Rockabilly, Psychobilly and everything in between.

The Piccadilly Bullfrogs

in Albums/Contemporary artists/OPQ/Reviews
The Piccadilly Bullfrogs - Hoppers, Boppers & Rockers
The Piccadilly Bullfrogs – Hoppers, Boppers & Rockers

The Piccadilly Bullfrogs – Hoppers, Boppers, & Rockers

Rhythm Bomb CD RBR 5722 {2011}
Move Around – Cutthroat Joe – Boppin` The Blues – Banksy – Wildcat Tamer – No Time To Lose – Sunshine Hop – I Could Have Been Somebody – The Ace Boogie – Right String Baby – Don`t Hold Back – Ride Ride Ride

Who are the Piccabilly Bullfrogs? The name may not be familiar to you, but the musicians are: Peter Davenport, Danny Brittain and Tim Purkess, all of Stargazers fame. But most of all, the Piccadilly Bullfrogs are nothing less than one of the most exciting rockabilly combo to appear in years, yes sir! Two guitars, one double bass and tons of talent. Their debut album features 12 tracks, eight originals and four covers. It’s been entirely recorded in single takes with no overdub, in glorious mono on an old tape machine with a “ridiculously cheap and nasty microphone (…) and the end results are at the very lowest end of the lo-fi spectrum!“. So you’ve been warned, if you expect slick production that comes from a multi tracks studio and lots of overdubs this album is not for you. But if you dig music that breathes life, with raw edges that takes you back to the glorious days of Sun or Meteor, jump on this one. The instrumentation is almost entirely acoustic with just what I suppose to be a small amp for the electric guitar. While I listened to this little jewel I couldn’t help but think about Pat Cupp when he talked about his 50’s recordings: “That’s easy, you see back then, we were doing acoustic music. There were no mics on the drum, no amp for the bass, no loud PA system. The guitar amp was pushing 5 watts. The volume was kept low and we got a real acoustic sound with that thumping bass and rhythm guitar.” That’s exactly what the Piccadilly Bullfrogs are: pure and unadulterated rockabilly. The songs are varied and very well crafted too, from Cutthroat Joe (that sounds like Carl Perkins, Marty Robbins and the Three Penny Opera all rolled into one) to the skiffle tinged sound of Ride, Ride, Ride and lots of boppin’ in between, including a tribute to the famous Ace Café in the form of a boogie (The Ace Boogie). No need to say that with each of them having 30 years of experience the musicianship is top notch too. Davenport plays inventive solos one after another and delivers a fine instrumental too (Sunshine Hop), and Brittain and Purkess provide the beat. Forget the rest, take the best, the Piccadilly Bullfrogs are here.

The Piccadilly Bullfrogs - Rockabilly Gentlemen
The Piccadilly Bullfrogs – Rockabilly Gentlemen

The Piccadilly Bullfrogs – Rockabilly Gentlemen

On The Hill Records ‎– OTHRCD-18 [2014]
Get With It!- Baby Don’t Care About Me – Rock The Joint – Domino – Rockin’ Chair On The Moon – Summertime

This limited six-track ep was released to coincide with a Japanese tour the band did in 2014. There’s no big departure in term of sound from the band’s debut album: it’s the same mix of raw rockabilly mixed with skiffle and early Rock’n’roll (think Bill Haley’s Saddlemen).  It’s full of energy and very lively, two things that too often lack when you listen to modern bands. It contains two originals one by Tim Purkess the double bassist and a second one by Danny Britain. The four covers being two Haley’s classics (Rock The Joint and Rockin’ Chair to the Moon), Roy Orbison’s Domino and Gerschwin’s Summertime.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

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