psychobilly - Page 11

Something Shocking

Something Shocking - Pink
Something Shocking – Pink

Something Shocking – Pink

Vampirette Vamp104
1.Spend, spend, spend 2.Flight 101 3.Motorbike beat 4.Something shocking pink 5.Just ain’t a man 6.Jokers wild 7.Take me for a ride 8.Cheat 9.Going nowhere fast 10.Rocking disease 11.Feels so good 12.Only good for one thing 13.Love is blind 14.Who cares 15.Gun totin’ man

Something Shocking started around late 1986/early 1987 with Vanessa on bass and vocals, Doug on guitar and Pete on drums. They soon recruited Emma on double bass, allowing Vanessa to fully concentrate on vocals. The four of them recorded one song that gave its name to the sampler “Something To Remember” for Fury records. Soon after Doug left to rejoin The Rattlers where he played before. His replacement was Mike who’s just left Demented Are Go. This influence can definitely be heard on Mike’s Flight 101, which is close to DAG’s Flight 103. Mike wrote the majority of the band’s originals which eventually caused a bit of tensions within the band. This line up recorded “Pink” in two days, an album that deserves to be rediscovered today.It’s a very good lp with a wide range of influences that makes of Something Shocking a one of a kind band mixing classic psychobilly with punk, 80’s pop and 60’s girl group. It seems very unfair they never achieved a higher degree of success. The band was tight, the song were really well crafted and melodic and Vanessa’s voice is quite good. But too pop to be a major act on the psychobillly scene (though they appeared on the Big Rumble) and too psycho to seduce a big label, the band was not in a comfortable position and quickly found itself in a dead end. Seeing how some bands cross over markets today, one can only think that Something Shocking came too soon. Emma can still be found playing bass with rock’n’roll /rhythm’n’ blues acts like The Unknowns, Razzle Dazzle etc.


cyclonethefirstofthecyclonemancdCyclone – the First of the Cyclone Men

Klang Records KLG004 [1989 – reissue 2007]
The Devil Is Knocking On My Coffin – Psyclone Shock – Bates Motel – Doctor Cyclone – Jungle Cat – Telegram Sam – Lonely Zombie – Funny Toy – Freddy Is Back

Cyclone (Andrea Camerini: lead vocal, Andrea Pesaturo: guitar, Paolo Camerini: double bass, Roberto Berini:drums, Massimo Diotallevi:alto sax) was one of the first, if not the first, psychobilly band in Italy. Their brand of psychobilly is typical of the late 80’s with influences from Mad Sin, Demented Are Go, early Coffin Nails, Batfinks etc. with distorted guitars, fast slap bass and rasping vocals. It’s very well played and better recorded than many albums from the same era. And even if it’s not always very original (you find the usual zombie, Freddy Krueger, Norman Bates lyrics and the melodies are a bit repetitive), they had the good idea to keep it short (9 songs), so in the end this album works fairly well.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

cyclone cyclonecyclone

The Rockats (2)

Country: Holland
Genre: Psychobilly

Martijn Spanteren: guitar, vocals
Arjan de Witt: electric bass, vocals
Jottum: drums
Remko Visser: drums

The Rockats, not to be confused with the famous American neo-rockabilly band, were a psychobilly trio from Amsterdam. They formed in November 1987 and in May of the following year they recorded their first album “The first Take Off” for Tombstone Records. It contains some good songs but the global sound is a bit “young”. One year later they released “Keep On Turning”, still on Tombstone, with their new drummer Remko Visser. “The Last Crusade”, their third and last album appeared in 1990 showing a slight change in the sound with more agressive melodies and metal influences.
After the band split, Remko Visser remained active, playing with Asmodeus.

The First Take Off ‎- Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 671 (1988)
Keep On Turning ‎- Tombstone Records Tomb-Disc 675 (1989)
The Last Crusade – Tombstone Records Tomb-disc 687 (1990)

Roy Williams – Nervous records

Nervous records second logo
Nervous records second logo

Nervous Records – the Roy Williams interview

-Hey, I’ve just bought the debut album of a psychobilly combo called the Frantic Flintstones.
-Is that any good?
-Of course, it’s on Nervous Records!

That’s the kind of dialog that my psychobilly pals and I used to have. Nervous was for us – and I’m sure we weren’t alone – a reference. Nervous records always had the best stuff coming with nice sleeves too. Judge by yourself: the Polecats, The Sharks, Frenzy, the Ricochets, the Coffin Nails, the Caravans, the Nitros, Restless, the Blue Cats, Buzz & the Flyers, Torment, Skitzo, Nekromantix, Batmobile, the Quakes, the Rattlers… Impressive isn’t it. Reading Nervous records’ back catalog is like reading a Who’s Who of Neo-Rockabilly and Psychobilly.

