackboard Jungle, a track that bridges the virtuosity of Restless and the edginess of Batmobile. The next piece continues in a similar vein, with a pulsating rhythm and a double bass line reminiscent of Rumble In Brighton, leading to a clear and precise guitar explosion.

No Way Out has a strong rhythm and a disturbing atmosphere, characterized by haunting guitar riffs and intense vocals, which deviates a bit from the usual genre standards. Jukebox Jill is a brilliant demonstration of Neo-Rockabilly at its best, with its upbeat rhythm, galloping guitar, and nervous vocals. The Juvies take the melody from Got My Mojo Working and transform it into Sunset In the Morning. This is not a mere copy but a brilliant adaptation, as the trio changes the lyrics and creates a new genre that could be defined as Neo-Rockabilly-Blues.

On the Road combines a welcome country touch with high-end neo-rockabilly. Breakin’ It Up features a mix of neo-rockabilly, dancing rock ‘n’ roll, and doo-wop harmonies. This diverse blend is also evident in Playin’ Hookie, with an unexpected guitar solo reminiscent of the best Nitros songs. The band’s ability to transition between different musical atmospheres is highlighted in Gotta Run, a powerful rock song with a distorted guitar. The album concludes with the wild Into The Fire, demonstrating the band’s comfort in exploring diverse musical styles.

The album is produced by Darren Pawson, the band’s singer-guitarist, and Roger Tebutt (Happy Drivers, Long Tall Texans). They find the perfect balance between instruments and how to highlight each tunes. We mainly notice the care taken with the guitars’ sounds and textures, which gives a varied and constantly surprising album. In short, this far-too-short album is a success from start to finish.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis


Dutronc – Mini, Mini, Mini

Wild Wild Records – WILD 4 [1995]
Mini Mini Mini – Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant / Les Gens Sont Fous, Les Temps Sont Flous – Ça Plane Pour Moi


Dutronc, as its name suggests, is a Franco-British tribute band to Jacques Dutronc, a renowned French singer and songwriter, formed in the mid-1990s. The group is made up of well-known figures of the Medway and British garage scene, including Parsley (Billy Childish and the Blackhands, The Adventures of Parsley) on vocals, Bruce “Bruno” Brand (Milkshakes, Headcoats) on guitar, Rudie Spence on bass and Debbie Green aka Bongo Debbie (Ug And The Cavemen, Headcoatees) on drums.

This EP, which was released in 1995, features three covers of Jacques Dutronc and “Ça Plane Pour Moi” by Plastic Bertrand.

Parsley sings everything in French with a very strong English accent, which gives the group its unique identity. The band emphasizes the original characteristics of the songs. “Sur Une Nappe De Restaurant” is a psychedelic blues with the appropriate organ. “Les Temps Sont Flous” is supported by a heady buzzsaw fuzz guitar, and “Mini Mini Mini” could rival the best of The Kinks. The EP closes with a powerful version of “Ça Plane Pour Moi,” also covered by the Headcoatees during the same period.

This EP, along with most of Dutronc’s recordings, is a curiosity that will interest any fan of the Medway scene.

Debbie & Jackie

Chicken Jump Skips

Chicken Jump Skips – Fly Back!!!

Thousands Records – 1000CD-047 [2024]
Honey Hush – Battle Back – Live Wire – Mess Around – Go Heavean – Jailhouse Rock – Mad Stone – Your Wildcat Ways – Saddle Soap

