Despite sadly missing out on Harlequin Fayre this year I seemed to be having my own festival of sorts this weekend with a succession of gigs. After the previous day’s jaunt to Wells for Dove and Boweevil on The Albatros today was a rare chance to get to Carrow Road for what turned out to be a disappointing result, ruined by a poor referee … however, music rarely lets me down so in the evening I headed to The Blueberry for the reunion gig by The Phantom Cowboys.
I don’t think I saw them in their heyday some 18 years earlier though I did recognise some of their faces … and I absolutely loved the music. A lot of people had headed to Harlequin for the weekend but that didn’t seem to affect the attendance in the Bloob too badly with a fairly full roomful of people edging towards the stage as soon as the band started. I was one of them and spent the entire gig at the front smiling and nodding along to the superb music. They said they often get called Rockabilly but they don’t see themselves that way. There were certainly rockabilly elements though but maybe Gothabilly is what they are, with a resemblance to The Cramps – who I adore, and perhaps some sinister Stray Cat strut moments.
The playing throughout was brilliant, drums, upright bass, two guitars and characterful vocals … and the songs superb. They released an album back in the day (Down and Out at the Club Cruella) which I am pleased to say I now own a copy of, and that comprised most of their set. There was a line about the lack of material so we’d have to put up with between song repartee to pad out the set. It was fun and engaging and I sincerely hope they’ll play some more gigs, I really want to see them again, and I know many people unable to be here tonight who want to see them too.
From the band bio:
The late, great exponents of voodoo jive – that is if voodoo jive consisted of playing rockabilly very fast fronted by a victorian gentleman singing about skulls.
From the event page:
The return of legendary purveyors of voodoo jive, gothabilly and all things sinister and stylish. This is the band’s first official gig for 18 years in their home city of Norwich.
Support from The Diebacks + Those Darned Mouldy Figs
I only caught a few songs of one support but did spot Shane O’Linski in the line up once again, on his knees on keys at one point. He’s one fascinating musician.
Such a good night. Many thanks to The Phantom Cowboys, and to the amazing Andy Sacre who put on this gig and was still able to do all that this entails AND play a gig with Sound of Sight at Harlequin earlier in the day.
words and photos (c) richard shashamane 2015