Of course, there was some exceptions:
-Look that’s the latest Nervous records lp.
-What’s the name of the band?
-Spook & the Ghouls.
– …

Anyway Nervous records is indissociable from the whole genre, and we had to talk to Roy Williams. Now put your favorite Nervous album on the platter or in the player if it’s a cd and read the following interview..

by Fred “Virgil” Turgis

When and how did you discover rockabilly music?
I was collecting old rock’n’roll records in the early 60’s and I came across a listing of SUN 45’s for sales from someone called Breathless Dan Coffey (Breathless Dan Coffey is a well known record collector in Europe and he’s also the brother of Mike Coffey, guitar player for Crazy Cavan – ed.). Before that, the only time I’d heard of rockabilly was from a Guy Mitchell song! In truth, I’d been buying rockabilly records for some time, but never really knew the word in relation the records I had. We used to call it ‘the empty sound’ because of the slap-back echo!
The ‘division’ of rock’n’roll and rockabilly can be subtle and there’s a lot of ‘crossover’. I think of it this way
All rockabilly is rock’n’roll
All rock’n’roll is not rockabilly
All ants are insects
All insects are not ants
You can say that we have an interesting linguistic discussion here between etymology and entymology =;-)

Was Rock’n’roll the kind of music played at home when you were a kid?
Oh no! My mother used to sing songs to me when I was very young. These were songs from the 1940’s. The only music my father liked on the radio was religious music. He used to complain that there was too much ‘boogie woogie’…. He used to tell me that our radio couldn’t get Radio Luxembourg (where all the good stuff was). I used to go and watch TV in the village pub with my friend whose parents owned the pub. I saw ‘6-5 Special’ on a small black and white TV, one of only two in the village. Then we moved back to Wales and lived in a village with no electricity for a while, so I missed a lot of 1950’s TV. Then, one day in 1958, I got on my bicycle and rode into the town (Aberystwyth) and walked into the pier. There was the smell of the candy floss and lots of flashing lights and a big jukebox pounding out rock’n’roll. I was lost……
Then we moved closer to the town and had electricity again and my parents bought a new radio and gave me the old one. I spent all my time on this radio listening to radio stations from other countries searching for rock’n’roll.

As a DJ you helped to promote Hank Mizzell’s Jungle Rock, you managed young bands. How did you decide to create your own label?
I saw a bit about how the music business worked from ‘Jungle Rock’ and I thought that I could create another hit with a young good looking British band. At about the same time, I saw that Ronnie Weiser has started his own label and there were lots of new labels in England because of punk. I thought that I could do this, too. I also thought that it was time that I established better financial security for my family because DJ work was not so reliable! I actually started in music publishing and the label came after.

Nervous records first logo
Nervous records first logo

Looking back at the Nervous records back catalog, one thing struck me. Like Sam Phillips who always said he didn’t need two Elvis, it seems that you were always looking for bands that sounded different…
The lesson that I learnt from Rollin’ Rock was NOT to go for a ‘house label sound’. There was a time that everything on Rollin’ Rock was hot, and then suddenly it wasn’t because it all had the same ‘house sound’ and the whole catalogue was out of style. I didn’t want to have this happen to Nervous records, so I deliberately tried to be more ‘diverse’.

You have worked with many of the best psychobilly bands, but strangely you never worked with the originators of the genre, the Meteors. Do you regret it?
Not really. they seemed very shambolic to begin with and after their first EP and LP, I didn’t find them so interesting. The first LP was REALLY good, though and hugely influential.
In the end, when I bought out the Alligator label, I became the owner of the earliest Meteors’ recordings [three songs were released on Homegrown Rockabilly – ed.]

Today I suppose things have changed radically with the mp3’s. But in the heydays of neo-rockabilly / psychobilly what was the average pressing for a Nervous record?
I always remember that when we released the Buzz And The Flyers LP, we pressed 3,000 copies and delivered 2,000 to various customers in the first week! Those days are long gone.

How do you / did you involve in the recording process as a producer? Do you suggest songs to cover, different ways to approach songs, select songs with the artists etc.?
I make all sorts of suggestions. Some bands have all of their ideas ready, and some need more ‘guidance’. Sometimes I give the project to a producer. I can’t force bands to record what they don’t want to. I feel awkward sometimes because I can’t play an instrument and it’s often difficult because of that.

Is there a release in which you had strong hope that failed to sell?
Quite a few! Often because the bands split up just after the recording!

Some of Nervous records releases - photo by: Mitutaka Namie
Some of Nervous records releases – photo by: Mitutaka Namie

Which Nervous records releases are you particularly proud of?
The first Restless album and The Blue Cats ‘The Tunnel’.

And is there one that retrospectively you think “I shouldn’t have released this one”?
That’s too political!

Beside Nervous records, I believe that you were involved with the organisation of the Big Rumble. What memories do you keep from it?
A lot of work, and a lot of fun. I really enjoyed going round the caravans in the morning with a video camera, and finding people in the ‘wrong’ beds! I also had some funny experiences at the reception of the camp. Del used to put me there because I could manage some words in various languages. It was always difficult explaining to French people about the meters for the electricity!