Chicken Jump Skips

Chicken Jump Skips is a band with origins dating back to 1991. Over the years, it has evolved to its current lineup. The band’s first album, released in 2016, demonstrated their talent with an impressive rendition of “Sing Sing Sing.” Now, in 2024, they are back with their second album, which primarily features cover songs. Despite the potential difficulties that come with covering other artists’ work, Chicken Jump Skips’ creativity and skill shine.
The album begins with a strong version of “Honey Hush,” a cover that is certain to capture your attention. Imagine Johnny Burnette’s rendition, but performed at a thrilling 78 rpm, complete with a powerful double bass that will resonate through your surroundings. In just a minute and thirty seconds, the band leaves a lasting impression.
The next track, “Battle Back,” doesn’t skimp on the double bass. It has a perfect melody and a very good structure, alternating between slow and fast parts. A short, original guitar solo brightens up the whole song. Psychobilly is a genre known for mixing with Metal (with various degrees of success). Among the successes is the excellent cover of “Ace Of Spades” by Batmobile. Now we have to consider Chicken Jump Skips’ version of Mötley Crüe’s “Live Wire,” which sets the bar very high and is on par with Batmobile. They manage to maintain the energy of the original track and its characteristic breaks while infusing their own Psychobilly touch. Once again, we can’t help but notice the enormous work of the rhythm section.
We continue with another successful cover with “Mess Around” (Ray Charles), which, in the expert hands of the trio, becomes a clever mix between Ska and Psychobilly with a frantic voice. One of the group’s great qualities is that, although they often play at tempos that would make Chuck Yeager blush, they always remain very melodic, as “Go Heaven” proves. At times, we would be tempted to compare them to Batmobile; this is particularly obvious when we listen to their version of Jailhouse Rock, which copies the melody of its verses from “Bambooland” (and given the result, it is an excellent idea!). “Mad Stone” alternates wild parts with more pop moments. “Your Wildcat Ways” should irritate many a Rockabilly purist, but how good does it feel to hear a band having fun and playing without worrying about anything other than having a good time.
“Saddle Soap” (released in 1985 on the Roughnecks’ first EP) ends the album on a melodious, more Rockabilly note, and it is just as successful.
Furthermore, Chicken Jump Skips has the excellent idea of ​​making a short album (nine tracks and less than 22 minutes), which avoids any attempt at filler and leaves the listener breathless and asking for more (which is always a good sign).

Fred ”Virgil” Turgis

The Barnshakers

The Barnshakers – Standing Room Only

Goofin’ Records GRCD 7000
Got The Bull By The Horn – Where There’s A Will – Standing Room Only – Beggar’s Blues


It’s always good to hear new material from the too-rare Barnshakers, even if it’s only for four far-too-short tunes. The group has a new drummer and now performs without a piano (which was also the case on their previous single, if I’m not mistaken.) Apart from that minor change: the Barnshakers continue to be the best Rockabilly and Boppin’ group from the European continent.
The group delivers a strong performance with an excellent cover of “Got The Bull By The Horns,” which is more similar to Hugh Barrett’s version than to Johnny Horton’s. The tension in the song and its late 50s/early 60s arrangement perfectly suits the group. This is followed by a cover of a Dave Dudley song, “When There’s A Will ,” which takes the group towards more country music. The same can be said for “Standing Room Only” (Johnny Sea), which sounds like a Johnny Cash song from the mid-1960s. The last song, and the only original composition, is more in the spirit of Charlie Feathers. This is not particularly surprising considering that Vesa Haaja also recorded an album dedicated to Charlie Feathers with the Hi-Fly Rangers, his other group.

The Barnshakers ‎– Whiskey River / Hollow Grave 

Goofin’ Records ‎– GRSI 224 [2012]

Another excellent single released by the Barnshakers. The A-side is a cover of Johnny Bush’s Whiskey River, also a hit for Willie Nelson. They deliver a superb muscled-up version with powerful slap bass and intense vocal by Vesa.
The flip is an excellent Rockabilly with harmony vocals, typical of the style of the band.

