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Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang

in Contemporary artists/Reviews
Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang - Wild Youth
Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – Wild Youth

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang – Wild Youth

Rockhouse [1982]
Wild Youth – She Will Come Back – 56 Boys –  Tainted Love – Love Me – My Turn – On The Move – One And Only – Flea Brain – Should I Ever Love Again – Summertime – Baby Blue – Just Can’t Believe – Wow

Having left the Blue Cats in 1980, Dave Phillips took some time off before forming his own band. Still with Gene Vincent in mind he named his new band the Hot Rod Gang after the 1958 movie featuring the screaming kid. The first line-up consisted of John Day and Ray Thompson on guitars, Rob Tyler on drums and of course Dave Phillips on double bass and lead vocals. But it’s the second line-up with Mark Harman from Restless on guitar replacing both Day and Thompson that entered the history of modern rockabilly. Harman was the perfect choice, his fast Gallup influenced licks being the perfect complement to Phillips. The trio recorded Wild Youth in late 1981 and contrary to what the cover reads it’s Tyler on drums and not Andrew Wrightson who was the band’s driver (even on the cd reissue features the mistake).
One can suppose that the label (Rockhouse for both) acted with Phillips the same way he did with the Blue Cats’ second album (with Clint Bradley) hence the presence of many familiar cover in a more traditional style (Flea Brain, Summertime, Baby Blue and the Phantom’s Love Me sung by Harman). But there’s enough modern stuff to make of Wild Youth a benchmark in Neo-Rockabilly history, the best known being their cover of Tainted Love. It’s an instant classic that will have a lasting influence on many young bands.
Essential to any decent collection.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Dave Phillips

Dave Phillips – Rockhouse Mini L.P. Collection

Rockhouse Records – MLP 8420 [1985]

Brand New Beat – The Fun Of It – In My Dreams – So Now You’ve Lost her – You Don’t Want to Know – The Trip

I said it before and I’ll say it again, mini lp are often the best support for Rockabilly. It’s short, every number counts and there’s no place for fillers.

Dave Phillips’ mini lp for Rockhouse is the perfect exemple of that statement.It’s almost perfect and dare I say, even better than his debut solo album.

Once again one can hear the influence of Gene Vincent, with the covers of Brand New beat (imagine Vincent revisited by Restless of vanish Without A Trace period) and In My Dreams which is probably the weakest song of the album (but to his discharge it’s hard to compete with Vincent on that type of song.)

The four remaining tracks are originals. You Don’t Want to Know features Mark Harman of Restless (and former hot Rod Gang member) on guitar and is a rockin’ ballad with once again the shadow of Gene Vincent over it.

So You’ve Lost Her is a medium rocker while the Fun of it is a fast neo-rockabilly with breaks later covered by French band the Happy Drivers on their debut album and the Trip is Worth th eprice of the album alone. This fast modern rockabilly number (with a dash of psychobilly) is a modern masterpiece.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Read our in depth interview with Dave Phillips here.

Nervous records

in LABELS

Nervous records, the legendary rockabilly/neo-rockabilly/psychobilly label formed by Roy Williams (interviewed here), once called by Paul Roman of the Quakes “the Sam Phillips of Psychobilly”.
Website: http://www.nervous.co.uk/

