~~~~~~~~~ VIEW FROM THE SOUTH BANK ~~~~~~~~~

Copyright Steve Jackson

The following articles have been submitted to Fizgig, for our use by Steve Jackson, Music Correspondent for the Grimsby Evening Telegraph. We would like to thank Steve for permission to use these articles.

You can send me any band news and gig details for my column in the Grimsby Evening Telegraph, via my e-mail address which is :

" steve@12bar.freeserve.co.uk "

Alternatively any correspondence can be sent direct to me at :

60 Washdyke Lane,

Nettleham,

Lincolnshire,

LN2 2PY

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Country Cats!

16 Sep 2000

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Climb Aboard The Bus

16 Sep 2000

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7 June 2000

Sand In My CD Player!

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7 June 2000

A Taylor Made Talent

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7 June 2000

Que For Quo Expected

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7 June 2000

Select A Beachy Date

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7 June 2000

These Are The Times From Navarone

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7 June 2000

Mayall And Green Play The Blues

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7 June 2000

A Fiddle Catches My Ear

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7 June 2000

Classic Songs From Hank And Woody

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7 June 2000

Bon Appetite

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7 June 2000

Blue Dots - Expect The Unexpected

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22 April 2000

Mighty Album From Wylie

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22 April 2000

The Way are on Tape

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22 April 2000

Zoddy Boots CD Due

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29 Mar 2000

Classic Rock n' Pop From D.M.G

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29 Mar 2000

A Cowboy's Nightmare Could Be Grimsby Promoters Dream

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21 Mar 2000

Music Column for Tues 21 March

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11 Feb 2000

Noise Control Suits You

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11 Feb 2000

Elvis Back On Tour!

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11 Feb 2000

Dial 999 For Punk Legends

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23 Jan 2000

Reflections on the time that was 1999

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30 Dec 1999

Jan 2000 at the Spiders Web

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30 Dec 1999

Hey, Hey, We the Caged Monkeys

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30 Dec 1999

Now That's What I Call Good Value

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30 Dec 1999

A Taylor Made Sound

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30 Dec 1999

Is George On Your Xmas List?

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30 Dec 1999

Cliff's PR Spin

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9 Dec 1999

Blues On The Menu

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9 Dec 1999

Watch This Space, Listen To This Sound

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9 Dec 1999

Imagine Lennon At No 1 For Christmas

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9 Dec 1999

Ploughmens Bunch on CD

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11 Nov 1999

Polestar Evolve into Redhill

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11 Nov 1999

Big Country Back In The Driving Seat

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11 Nov 1999

It's Cowpunkabilly From The Prowlers!

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11 Nov 1999

November at The Woodman

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11 Nov 1999

Letter From London

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Oceania ~ Tackle This New Sound

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UNEASY LISTENING FOR FISTER

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DEACON BLUE RETURN

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BONS BALLS ~ ROCK WITH BALLS ON!

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Rockabilly Weekend Party Nov. 18th - 22nd

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THE BLUE DOTS UP, RUNNING & ROCKING

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PARASITE UPDATE

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INTERNET LINCS

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ISAAC GUILLORY PLUS BAND

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Advance Notice Of Millennium Date!

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GET CAUGHT IN THE SPIDERS WEB

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EDDIE'S AMAZING TOO!

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GREEN BACK WITH THE BLUES

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BEST OF THE BEATLES

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Sub News

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ON LINE

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Country Cats!

"It's Saturday Night" every night with "Country Cattin'" or at least it can be on your CD player!

Take a Blue Dot from the Grimsby rockabilly band, add a Hicksville Bomber from Lincoln... and you've got two thirds of "Country Cattin'" a band originally put together for fun to play some early country hillbilly and rockabilly sounds.

It's pretty much all done in one take for that authentic feel and this means they capture something of the spirit of the original recordings.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Dave Brown wasn't around in the fifties but he's certainly soaked up the vocal inflections and style of that era. With that big white double bass, Paul Chambers instrument is very much a rhythm box and it's only after half a dozen numbers that you realise there's no drum kit there in the mix! Nathan Young provides all the electric lead guitar fills with just the right amount of echo.

The album features mainly classics like Mystery Train, You Win Again, Maybelline, I'm Left Your Right She's Gone and Wild Side Of Life alongside lesser known nuggets like I'm Ready If Your Willing and the title track It's Saturday Night. There's even a trio of Dave Brown originals slipped in there and you can't see the join!

