Sunday, 13 January 2008

January Club Night 2008

Start the New Year with a Twang.
Well, we certainly did that - thanks to our special guests The Shadocasters. They really did us proud with a showcase set of Cliff and the Shadows hits supplemented by a bit of good old rock and roll. Thanks to Alan and Dave and also to Martin and Jimmy who had travelled all the way from Whitby to perform.
The run-up to this club night had been a worrying time for Alan L and myself due to the number of our regulars being struck down by the latest virus but, although we were without several of the familiar faces on the night, we were still able to deliver three hours of the best of Sixties music. This, in itself, is a tremendous credit to the commitment and enthusiasm of the many performers who have taken part over the 20 months since VSL began, and keep coming back for more.
Mike Gutteridge was back demonstrating his usual relaxed technique - the result, I suspect, of a great natural talent supplemented by many years of experience.
There were also one or two very pleasant surprises on the night. Colin Howson, turned up trumps yet again by bringing along a couple of his friends to appear with him in an excellent little semi-acoustic harmony set.
The ever popular Brian Mason followed Colin on to the stage, delivering the big ballads with his big voice, to a great response from the crowd.

The Stray Dogs had a big surprise of their own for us. Gorgeous lead singer Angie could not make it this month, so they scoured the doss houses and opeum joints of Spennymoor, and managed to engage the services of some young upstart guitarist by the name of Kenny Potts - a name and face vaguely familiar to many sixties fans.

The sight and sound of Kenny and Dave Hodges playing together was something many of us had wanted to see and hear for a long, long time and they did not disappoint. Supported by Mark on bass and Kev on drums they delivered a couple of Cream numbers which were par excellence. Magic guys - pure magic!!
You can't say that you don't get variety at VSL :>)
There was even more variety to come as Robin took us right back to the early sixties with It's only make believe, Diana and the Wanderer, followed by Billy Barr, who kept the party going, reliving hits from the Box Tops and Tremeloes, backed by the Two Alans and Mike Morris, with Bill Field on bass.

Then it was time to give the boppers an opportunity for short rest (well they aren't getting any younger are they?)
This month Colin Ibbertson and the guys had come up with a couple of lesser known instrumentals - Cossack Patrol (Jumping Jewels) and Magic Carpet (Dakotas) - which were delivered with their usual flair and expertise. This part of the show is rapidly becoming one of my favourites. Everyone recognises the melody but they are driven wild trying to remember who recorded it - Hee hee hee.

Meanwhile, the dancers had almost recovered and were raring to go, and who better to get them rocking than Rock of Ages, who were also making a welcome return to VSL. Mike and Co performed a great little set which left them gasping for more, but as we were rapidly approaching the witching hour I thought we had better get Paula on stage. She had enjoyed a quiet night by her usual standards but that was soon rectified with the old Chris Montez number Let's Dance followed by an unexpected cracker - Diana Ross's Chain Reaction.

By then it was time to wrap up another great night and who better to do that than Alan Wakes with his much requested version of the Marmalade hit - Reflections of my Life.
Thanks to all the performers and to everyone who supported the night. It really got 2008 off to a great start.
See you all next month.
B there or B square