Yesterday Martin played some of the music we recorded with the rockabilly line-up down the phone to me.
It is absolutely brilliant- it sounds like some really old vinyl recordings I have on a compilation called Bison Bop which I think is on that German label, Bear Records (all my vinyl is in storage at the moment but the turntable is revving up because as soon as the 'A' Levels are finished next year and the mountains of paper and books cascade into the past, the turntable is going to move into the kitchen and the kitchen is going to become a 3-D jukebox).
Joe Guillan recorded it all on his old Revox, some in Embleton Church Hall a couple of years ago and some in a house in Wallsend earlier this year.
The line-up is Martin Stephenson (guitar, vocals and songs), Joe Guillan (guitar), John Cavener (double bass, vocals and song), Keith Shepherd (drums), myself (guitar, vocals and songs), and two of John's youngsters, John and Natalie, on sax and trumpet respectively, with their teacher on sax too, plus a keyboard player on some songs playing a scrunchy organ sound, and I believe Fin McCardle, the awesome percussionist, contributes as well.
What is so good about the recordings is the total exuberance in the performances. Joe is a truckdrivin' authentic rockabilly guitarist who scorches his way through his solos; John has a fantastic bouncing double bass style; Keith is an energetic and accurate drummer; the kids and their teacher have the essence of excitement in their playing; Martin has the best 'feel' of any guitarist I have ever heard and these are some of his best retro-style compositions; and I think you can hear how delighted I was to be playing with this bunch in the songs I sing on.
All we need is a name! We are not at the rock end of rockabilly: we are more hillbilly with a bit of ska added to the mix. we have got our thinking quiffs on right now, because as soon as we have a name we can start doing some gigs!