The trio play "Country Cattin' gigs in-between their other musical activities so keep an eye out for "The Cats".

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Climb Aboard The Bus

I've no idea what a "Bus Dwarf" is and the music produced by this strangely named band is certainly difficult to pigeonhole. "Black Day For Art" is the title of their beefed up psycho rock 12 track CD.

The opener "Bing Bang Bong" has a touch of the Captain Beefhearts about it. The keyboards give a distinctive psychedelic garage tint to the overall sound which I like. Although there's 12 tracks the whole thing clocks in at just over 28 minutes, so no long jams for these guys and the shortness of some of the numbers gives a punkish feel to the CD.

There's a number of religious references in the lyrics. These come across like those Southern American Baptist preachers with a fondness for picking up live rattlesnakes and shouting "praise the Lord" something which I imagine "The Bus Dwarfs" do in the studio! Some of the tunes also come across like the Doors combined with a gruff Jim Morrison and "Daddy Done Beat Me" fits this theme to a tee.

Monk In Space, Jesus Loves You But Not The Way I Do, Zyclone Be-bop, Europa and I'm A Watcher are just some of the song titles.

It's a manic, psycho punk Beefheart meets The Fall, wooden church pew of a record which will need one of those parental advisory stickers if it hits the mainstream market. The music makes you wonder what these guys are like live, that I imagine would be a wild night!

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Sand In My CD Player!

It's the first time I've received a sachet of sand with a CD but creative guru Mick Taylor is always prone to do something that little bit different.

Mick otherwise known as "Cleethorpes Promenade" is currently on a quest to visit every English seaside town in his campervan!

His new single "My Summer Holiday" combines quirky and melodic and is as welcome as a whippy ice cream on a hot summers day. It's got a very effective clarinet that evokes memories of Soft Cell's "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" and is as fetching as that white suit and jelly green sandals regularly worn by Mr Promenade.

You never know what your getting with a "Cleethorpes Promenade" recording. They twist and turn and keep you on the edge of your deck chair and create a musical landscape where imagination shows no bounds. Put "Promenade" on a double bill with John Shuttleworth and I reckon you've got a fine night out.

Let's see "Cleethorpes Promenade" back on his home turf. How about some local dates Mick? At the very least I think North East Lincolnshire council's tourist section should snap this man up!

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A Taylor Made Talent

Hot on the heels of my piece last week on Cleethorpes Promenade, Mick Taylor's creative alter ego has sent me a 10 track compilation tape, just a sample of the 80 plus songs he's written in the last 3 years!

Opening with the Roky Erickson classic "I Walked With A Zombie" , Mick has added some extra verses which the publishers have said will give him a co-writing credit with the former genius from "The 13th Floor Elevators" if it's ever released commercially! Mick has already written the video script which sounds a mouth-watering prospect.

The remaining tunes are all Taylor originals, layered with keyboards, acoustic guitars, harmonies, hooks and the usual quirkiness. Apart from the Zombie thingy I particularly like "Save My Soul" and "She Scares Me" with sounds like Lou Reed in humorous mode! As far as I can see Mick's head is crammed with musical and literary ideas, someone give him a radio programme quick!

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Que For Quo Expected

Hey "The Quo" are on their way to play the Grimsby Auditorium on Friday 6th October and it's a standing gig! Featuring the double act of Rossi and Parfitt, the band at one time had the midas touch with everything they released zooming up the singles and albums charts.

I remember the guys playing the Cleethorpes Winter Gardens in the early seventies around the time of the "Piledriver" album when they were trailblazing their heads down no nonsense boogie sound. They perfected that golden 12 bar boogie wall of sound thing and nobody did it better, before or since.

After Alan Lancaster and John Coughlan departed, the band headed in a more poppier and more commercially successful direction to become firm TV favourites across a range of age groups. Along the way Status Quo became Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt and three other guys and it seemed only a matter of time before they appeared on Blankety Blank!

I like their early stuff best and that includes "Pictures Of Matchstick Men" circa 1968 during that early pop psychedelic phase! The benchmark of a quality band is being able to wade through a tide of musical trends over many years and remain afloat. The Quo have achieved this. An Auditorium sell-out is predicted for this event even though tickets might be considered a little steep at £22.50 and £25.

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Select A Beachy Date

The Cleethorpes Beachcomber is playing host to the classic Two Tone ska sound of "The Selector" on Sunday 28th May.

The band are fronted by it's original and best known member Pauline Black and their best known tune "On My Radio" will definitely get an airing. The Selector are still very active on the recording front and last year released "Cruel Britannia" which showed the band are still very much in the ska meets punk mould.

Also on the bill are Andy Tyrrell, Southpark Roundabout and All Mod Cons.

