keytones

Bamboozle

Bamboozle – Retrograde

Bamboozle

Jimena records – RIGHT339 [2019]
Five past ten – the Lowdown – Rockin’ Man – Heebie Jeebies – Ice Cold Beer – Just Like You – Toxic Nightmare – Daddy’s Girl – Fever – Mayhem

Bamboozle came to my attention with their cracking cover of Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand. I put the band’s name in one corner of my mind and, to my great shame, I must say it stayed here for a while until I received “Retrograde” their debut album.
I was like “oh yeah I remember, the band that plays that Nick Cave’s cover” when I put the cd in the player. One minute later, I was hooked, and by the end of the last song, I was blown away.
First, let me introduce the band. On drums a well-known figure on the rocking scene: Les Curtis. Les played with Solid Smoke, Bob & the Bearcats, Mouse Zinn, Kid Rocker, etc. Also another familiar name, mister Jim Knowler of the Keytones (he also played with the Stargazers) on guitar. And last, but certainly not least, Serena Sykes aka the bass pixie, on double bass, vocals, writing, and production.
This trio forms the core of the band, but this album also features Keith Wilkinson on acoustic guitar and Peter Clifford on piano.
Five past ten is the perfect opener and describes precisely the sound of Bamboozle: fifties influenced music with a modern edge. While Curtis keeps the beat and Knowler flies on the fretboard, Sykes proves you can be a girl who sings Rockabilly without ending all your verses with a growl.
Sung by Knowler with harmonies by Wilkinson the Lowdown is part Buddy Holly, part Dave Edmunds, and 100% killer!
Sykes’ Rockin’ Man hardens the sound with a menacing riff bordering on Psychobilly. Out of sudden, Knowler jumps into a hot solo that is sure to please fans of Mark Harman and John O’Malley. Heebie Jeebies is not a cover but another Sykes original that she sings with grace. A jazz tune that swings as hell with superb backing vocals. This song is the occasion to salute the brilliant production work. And not only Retrograde is well recorded, but it’s also perfectly mixed.
Knowler returns on lead vocals with two songs. The hillbilly tinged Ice Cold Beer and Just Like You a Doo-Wop-a-Billy that wouldn’t be out of place on any of the Keytones albums.
The following two songs show the vocal range and how equally at ease at singing and writing any rocking style. Toxic Nightmare has a bit of Surf/Walk Don’t Run flair to it while Daddy’s Girl is one hell of a Rockabilly song.
The last two songs are covers from Little Willie John (Fever) and Imelda May (Mayhem.) On the paper, these choices first let me perplex. I’m not the biggest fan of Miss May, and I thought, “Does the world really need another cover of Fever?” But once again Bamboozle won over me. They took a fresh and brand new approach on Fever and Mayhem, full of energy, let me wanting for more which is the perfect way to finish a Rock’n’roll album.
Without a doubt, the band worked hard to produce such a good record. Now it’s your turn to work, buy it (https://www.bamboozlehq.co.uk/) and support Bamboozle live!

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

The Speedos

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the Speedos - It's Only Rock'n'roll
the Speedos – It’s Only Rock’n’roll

The Speedos – It’s Only Rock’n’Roll

PART 647.001 [2010]
Ghostriders ~ Believe me ~ Remember then ~ From the bottom of my heart ~ Sandy ~ You’re driving me crazy ~ Cotton fields ~ I’m not a juvenile delinquent ~ A Zippe Di Zoom ~ Fly me to the moon ~ Come go with me ~ Lovely night ~ Rag Mop ~ I just want to know ~ Sh’Boom ~ West Virginia (Country Roads) ~ The Diary

Part has the good idea to reissue the Speedos catalog. First released in 1989, It’s Only Rock’n’roll was until this reissue only available on vinyl and I suppose long out of print.
This quartet could be described as the German cousins of the British Keytones.
They play doo-wop harmonies with a bit of jive on a rockabilly background. There’s even some hillbilly with their uptempo cover of Cotton Fields.
Like numerous debut album, it’s not flawless, but the few minor imperfections are well compensated by the freshness of their approach.
The repertoire goes from Frankie Lymon (I’m Not A Juvenile Delinquent) to the Del-Vikings (Come Go With Me) or Frank Sinatra (Fly Me To The Moon) with a couple of originals too written by lead singer/guitarist Olaf Prinz. On a couple of songs the line-up (guitar / doublebass / drums / saxophone) is augmented by Götz Alsmann on piano for a fuller sound.
As an added bonus,the band’s debut ep from 1987 – featuring a self penned song (I Just Want To Know) and three covers: Sh-Boom, John Denver’s Take Me Home Country Roads and a rockabilly-doo-wop rendition of Neil Sedaka’s The Diary – is included. Recommended.


 

the Speedos - A Dreamin' Life
the Speedos – A Dreamin’ Life

The Speedos – A Dreamin’ Life

King Hat [1992] – reissue Part [2010]
I call it bop – Duke of earl – Jungle book – I adore you – Quiet whiskey – Believe me – A dreamin´life – Dance town – Caledonia – Blackboard jungle – Forever – Hey you

A Dreamin’ Life is the band’s second album, and to get to the point, their best. It takes more or less the same ingredients than their debut but both the sound and the band are better.
It kicks off with “I Call It Bop” that wouldn’t be out of place on the Stargazers’ debut album. Next is the accapella doo-wop “Duke Of Earl” with top vocals and harmonies. They also do great justice to Louis Prima’s Jungle Book. “I Adore You” is a sweet ballad with a bluesy edge. The pace changes with Wynonie Harris’ Quiet Whiskey, a solid jiver also treated in a Stargazers style. Believe Me features Gotz Allssman and is a re-recording of a song from their first album in a more accomplished version. The title track is a soft rockabilly. “Caldonia” is the sole weak point of the album, but it’s quickly forgotten with Blackboard Jungle a great rock’n’roll. “Forever” is another great moment in the Keytones style while Hey You concludes the album on an uptempo note.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

speedos
The Speedos – Olaf Prinz, Bernd Eltze, Volker Naves & Frank Johland