The Barnshakers – Twenty One

Goofin Records GRCD6130
Twenty-One – Come On – Bop Bop Ba Doo Bop – Have A Ball – Knock Knock Rattle – Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby – Yah! I’m Movin’ – Wiggle Like A Worm.

the Barnshakers - Twenty one
the Barnshakers – Twenty one

Very good mini cd from the Barnshakers, one of the best, if not the best european band in activity made of one studio track and seven live recording. The studio track “Twenty One”, a Vesa Haaja’s own, is an immediate addictive song with its great vocal and lead guitar part and the piano support. This song proves how right they were to add a piano in their line-up. The live show, with the exception of “Wiggle Like A Worm” is made of covers and songs that were never recorded in the studio by the band. This gives another interest to this record to hear them playing classic songs by Wynn Stewart (Come On), Lew Williams (Bop Bop Ba Doo Bop) and Carl Perkins (Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby). The set ends with a frantic Vesa singing and screaming on “Yah! I’m Movin’” and “Wiggle Like A Worm” with Lester playing Burlisonnian licks. By far the best cut of this record. An advice, if you want it, you should hurry as the cover states it’s a limited release…

The Barnshakers – The Single album

Goofin Records GRCD6126 {2004}
She Done Quit Me – So Doggone Blue – Big Sandy – Ooh’ Baby -Complicated Fool – Who’s Gonna Be The Next One Honey – When I Take My Sugar To Tea – Take One – Wiggle Like A Worm – Choo Choo’s Coming Back – Desperate Santa – Santa’s Got A Brand New Steel Pedal – Hocus Pocus – Gone A-Rockin’ – You’re The Cause Of It All – Tell My Baby I Love Her – Move On – What’cha Gonna Do – Boppin’ In Roswell – Raining In My Heart – What’cha Doin’ To Me – Lotta Lotta Women

The Barnshakers - the single album
The Barnshakers – the single album

It’s a good idea to issue all the Barnshakers singles on one cd as some are not that easy to find. You can also see the evolution of the band through the years from the rockabilly of the beginning to the addition of a piano player and the touch of boogie of today. The first single shows what a good songwriter Jussi Huhtakangas (aka Lester Peabody) is, too bad he doesn’t write more songs. Vesa, the lead singer and main writer wrote my two favourite songs on the cd issued from the Xmas single «Desperate Santa» and the great «Santa’s got a brand new pedal steel». You got some covers too and a song penned by Shaun Young. So what could you ask for more ? Unissued material ? You’ve got it, two new songs recorded in 2004. So I guess you understood this record is a must have for all Barnshakers and rockabilly fans everywhere.

The Barnashakers – Complicated Fool

Goofin’ Records – GOOFY 546 [1994]
Complicated Fool – Whose Gonna Be The Next One Honey / When I Take My Sugar To Tea – Take One


This superb EP opens with Complicated Fool, a superb Rockabilly tinged with Hillbilly, which is a composition by Vesa Haaja, the singer of the group. Peabody’s guitar and Haaja’s vocals, capable of alternating Rockabilly tension, Hillbilly style and the softest crooning, are the two elements that jump to the ears first. Still, one should not forget the rhythm section. Mika Liikari (double bass) and Mike Salminen (drums) are Europe’s answer to the rhythm section that Bobby Trimble and Wally Hersom of the Fly-Rite Trio formed.
Next comes a cover of Whose Gonna Be The Next One Honey (Hal Goodson & the Raiders in 1957). The Barnshakers’ version is very close to the original, although softer, thanks to Haaja’s fabulous singing.
The first track on side B is a cover of When I Take My Sugar To Tea, a song from the early 1930s, made popular by artists as talented as the Boswell Sisters, Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, to name a few. The Barnshakers approach their version by adding a Gene Vincent touch, reminiscent of him when he covered standards such as Up A Lazy River or Peg O My Heart. The rhythm is subtle, Vesa croons and the guitar part is sparkling.
Speaking of guitar, the last piece is a cover of Take One, Phil Baugh’s very jazzy instrumental. It is a tour de force and a demonstration of Lester Peabody’s know-how.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Barnshakers
The Barnshakers (left to right: Mike Salminen, Vesa Haaja, Mika Liikari, Lester Peabody).