Also at the Beachy this Thursday 25th May is the Pink Floyd tribute band "The Machine" with Grimsby Indie rock outfit "Ideal" as support. Tonight you can see "The Drum" out supporting their debut album "Diskin" alongside Stoners Of Doom, Fungus and Evergreen.

As you can see there's a lot going on and if you want to know more then please ring Grimsby 349222 or why not visit the Solid Entertainments website at "www.solidentertainments.freeserve.co.uk"

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These Are The Times From Navarone

Gritty Grimsby rockers "Blast" is a name familiar to live music fans and the four piece outfit of Tony Reader, Martin McMahon, Rick Newman and Wayne Rigg have relaunched themselves as "Navarone" as in "guns of" and have an eight track CD and a first gig at the Spiders Web on Friday 21st April, to get the band up and running.

Entitled "These Are The Times" the 30 plus minutes of original material highlights the band's sandblasted and gritty hard workin' approach to songwriting. Gritty and soulful is the word I use for Tony Reader's vocals, and Martin has got some fine guitar licks and a range of styles up his young sleeves. Rick and Wayne are very much the engine room which drives the band forward and knits the whole sound together.

The music is very American influenced mix and goes from out and out rock with riffs to elements of country, funk and blues. Here's a blow by blow account of the eight numbers and don't forget copies of the CD will be available at the Spider's gig.

All I Wanted - high energy sweaty pub rock with cascading guitar fills and punchy chorus.

These Are The Days To Remember - A little more subtlety and a country rockish feel in the Southern rock tradition with some impressive twin lead guitars.

You Go North, I'll Go South - Throbbing bass guitar makes this a fine driving song, roll down the windows and crank up the volume! Again some choice guitar fills, and I detect a Motown influence in there somewhere.

Alone - A ballad from the "Navaroners" in "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" mode. Turn down the lights for a slow one.

I Will Never Give You Up - The band get into a "Harlem Shuffle" funky groove and veer off into a commercial hook of a chorus with some harmonies!

You're Not The One For Me - Funky Rock meets Shaft. Wah wah pedal to the fore and a wailing guitar break with a Beatles "Come Together" mood.

Paradise Is Hell - If Bryan Adams returns to his hard rockin' chops then this is the sort of tune you might find on his next album. Maybe "Navarone" should get Dave Springfield in on vocals. Only joking guys, and a track that's closest to what I know as the "Blast" sound.

Slip Away - A "Los Lobos" feel and a high danceability factor to the 12 bar rhythms of "Slip Away". I suspect this one will become a live favourite.

So there you have it a powerful batch of original tunes with fine singin' and playin'. "Navarone" are not breaking down any musical barriers but are reflecting the best of no nonsense, meat and potatoes, sleeves rolled up rock.

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Mayall And Green Play The Blues

Good to see what looked pretty much like a full house at the Grimsby Auditorium for the appearance of two blues legends John Mayall and Peter Green. The combination of this twosome for the first time in 30 years meant that a range of larger UK venues was at their disposal, such is the pulling power of this unique coupling.

Opening the show was Peter Green and his Splinter Group. Best known for his Fleetwood Mac classics like Albatross, Green Manalishi and Black Magic Woman, the set also included an acoustic session which featured tracks from their latest offering "Hot Foot Powder". Peter Green's health problems have been well documented and the man has made an invaluable contribution to British blues. It's clear his guitar playing is not what it was and his vocals are softer and the tone cracks from time to time, but it does give an honesty to his performance which is what the blues is all about. Roger Cotton shines on keyboards and the highlight was probably when John Mayall joined the band for a rousing rendition of "Sweet Home Chicago". I've seen Mr Green before and he's pretty much in his own little world, your lucky to get more than a few sentences out of him during the evening and in that respect Grimsby was no different!

Billed as the father of British Blues, John Mayall will be 68 this year and he looks in great shape with an enthusiasm and energy for the blues he's so tirelessly promoted since the late fifties when rock n' roll was the new sound on the block. I was interested to see he set his own keyboard up during the short interval and looked happy to muck in with the road crew.

John Mayall has always had a reputation for nurturing top notch talent in his "Bluesbreakers" and his latest batch of Americans is no different. I wouldn't want to meet guitarist Buddy Whittington down a dark alley, he's big in every respect and that includes his talent on that battered Fender he plays! John has a unique harmonica sound that's totally his own and how many harmonica players can you say that about! He's still producing first class blues music emphasised by his latest album "Padlock On The Blues" the title track which featured as one of his two encore numbers.

Meeting them both afterwards I can confirm that John comes across as a genuinely nice guy while Peter Green is still a little bit strange!

