Rockabilly , Psychobilly and everything in between.

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WIld Ones (the)

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/UVWXYZ
Wild Ones - Sounds like Gene Vincent
Wild Ones – Sounds like Gene Vincent

Wild Ones (the) – Sounds like Gene Vincent

Rockouse – MLP 8804   [1988]
Wildcat Boogie – Two Eyes – Ain’t She Sweet – It Won’t Work – My Baby She’s Gone – In My Dreams – Cruisin’

With such a title and musicians dressed like the Blue Caps circa 1956 you won’t be surprised to find more than a strong Gene Vincent influence on this mini-lp.
In My Dreams, Cruisin and Ain’t She Sweet are lifted from the Sreaming Kid repertoire and a fourth cover, Two Eyes, is a Tommy Steele song. They are played with the right energy and intensity in the vocals and the guitarist is good enough to play some Cliff Gallup inspired parts and despite being very close to the originals, they are not just note for note versions.
The remaining three songs are penned by the band’s singer Didier Borra.
Both It Won’t Work and Wildcat Boogie previously appeared on a single and sound as good as anything the early Blue Cat Trio released. Though there’s no indications of recording date or place, one can assume that all the songs come from the same sessions, or at least the same period, that is to say 1983.
The remaining song, My Baby She’s Gone, is by far the best of the album, opening with a strong slapping bass for two and a half minutes of Rockabilly. It would later be reworked under a new title and with a new sound for the band’s debut album « Crossroads ».

Scam

in Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews/S
Scam - Gamblin fever
Scam – Gamblin fever

Scam – Gamblin’ Fever

Count Orlock
Pirates And Thieves – Captain Caveman – Magic Bus – Searching -. Hangover – Nutcrackers – Island Of Rock -. Somebody Tell Me – Losing Touch – Gamblin’ Fever – Dr. No – Ready, Willing And Able
Scam released their debut album on Count Orlock in 1988, this first album is very representative of the sound of the day. Light drums, slap bass and a clean electric guitar, influenced by Restless and fellow Dutchmen Batmobile. The sound is good (Johnny Z. produces. Any link to Johnny Zuidhof from Batmobile?) but could be a bit “fuller”. They have good original songs (Hangover, Captain Caveman, Ready Willing & Able) but the long distance (12 songs) tends to disadvantage the band and the album sounds a bit repetitive, they could have reduced it to eight solid songs. They also cover the Who’s Magic Bus,a band previously covered on the Juvenile Delinquents album (My Generation). I’m not sure sure it’s been reissued on cd, so try to grab a vinyl copy on ebay.


Scam - Infant Years
Scam – Infant Years

Scam – Infant Years

Tombstone
Haunted House – Death Train – Can I Get A Witness – Cry Out – I Can’t See – The Eyes – Boogie Disease
Despite an ugly cover, this mini lp, recorded in 1989, shows an improvement from the first album. If there’s not a big departure in term of sound but the band is tighter and the songs less repetitive.

 


Scam - A million dollar scam
Scam – A million dollar scam

Scam – A Million Dollar Scam

Rockhouse
The getaway – Dead and gone – Cold as ice – Where did I go wrong – Stop bugging me – I’m going crazy – Hang ’em high – Stop that gorilla – You can’t trick me – Goodbye so long – Which way now – Devil’s music – It ain’t right – Bloodbrothers – Trouble tonight – Loved that woman – Drink that bottle down – Candy man
Released in 1991, this album (their third after Gamblin Fever and Infant Years) marks a new step for the band. To their usual brand of light psychobilly/neo-rockabilly, they add a good dose of rockin’ blues with blues harp, saxophone and slide guitar. The set is varied and the song inspired. A guest singer is present on a couple of songs and brings a bit of diversity. A good album that shows the evolution and the maturity of the band. Reissued on cd with four bonus tracks.

Fred “Virgil” Turgis

Tiger Men (the)

in Profiles

Tiger Men 1

Michel Texier aka Texas : vocals / guitar
Thierry Dupuis : doublebass
Saki : guitar
Gilbert : drums

The Tiger Men formed in the second half of the 80’s in Belgium with well known name on the local scene coming from the Red Monkeys and the Swampy’s. They recorded one album (“Tiger Men”) for Kix4u. It consists of a majority of up-tempo neo rockabillies with clean electric guitar, slap bass to the fore and light drums. If not very always original (half of the songs are covers and many of the 16 titles have similar tempo which is a bit monotonous) the result is rather pleasant. Highlights are “Johnny Was A Bad Boy”, a slow bluesy-jazz number with harp that sounds like a cross between Restless, the Wild Ones and Vaya Con Dios, “Tiger Stomp” an instrumental in the vein of Crazy Cavan’s “Crazy Rhythm”,the melancholic “Gone Gone Gone” and the almost psychobilly “Love In A Coffin” that reminds of the Long Tall Texans. Too bad some covers are just fillers (My Babe, Shake Your Money Maker, Tiger Man…) and reduce the quality of the final result.
In the early 90’s Texas moved to Bruxelles and left the Tiger Men. They carried on with a new singer, Fabrisio, and a new drummer Jean but split around 1992.  They evolved into The Raggin’ Stuff to play White Rock.

Dave Phillips and the Hot Rod Gang

in Albums/Contemporary artists/OPQ/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

Read our in depth interview with Dave Phillips here.