The Hot Rollers

The Hot Rollers- Got Your Number

Sweaty Betty Records SB002 [2005]
You Don’t Do It – Black And Blue – Mileage – Hooker – Got Your Number – Casper Guido – Wild Man – Hello Vapid – You May Be Right – Ice Princess – Bad Word For A Good Thing -. I Wanna Go Home – Wrap Your Heart

hot rollers

This girl band comes from Seattle and includes Kirsten Ballweg from The Donettes and the Black Crabs on bass, Lori Campion from The Poontwang on guitar and vocals, and drummer Heidi Jessup. Their music mixes 60’s garage with some Billy Childish influences (Headcoatees, Delmonas), punk rock, power-pop, and a touch of Pixies. Engineered by Kearney Barton (who worked with The Sonics), their sound is wild and powerful, yet they maintain a good balance between the bass and the guitar distortion while emphasizing melody. Lori’s versatile voice can shout, scream, and sing with scorn when needed, as you can hear in “Got Your Number.” Talking about The Pixies, this one has a bit of Kim Deal style in the bridge (and a direct reference in the lyrics).
Casper Guido” has a nice Farfisa played by bass player Kirsten, and I’d love to hear more of that. As I mentioned, Billy Childish and the girl bands he led are also apparent influences. That’s why they cover The Tamrons’ “Wild Man,” also covered by the Headcoatees on Girlsville. I’m still trying to figure out which version inspired them, but theirs is the best. But the best cover is yet to come, as they play Billy Joel’s “You May Be Right.” If you’re a Rock’n’Roll geek, you can’t help but turn the volume up to 11 and play it repeatedly. Their cover of “I wanna Go Home” by Holly and the Italians is equally good, with excellent backup vocals and handclaps.
Beware, this album is very addictive, and once you’ve finished listening to it, you just want to hear it again.

Debbie & Jackie

Demented Are Go

Demented Are Go – Demented Are Go Present… The Demon Teds – The Day The Earth Spat Blood

Link Records LINK MLP 084
Country Woman – Brain Damaged Chile (Slight Retard) – One Sharp Knife – Flight 103 – Termite Man -Skitzoid Brain – Now She’s Dead (Warp Mix) Life’s A Bitch/Demon Ted Boogie/Now She’s Dead

demented are go

In 1989, Mark Phillips decided to revive Demented Are Go, which had broken up some time before due to the departure of Lex Luther followed by the double bassist. Faithful Ant Thomas (drums) and Simon Cohen (violin) returned, and the lineup was completed by Billy Favata (double bass) and Mike Pannell (guitar), both from the Court Jesters. The group was quickly offered the opportunity to record an album by Link Records. Despite not having any songs ready and without having rehearsed, Demented Are Go entered the studio to record what would become “Demon Teds… The Day The Earth Spat Blood.” Considering the large quantity of alcohol (and likely other substances) consumed, it’s quite surprising that Link Records was able to release an album at the end of the recording session.
The album includes several filler tracks such as Flight 103, Termite Man, and Life’s A Bitch, which quickly turn into aimless guitar demonstrations with a poor metal sound that borders on bad taste. These are interspersed with various noises and effects seemingly for no reason other than to fill up time. Despite this, there are still some good tracks on this record. When Demented Are Go are at their best, they are truly impressive. With Country Woman, the band creates a new genre that blends country music and Psychobilly with a wild and frantic violin and jaw harp. With its intro that sounds lile a zombie version of the Beach Boys, Brain Damaged Chile is a pure blast of madness, and One Sharp Knife is one of the group’s best songs. This version has a much heavier sound than the first version that appeared on Hell’s Bent On Rockin’! in 1985. Both versions are excellent, but I have a soft spot for the first, which is scarier. Skitzoid Brain is also a good song that captures the band’s signature Psychobilly sound.
It’s unfortunate that the mediocre songs drown out the good ones because these four tracks could have made for a great EP.

The Radioactive Kid

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