A really fine night and how long before we get some more blues artists of this calibre back at the Auditorium?

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A Fiddle Catches My Ear

Fiddle based albums are not my usual cup of tea but I'm quite taken with Irish American "Liz Carroll" and her new "Lost In The Loop" CD which has just been released on the Green Linnet label. I notice on the label it says file under "Celtic" a sound that seems very much in vogue these days.

Liz hails from Chicago and is a former All Ireland Fiddle Champion and "Lost In The Loop" is her first solo effort in over a decade. She's also part of the band "Trian", a name probably familiar to folkies but it means nothing to me.

There's some really atmospheric stuff on this CD which is all instrumental like "See It There" and a really fine guitar and fiddle piece "The Crow In The Sun" which I've played over and over.

I notice Liz is due to appear at the Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough in July which is an unexpected bonus!

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Classic Songs From Hank And Woody

Hank Williams and Woody Guthrie are two influential music legends who packed their lives full of trials and tribulations and managed to write countless classic songs along the way. In a sense both their lifestyles enabled them to write songs about first hand experiences.

Incredible to think that the original country punk Hank Williams, died at just 30 years old and the original folk rock hobo Woody Guthrie lived knowing he could be struck down by the lethal Huntingdon's Chorea, a heriditary wasting illness which he finally contracted and left him bed ridden for years unable to speak and function.

Anyone who can write tunes with titles like "Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy"(Woody) and "We're Getting Closer To The Grave Each Day" (Hank) has a different angle on the art of songwriting.

Both these two artists are the subject of double CD spoken word biographies mixed with over 50 music tracks. On one CD you get the life story and on t'other it's a multitude of original songs. Some of these recordings are live, some are on primitive recording equipment and some crackle and hiss a bit but these are prize aural museum exhibits that deserve space in any collection.

The label is Chrome Dreams and they're producing a whole range of the "Classic Series". The Woody Guthrie Story and Hank Williams Story are just two in a series which also includes Muddy Waters and a Dylan project is in the pipeline.

Now Chrome Dreams is a UK company and Press and Promotions Manager is Paula Gillespie a former Grimsby resident who can be spotted in town from time to time catching up on the local music scene.

The labels website is "www.chromedreams.co.uk" and they can be contacted direct at their Surrey offices on 0208 715 9781. If your interested in ordering the Hank or Woody album then give them a call.

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Bon Appetite

Making a welcome return to the Spiders Web on Friday 2nd June are the Scottish Bon Scott era "AC/DC " tribute band "Bons Balls" who have perfected that particular era of the popular Aussie hard rock group.

On a commercial level the later Brian Johnson line-up has sold more units and play the huge arenas, but many people still hanker after the original band in which the late Bon Scott captured the spirit of the Aussie rockers and lived the excesses of life on the road. You can discuss which line-up was the best over a pint at the Web!

Let There Be Rock, Powerage and the classic "Highway To Hell" are just some of the earlier hard rock benchmark albums released by the band who originally formed in 1974.

Admission is £5 on the door.

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Blue Dots - Expect The Unexpected

I managed to catch Grimsby rockabilly outfit "The Blue Dots" a couple of weeks back at the Blue Anchor in Lincoln plugging their fine CD releases "Up And Running" and "Tired Of Travellin", with I understand a third album on the way.

What I particularly like about the band is the unexpected cover versions they rockabilly up like "You Really Got Me", "Bad To The Bone" and "Viva Las Vegas".

Apart from the rockin' sounds a live "Blue Dots" gig is all manic energy, moving drumkits and some carry on humour from frontman Tubbs Watson. Paul Chambers slaps that big upright bass around, Tim Wheelhouse on drums can't stay still and quiet man Danny McCourt provides the essential rhythm guitar to those Watson guitar licks.

The quartet have also got a date lined up at the Cruise Inn, a famed rock n' roll club in Amsterdam.

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Mighty Album From Wylie

Pete Wylie is something of a Scouse songwriting and "man about town" legend and he's been away from the music scene for too long. Nicknamed the "Liverpool Lip" Wylie broke his back in a freak accident in the early nineties and it's taken him some years to regain fitness, get a record deal and get back into the recording studio.

The result is an album of epic dimensions. It's a big wall of sound thing with sweeping arrangements, orchestration, crashing guitar chords and the urgency of the Wylie vocal sound.

Credited to "The Mighty Wah!", Pete Wylie's alter ego, the album is called "Songs Of Strength And Heartbreak" and its stuffed to the brim with anthem like rockers. Never loved As A Child, Heart As Big As Liverpool and Loverboy are just three songs that do the business and Pete release "Sing All The Saddest Songs" as a single now!