nervous records

Nervous Records discography

The Polecats – Cult Heroes – NERD 001
Deltas – Boogie Disease – NERD 002
Various Hep Cat Hop – NERD 003
Restless – Why Don’t You Just Rock – NERD 004
The Ricochets – Made In The Shade – NERD 005
Buzz & The Flyers – Self titled – NERD 006
Various – Stack-A-Records – NERD 007
The Sharks – Phantom Rockers – NERD 008
Dave Taylor – Midnight Rock – NERD 009
The Blue Cats – Early Days – NERD 010
The Blue Cats – Early Days Vol2 – NERD 011
Big Daddy Sun and Outer Planets – Rockabilly – NERD 012
Freddy Frog – Self Titled – NERD 013
Ronnie and The Jitters – Roll Over – NERD 014
Restless – Do you Feel Restless – NERD 015
Frenzy – Hall Of Mirrors – NERD 016
Various – Hell Bent On Rockin’ – NERD 017
Rochee & The Sarnos – Understanding Sarno – NERD 018
Rapids – Turning Point – NERD 019
Pharoahs – Blue Egypts – NERD 020
The Jets – Session Out – NERD 021
Various – Aussiebilly – NERD 022
Various – Zorch Factor One – NERD 023
Kevin Fayte & The Rocket 8 – Ridin’ In A Rocket – NERD 024
The Torment – Psyclops Carnival – NERD 025
Restless – The Early Years – NERD 026
Get Smart – Self Titled – NERD 027
Skitzo – Skitzo Mania – NERD 028
Various – Zorch Factor Two – NERD 029
Rhythmaires – Losin’ Out – NERD 030
Coffin Nails – Ein Bier Bitte – NERD 031
Torment – Three is a Crowd – NERD 032
Frenzy – Live At The 100 Club – NERD 033
Frantic Flintstones – A Nightmare On Nervous – NERD 034
Batmobile – Bail Was Set At $6000000 – NERD 035
The Caravans – Easy Money – NERD 036
The Quakes – the Quakes – NERD 037
The Jackals – Prowlin’ – NERD 038
Skitzo – Terminal Damage – NERD 039
Pharoahs – Hammer & Sickle blue – NERD 040
Ratmen – Live Fast, Die Young – NERD 041
Various – Zorch Factor Three – NERD 042
Spook & the Ghouls – Whitechapel Murder – NERD 043
Catmen – Catmen – NERD 044
Surfin’ Wonbatz – Lager Loutz – NERD 045
Sharks – First & Last Live – NERD 046
Griswalds – Who Framed The Griswalds – NERD 047
Various – American Rockabilly – NERD 048
The Nitros – Stompin’ Beat – NERD 049
Torment – Around The World – NERD 050
Rusti Steel & The TinTax – More Dollars Than Cents – NERD 051
Rattlers – Never Say Die – NERD 052
Various – Home Grown Rockabilly – NERD 053
Lost Souls – Chasin’ A Dream – NERD 054
The Screamin’ Kids – Don’t Get Down – NERD 055
The Nervous Fellas – Born To Be Wild – NERD 056
Torment – Hypnosis – NERD 057
The Quakes – Voice Of America – NERD 058
The Coffin Nails – Who’s he? – NERD 059
The Catmen – Cuttin’ Through The Red Tape – NERD 060
Various – Boppin’ In Canada – NERD 061
The Scamps – Mayday – NERD 062
Nekromantix – Curse Of The Coffin – NERD 063
Beverley Stauber – Nail My Feet To The Kitchen Floor – NERD 064
Frenzy – Clockwork Toy – NERD 065
Various – Live At The Big Rumble – NERD 066
Sonny West – Relentless – NERD 067
Radium Cats – Other Worlds – NERD 068
The Blue Cats – The Tunnel – NERD 069
The Taggy Tones – Viking Attack – NERD 070
Colbert Hamilton And The Hellrazors – Self – NERD 071
Restless – Figure It Out – NERD 072
The Quakes – New Generation – NERD 073
The Rattlers – Scare Me To Death – NERD 074
Three Blue Teardrops – One Part Fist – NERD 075
ColBert Hamilton And The Nitros – Wild At Heart – NERD 076
Voodoo Swing – We’re Usin Code Names – NERD 077
Tim Polecat – Virtual Rockabilly – NERD 078
Mean Cat Daddies – Ghost Of Your Love – NERD 079
The Taggy Tones – Lost In The Desert – NERD 080
Various – Is It Cool – NERD 081
Darrel Higham – Mobile Corrosion – NERD 082
The Elektraws – Shock-rock – NERD 083
The Quakes – Live In Tokyo – NERD 084
Wild – Good To Go – NERD 085
King Memphis – The Astonishing – NERD 086
Restless – The Very Best Of – NERD 087
The Backbeats – Back To The Beat – NERD 088
Bill Mc Elroy – Slimline Daddy – NERD 089
Skitzo – Vertigo – NERD 090
The Muskrats – The Young And Restless – NERD 091
Hayride To Hell – Self Titled – NERD 092
Nine Lives – Roundabout – NERD 093
Rock Island Line – The Very Best Of – NERD 094
Various – The Nervous 45 rpm Collection – NERD 095
The Midnight Dynamos – Do You Wanna Dance? – NERD 096
Bonneville – Trouble – NERD 097
Various – Rockabilly Gold – NERD 098
High Voltage – Danger… – NERD 099
Blue Flame Combo – Rockabillies Go Home – NERD 100
Mystery Gang – Hot’n’Wild Rockabilly Cuts – NERD 101
The Jime – It’s Still Rock’n’Roll To Me – NERD 102
Johnny Black – Extra Chrome – NERD 103
JC Lee – Tokyo Heat – NERD 104
Mick Satan & The Rockin Devils – Teddy Boy Anthems – NERD 105
Vernon & The GI’s – GI Bop – NERD 106

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