Scam

in Profiles

scam-promo1Scam

Country: Holland – Genre: Psychobilly / Neo-rockabilly

Marcel van den Berg: vocals,guitar
Arie Versteeg: double bass
Raymond Fitsch: drums

 

Scam, formed around 1986. They recorded their first demo in the winter of that same year which caught the attention of Eddie and Johnny of Count Orlock. In October 1988, they recorded « Gamblin’ Fever » their debut album which is very representative of the sound of the day: light drums, slap bass and a clean electric guitar, influenced by Restless and fellow Dutchmen Batmobile. The sound is good though a bit thin at places. They have solid original (Hangover, Captain Caveman, Ready Willing & Able) but the long distance (12 songs) tends to disadvantage the band and the album sounds a bit repetitive, they could have reduced it to eight solid songs.
The album was well received and Scam supported big acts and played bigger gigs and festivals (the Rockhouse Psychobilly meeting, Night of the longknives) and doing national radio performances. They soon received demand for a second album. Not having enough material for a new album they decided to re record old songs from the first demo together with some covers.The mini album called “Infant Years”was released on Tombstone Records in 1990. Despite an ugly cover, this mini lp shows an improvement. There’s not a big departure in term of sound but the band is tighter and the songs less repetitive.

Their last album (to date) came in 1991. Released on Rockhouse, A Million Dollar Scam marks a new step for the band. They add a good dose of rockin’ blues with harp, saxophone and slide guitar to their usual brand of light psychobilly/neo-rockabilly,. The set is varied and the song inspired. A guest singer is present on a couple of tracks. A very good album that shows the evolution and the maturity of the band. The cd version contains four bonus tracks.

They kept on playing but disbanded around 1993. Marcel remained active on the music scene. playing with the Penguin (Batmobile’s bassplayer side project) and can now be found in 69Beavershot, Triple Dynamite and Dee Ann & The Nightcaptains.
In 2005 they did a one of reunion show in original line up. A new album was announced but nothing materialized untill now.

  • Discography
    Gamblin’ Fever – Count Orlock – ROCK V (1988)
    Infant Years – Tombstone – Tomb-disc 679 (1990)
    A Million Dollar Scam – Rockhouse – lp9114 (1991)

Blue Cats (the) / G-Men / Beltane Fire

in AB/Albums/Contemporary artists/Reviews
The Blue Cats - The Blue Cats
The Blue Cats – The Blue Cats

The Blue Cats – The Blue Cats

Rockhouse LPL 8011 [1980]
Just Go Wild Over Rock ‘N’ Roll – I’m Gonna Die – Pretty Pretty Baby – I Dreamed You Left Me – Southbound Blues – Boogie Up Roar – Five Days Five Days – I’m Driving Home – Sweet Love On My Mind –
Caldonia – I Sure Miss You – Jumpin’ Little Mama – Juke Joint Jem – Sure-Fire Way – Goofin’ Around
Debut album featuring the Carlo Edwards (guitar), his brother Stef (drums), Clive Osborne (sax, rhythm guitar) and Dave Phillips (vocals and double bass). Excellent from start to finish. A true classic!

 


The Blue Cats - Fight Back
The Blue Cats – Fight Back

The Blue Cats – Fight Back

Rockhouse ROCKCD 8111 [1981]
Fight back – Hot & cold – Tired & sleepy – Love me – Jump cat jump – Up a lazy river – Who stole my blue suede shoes – Who slapped John – Wild night – Thunder & lightning – Life fast die young – Made for rockin’ – Slippin’ in – Idle on parade – Birth of the boogie – Everybody’s rockin’
By the end of 1980 the Blue Cats found themselves in need of a bassist and a singer after the departure of Dave Phillips. They quickly recruited Mitch Caws and Clint Bradley both from The Tennessee Rebels and started to work right away. From that moment they started to experiment and write new material with a more modern edge. Released in 1981 Fight Back is representative of that era.
Half of the album reminds the “old” Blue Cats with covers of the Cochran Brothers, Gene Vincent, Eddie Bond, The Phantom, Marvin Rainwater, that are probably here to satisfy the label who didn’t want to make a big departure from their successful debut album. The other half is by far the most interesting with six neo-rockabilly jewels, sometimes close to early psychobilly, written by Bradley.
One can only regret the light production on some of this tracks and wonder how it would have sounded with more studio time.
Almost three decades later, “Fight Back” remains a key album of the early 80’s and a huge influence on numerous bands.


The Blue Cats - The Tunnel
The Blue Cats – The Tunnel

The Blue Cats – The Tunnel

Nervous records Nercd069 [1992]
Man With A Mission – Galluping Man – Casting My Spell – The Tunnel – Heavens Gate – Cry On The Wind – Car 76 – Take And Give – Bad Mans Money – Wild Dogs Of Kentucky – Rivers Bend
All I Can Do Is Cry

Winning return for the Blue Cats with this 1992 album with Paul Diffin (Sugar Ray Ford) on bass. Every track here is a killer from the manic neo-rockabilly of Man With A Mission and the Tunnel to the tributes to Cliff Gallup (Gallupin’ Man) and Gene Vincent (Cry On the Wind) and what could possibly be the definitive version of All I Can Do Is Cry. 
Fred “Virgil” Turgis

 

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