Now I know this album won't have the big bucks promotion budget behind it, but it really deserves to be heard, which is why I'm doing my bit! The record is released this week. Welcome back Wylie!

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Classic Rock n' Pop From D.M.G

D.M.G is the name of a new local classic rock n' pop trio who contain some familiar faces.

Guitarist with the band is Dave Markham who is celebrating 25 years in the local music business. Flash Arry, Brix, Chinese Whispers, 91-X, Heartland Express, Ballroom Blitz and Schools Out are just some of the band's Dave has been associated with over the years.

On bass guitar is Grahame Clayton formerly with Bazooka Joe and Crave and the line-up is completed by drummer Kevin Rogers.

Kevin has been a pro drummer since leaving school and has had a varied career on the old Mecca circuit, on cruise ships, with The Nolans, The Piggies, Ballroom Blitz and as part of the resident trio at the Sunnyside Club in Cleethorpes playing pop and jazz standards.

D.M.G have got a number of pub dates lined up for February and can be seen at O'Neil's in Grimsby on Friday the 11th, in Immingham at the De Kyme on Friday the 18th and back in Grimsby at Lloyds on Thursday the 24th.

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A Cowboy's Nightmare Could Be Grimsby Promoters Dream

Grimsby Promoter Larry Pratt is busy trying to fix up European dates for the sensational all girl American country rock band "Cowboy's Nightmare". Larry has recently returned from the Lone Star State USA, where he went to check out the ladies credentials, so to speak!

Larry along with Grimsby photographer Stone, went to see "Cowboys Nightmare" in action at a specially arranged showcase gig for the Grimsby impresario at the Firehouse Saloon in Texas and came away mightily impressed. "There even better then I thought " said Larry, who was presented with a Stetson on stage by the six piece band.

So now it's down to business interesting venues and promoters for a potential 2000 European tour.

You can also check out the band on their website at

http://cowboysnightmare.com

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The Way Are On Tape

Grimsby band "The Way" are still a unit although they are now down to a nucleus of Gareth and Kris on drums, guitars and vocals. At the moment they are recording and jamming, all the usual stuff when your not playing live gigs! Anyway the guys have sent me a tape of pretty much all the original stuff they've committed to tape over the last year. It's a warts n' all recording showcasing the group's brand of indie guitar rock which gives an overall view of "The Way" they are. "Colour In Grey" is to my ears the best tune and with any band it's quality not quantity, so my advice would be to concentrate on getting really good recordings of a couple of tunes. In an act of generosity the band are making the tape available to anyone who wants one, even if you want to tape over it! The contact number is Grimsby 599173 or simply send a stamped addressed envelope to The Way, 19 Wollaston Road, Cleethorpes DN35 8DU.

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Experience Hendrix With Little Wing

A great night for Hendrix fans is in store when "Little Wing " return for what I think is there fourth appearance at Grimsby's Spiders Web on Friday 14th April.

The trio is fronted by Bob Barton on guitar and vocals who was originally a member of 70's rock band " Beckett ", who had a recording deal with "WEA Records" and toured with the likes of Slade and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

Bob's from the gritty north east musical melting pot and has worked with many of the artists from Tyneside including the late Alan Hull from Lindisfarne and Brian Johnson of AC/DC and has toured and recorded with legendary folk guitarist Bert Jansch.

Also in "Little Wing" are Terry Ollis on drums , a founder member of Hawkwind who played on their first two albums. Terry has also had stints with those musical terrorists "The Pink Fairies" and "Deep Fix".

On bass guitar is Yorkshireman Terry Peaker who has toured and recorded with a wide range of artists since the 60's. This includes people like Champion Jack Dupree, The Walker Brothers and even Billy Ocean!

Apart from the sounds the trio also go in for the Experience era look complete with Noel Redding wig! Admission is £5 on the door and it's a case of arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Also worth mentioning is the appearance of "Navarone" on Friday 21st April at the Spiders. Formerly known as "Blast" the popular Grimsby band have relaunched themselves as "Navarone" and have an exciting new eight track CD release which will be available at this their first gig. I'll be reviewing the album "These Are The Times" in depth next week , but in the meantime please make a note in your diaries, it will be a gig worth catching.