I have the sad feeling that today the rockin’ scene is more and more divided in sub-scenes like neo-rockabilly, modern rockabilly, authentic rockabilly, old school psychobilly, gothabilly, trashbilly (and so on), with much importance given to the clothes rather than anything else. What do you think of the evolution of the scene?
I agree with you. It’s become fragmented and this is BAD news.

You were one of the first to bet on the cd’s then on the mp3’s. How did the internet change the way of selling music?
It’s broken down the national barriers. Really there is only one marketplace now, and everyone is equal in it. This is good. Music is no longer qualified by its rarity. It’s qualified by it’s standard. When I was DJ-ing, there were some people who would not dance to a record if it wasn’t an original 45. This is BOLLOCKS!
The ‘downside’ of all this is that there needs to be a lot more ‘back-office’ computer work to make it all work properly. Most small labels are hopeless at the paperwork side of things and this leaves the ownership of copyright in a bit of a mess. I’ve actually written my own computer program to handle this stuff.

The last word is for you…
I’m more interested in the future of rock’n’roll/rockabilly than the past.


Stage Frite

Stage Frite
Stage Frite

Stage Frite

Country: UK
Genre: Psychobilly

Clive Perchard: vocals, double bass
Dave Rounce: guitar
Stevie Death: drums

Stage Frite began their relatively short career as a rockabilly band in 1988 but soon opted for a more agressive sound and Psychobilly.
They supported bands like the Griswalds, Skitzo and the Frantic Flintstones and developped a friendship with Chuck Harvey who at that time was scouting band for Link. The result was two tracks recorded for the compilation album “Kats Keep Rockin’”. This gave them a wider exposition and audience and it wasn’t long before Link proposed them to record a full album.
Thus, in August 1988, they found themselves in studio with Mark Hunt (who at that time recorded most of the Frantic Flintstones albums) to cut their debut album “Island Of Lost Souls”.
It sold relatively well and as a result they played bigger gigs and appeared on the bill of a few all-dayers. But when the band was working on a possible second album they split in the Spring of 1991, each member having different ideas about the style they should play.
They remained active musically, Rounce later joined the Roswell Invaders, Stevie drummed for punk outfits and Perchard played bass for the East Coast Bluegrass band and the Ugly Dog Skiffle Combo.

Stage Frite later reformed and released an album in 2017 on Western Star records.

Adapted from the liner notes of the CD reissue of Island Of Lost Souls (Anagram-CDM Psycho 48) written by Alan Wilson.

Stage Frite - Island of Lost Souls
Stage Frite – Island of Lost Souls

Stage Frite – Island of lost Souls

Anagram cdmpsycho48 [1989 – reissue 2006]
Island Of Lost Souls – Pink and Black – Noises – One Last Dream – Bad Moon Rising – Black Magic – Slippin’ In – The Ripper – Take The Money and Run – Searchin’ – Baby Let’s Play House – Freight Train – Get Away Little Girl – My Baby’s Gone – Long Blond Hair – Island Of Lost Souls – There Goes My Baby – Get Away Little Girl

Island Of Lost Souls is a good album. Understand me; it’s not an essential one like The Meteors’ In Heaven, Guana Batz’s Held Down… At Last or Frenzy’s Hall Of Mirror to name but three of the classics but if Stage Frite’s Island Of Lost Souls was a movie, it would be a honest and pleasant horror B-movie you enjoy watching with friends. They have good originals like the title track, Black Magic or the Ripper. In comparison their covers are far less convincing, lacking of an angle to approach them. Produced and engineered by Marc Hunt, who was in charge of many Frantic Flintstones early recordings, it’s not a surprise to find some common point with late 80’s albums of the gang of Chuck Harvey. The cd reissue is completed with two tracks that were previously only available on vinyl on compilations and four early demos.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis



Country: Holland
Genre: Neo-rockabilly / Psychobilly

Wim Van Der Heiden – guitar, lead vocals
Marcel Verbaas – upright bass
Robert Van Driesten – drums

In 1988 Marcel Verbaas and Wim Van Der Heiden met on the streets after not having seen each other for about 3 years. They both knew each other from Jailhouse, a famous clubhouse in Rotterdam where lots of dedicated rock-and-roll and rockabilly fans used to meet each other during the weekends. They decided to put up a band and rehearsed for almost a year with different kinds of line-up, playing only covers. But from the moment Robert van Driesten joined the band in 1989, Wim started to do the lead vocals and writing the band’s own material. They took the name of Powerdog.
The typical Powerdog-sound has it’s origin in the neo-billy sound of the early eighties, combined with Marcel’s experience as a rhythm-guitarist on heavy-metal music. Hence the use of the so called heavy chords but with the clean cut sound of a tube amplifier.
Two major highlights were the cd/lp release in 1992 by Count Orlok Music and once being the support act of Stray Cats in Paradiso Amsterdam, during their Murphy Tour.
Powerdog split up in 1994.

Powerdog – Count Orlock R.O.C.K.13-C.O.C.K.13 [1992]

Infos taken from the band’s website