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Boots CD Due

"Zoddy Boots" the Cleethorpes based band will have a new CD out shortly which at the moment is called "Lion Beef Steaks". The band are a bit on the wild side and come over a bit like a cross between the "Manic Street Preachers", the "Chilli Peppers" and "U2", all topped with Tim's powerful tonsils. The final product will contain six tracks and I've been listening to "Chameleon Are" and "Faustus Revised" a couple of powerful tracks that carry a wallop! Tim's strong vocals are a feature of the band and there's a hard edge to the rock funk hybrid they play, edge being the right word because the guitar sounds have a touch of the U2s about them. I look forward to hearing the released CD guys. The Boots are also in need of a new drummer and interested musicians with a sense of humour should ring 0794-124-2291 and ask for Tim

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MUSIC COLUMN FOR TUES 21 MARCH 2000

Trade Off

"Trade Off" are a new young Grimsby band on the scene who I first mentioned a few weeks ago. They're now getting out and about and played The Grapes in Sheffield recently, a well known city centre pub which has seen the likes of Def Leppard, ABC and Pulp play there in their early formative years.

The venue only holds 80 people and "Trade Off" performed a well received 50 minute set with Manchester indie rock band "Paris Line" in support. The proof of the pudding is that the band have a return gig planned for May at The Grapes and are hoping to bring "Paris Line" back to the town of fish n'chips.

Folk n' Country At Spilsby

It looks good at the Spilsby Theatre on Saturday March 25th when Strawbs guitarist Brian Willoughby appears with American folk n' country singer Cathryn Craig . Brian has been with British folk rock outfit The Strawbs since 1978 and Cathryn has worked with the likes of the late great Shel Silverstein and Emmylou Harris. An evening of folk meets country is in store and tickets are £6.50 and £5.50 for concessions. The box office number is 01790-752936.

Best Of Luck Dave

Best of luck to Grimsby vocalist Dave Burley and his forthcoming appearance as Bryan Adams on the popular ITV "Stars In Your Eyes" show. Dave who has captured that gritty vocal sound of the Canadian rocker will be performing one of Bryan's earlier hits "The Summer Of 69".

Dave told me about his appearance some months ago when I bumped into him in Woolly's in Grimsby town centre but I had to keep stum about it! This does give me a good opportunity though to dig an old picture from the Jackson archives of "Tragedy" a damn fine mid eighties Grimsby power rock band with melody, featuring one Mr Burley as frontman and singer. These guys were good and they eventually evolved into "Fahrenheit" one of the town's most popular rock bands. Now a full-time singer, fresh faced Dave goes out as Dave Springfield where he's a popular performer on the area's pub and club circuit.

Crawlspace

I said last week that "Crawlspace" are a band that frighten my ears! This four piece Grimsby outfit play "death metal" and originally formed in 94. It's very much GBH of the earholes from the Crawlspacers who's last CD was called "Ignite The Sky". The band have a "play anywhere, anytime, with anyone for petrol money" policy and because of the very nature of their sound I suspect gigs in this area are not that easy to come by. If I find out more I'll tell ya!

Gigs To Note

Country rockers "Wanted" (I can see the group's publicity poster now) have a couple of dates coming up this weekend. The Grimsby band who play a mix of Shania Twain meets The Eagles, are at the Clee Social Club on Saturday March 25th and the following night at the Top Town Club in Grimsby. If you like the kind of stuff Bob Harris plays on his Radio 2 programme then I suspect you'll enjoy "Wanted".

It's a first time appearance at the Spiders Web this Friday for blues rock band "Parkers Alibi" and it's £4.50 on the door. Young blues star "Aynsley Lister" and his band return to the Web on Friday 31st March. It's always sardines when Aynsley's in town so the advice is to arrive early. Admission for this one is £5 on the door.

Following on from my piece last week on "band with no name", well the punk meets pop n'rock outfit have christened themselves "Snatch". They play the Axe and Cleaver in Boston this Saturday but look out for this Grimsby based band coming your way soon.

Motown In Town

The recent TV focus on Motown and soul music via Channel Four's popular "Top Ten" programme has seen Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves and Edwin Starr all giving their views on the legend that is Motown. All three of them are appearing at the Grimsby Auditorium this Friday 24th March performing an evening of Motown's Greatest Hits. Edwin certainly is no stranger to Grimsby having appeared in town on a number of occasions. Grimsby's very own "Rumble Band" would have made a great support group on the night, don't you think?

Do You Fit The Bill?

Scott Gooseman is a man on a mission. Scott was formerly with "Submarine" who have been and gone which is a shame for originality in rock pop and "Uberstuka" who rose from the ashes of that band are also no more. The Grimsby based drummer is continuing his quest to put a top band together with "killer songs". The guitarist position has been filled by Trevor Greenwood but a singer and bass player are needed for a band who are looking to combine punk, revolution and rock with a touch of glam! Call Scott on 242794 if you think you could fit the bill.

Finally.... my e-mail address is " Steve@12bar.freeserve.co.uk ". See you next week!

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Noise Control Suits You

"Controlled Noise" is the title of the new CD from Grimsby punk pop garage band "Luna:suit" and it's a fitting title for the 16 tracks of grunge guitar, bass and drums out now on S.I.D Records, the Chesterfield label.

Recorded at Scunthorpe's Ocean Studio by owner Steve Bird, it's all fast n' furious dock rock stuff in reverse baseball cap mode. Sometimes you think the band have gone all laid back, like the opening to "Mind Of Insecurity" and just as your getting all comfy they launch into those big fast guitar riffs guaranteed to have the plaster dropping off your ceiling!

Million Questions, Candyman, Her Ambiguity, Apology and Politics are just five numbers that highlight the "Luna:suit" wall of sound.

Occasionally they catch you by surprise with a time change and I like "Old Man" for it's effective opening bass line before the guitars go into the trademark overdrive.

Clocking in at just under 35 minutes it's a record that certainly makes you either pay attention or want to turn it down a bit!

You can find out more about Joy, Matt, James and Scott by visiting the band's website @ www.lunasuit.co.uk

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Elvis Back On Tour!

I suppose "Elvis" is the ultimate example of never letting death get in the way of a good career!

Even though he did really die in 1977, for some he's just recently celebrated what would have been his 65th birthday and is in the queue for his bus pass. I'm sure he's already been spotted waiting in line somewhere! In fact, I'm surprised the X-Files haven't run an "Elvis is still alive" episode!

Elvis is also on a millennium tour called "Elvis 2000" which reunites Mr Presley with his former band members live on stage, acompanied by a giant video projection of the King. So what you get is Elvis video footage , stripped of all sound apart from the Elvis vocal chords , projected on a giant screen with all music accompaniment being provided by the live band in a carefully scripted show.

The tour kicks off in the UK at Wembley Arena on March 10th.

Meanwhile Grimsby's very own version of the King, "Barry Hardy" fresh from his recent Elvis birthday event at the Spiders Web is looking to get his own "The King And I " Elvis show up and running shortly! Barry had a band called "Elvis And The Presleys" a year or two back who managed to get the crowds "all shook up" so it's welcome back.

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Dial 999 For Punk Legends

Punk legends "999" are appearing at the Cleethorpes Beachcomber on Monday 7th February.

Their first single "I'm Alive" became a favourite in the London punk clubs in those halcyon days of 1977 and their debut major label album "999" gave the band the start they wanted. Although they were never serious chart contenders, tunes like Feelin Alright With The Crew, Emergency and Homicide have always been hailed as punk classics by aficionados of the music.

Still led by frontman Nick Cash the band have pretty much always remained in action with regular album releases down the years. I suspect if you'd told the guys in 1977 that they'd still be at it 23 years later then I suspect they would have given you a clip around the ear hole for your cheek but even punk rockers have mortgages to pay!

The 1980 "Singles Album" is probably the one CD to own and features all their earliest and most powerful material. The last three years have seen a resurgence of energy and new material and a trio of "999" albums have been released including their latest "Slam".

Also on the same bill are "Lost Boys" and "D-PWA" and advance tickets are a snip at £4. These are available from Solid Entertainments at their Wellowgate office in Grimsby (tel 349222) or from the Cleethorpes Beachcomber.

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Reflections On The Time That Was 99

It's traditionally that time of year when I have a quick reflection on what's been and gone music wise in the last twelve months. Just the title of this column alone has seen quite a sea change in the last fifteen months or so. It was known as "The South Bank Show" for many many years but swapped from it's regular Friday slot to a Tuesday slot as "Let's Go With The Music" and now it's known as "Music and Movies". The content is the same though and I think that's what really matters.

There have been a number of CD releases this year and early off the mark was Grimsby band "Imbalance" with a 13 track offering recorded in Scunthorpe at Birdsong Studios. "Get Ready For The Blues" by "The Paul Gibbard Band" a regular visitor to the Spiders Web, also hit the spot. A special mention also for this area's very own bluesome twosome "Cootie and the Harpman" and their debut CD of Humber Delta favourites "An Hour From The Crossroads Diner".

"Strangeways" the rock band big in Europe and surprisingly based just up the road near Mablethorpe released a "Greatest Bits" compilation which highlighted that big rock landscape sound, a little in the direction of Pink Floyd. The Eddie Baird solo album "Also" recorded at Total Audio studios in Cleethorpes featured a batch of finely crafted tunes and instrumentals from the man who constitutes one third of "Amazing Blondel".

Another Grimsby outfit that caught my ears were "Luna:Suit" and their six track CD "Old Man". I wonder if they had me in mind with that title but the music which was again recorded at Birdsong in Scunthorpe had an energy and vitality about it.

The Blue Dots " Up And Running" CD recorded at Total Audio in Cleethorpes stakes the band's claim as the areas top rockabilly outfit with their fifties sound fine tuned for the nineties.

1999 has been the year of the internet, the most important step forward in music since punk rock arrived in the seventies. It really is the future, why you don't even need record labels, just do it all yourself and as an added bonus you have total artistic control! Bands get yourself a website pronto and promote yourselves world-wide.

There are a whole range of regional sites that have developed for bands, promoters , venues and for people who are just music fans.

"Fizgig" gets my vote as the top site for information but for presentation and layout check out the "Spiders Web" site which isn't just about the Spiders but includes a whole lot more info courtesy of promoter Larry Pratt.

While I'm on the subject of the Web it really is the venue for live bands and artists particularly in the blues rock field. The Woodman is doing something similar in Louth but venues do seem to be in short supply. If you are a music fan, there is no substitute for live sounds!

Despite taking the tablets I'm still unable to pass a record store without going in to have a look! All these sales offers haven't helped my condition or my bank balance. I suppose the answer will eventually be just to download everything over the internet. In the meantime I'm still seeking a cure.

This year also saw two of Grimsby's best original bands hang up their guitars. "Twist" and "Submarine" both showed bags of potential with their original songs and had strong local followings but both bit the dust. The Subs are resurfacing in another guise but the music business is a different beast these days.

With all this writing lark over the years I'd pretty much forgotten about strumming my own guitar . These days you have to be multi-skilled so I went back to strummin', wrote a few songs, became part of "Ploughmens Bunch" a folk meets country n' blues band and even recorded a CD album "In A Field Of Our Own" which contains our greatest hit "Humber Rhumba"! On top of this I also appeared with Fortean Times TV presenter the Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe and again strummed along behind Lionel's distinctive vocal style. Now none of this is going to set the music world alight but I had fun doing it !

Bands come and go but year after year it's clear that "The Rumble Band" are still the areas top attraction and all this even though frontman Dave Ranshaw has now reached the magic fifty! Keep taking the pills Dave.

It's also been a bit of a Byrds year, catching Roger McGuinn's show at Newark and meeting up with him afterwards was a highlight, but this was topped by the visit to Lincolnshire of Gene Parsons and his wife and musical partner Meridian Green. I spent the best part of four days with the couple and Gene who recorded five albums with the Byrds plus a whole lot more is a bit of a musical hero of mine. Having the pair over to my house for a couple of meals and then joining them on stage for a rousing finale of "You Ain't Going Nowhere" at Spilsby Theatre will be a memory that long remains with me. Again this was all organised through the wonders of the Internet from the Jackson residence direct to Casper, California!

I really enjoyed the sound of "The Prowlers" and having heard the tape and then seen the band live, their brand of "cowpunkabilly" is for me!

To finish this week's scribblings, my favourite song of the year was The New Radicals " You Get What You Give " a sentiment I agree with entirely and one you should use for the new millennium in whatever it is you do!

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Jan 2000 At The Spiders

Rock n' blues returns to the Spiders Web in January 2000 with a trio of crowd pleasers booked.

"Connie Lush Blues Shouter" appears at the Grimsby Carr Lane venue on Friday the 14th. Connie supported B.B. King on his 98 UK tour including a date at the Royal Albert Hall and the band capitalised on that appearance by releasing a "Live At The Royal Albert Hall" CD album. I'm sure that one will be on sale at the Web!

Connie is from the "Janis Joplin school of rock vocalists" and completing Blues Shouter are John Lewis on guitar, Terry Harris on bass and drummer Carl Woodwood.

On Friday the 21st, "Little Wing" return with their rescheduled date. This Hendrix trio play homage to Jimi and past experience has shown it slips down a treat. The band also includes original Hawkwind drummer Terry Ollis.

Finishing off January is the gritty Sheffield legend Frank White who appears on Friday the 28th. This quiet man of the blues always draws a good crowd.

Admission for all the above dates is £5 on the door.

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Hey Hey We're The Caged Monkeys!

A new young band on the local Grimsby area scene is the five piece "Caged Monkey" who play a brand of indie raprock with some punk influences.

Collectively the band are Nathan Richmond on lead guitar, Adam Brown on rhythm guitar, Joe Coombs on bass, Dan Barley on drums and Laura Gale on lead vocals.

I've been listening to a three track demo tape of original songs by the group which consists of "Summer", "Bored" and "2000", all of which I suspect will surface on a forthcoming demo CD planned by the fivesome.

With an average age of around 17, "Caged Monkey" have that youthful exuberance that comes with the territory and I know they're still developing as musicians. What I do like is the rap element that makes them stand out from just being another guitar band. On top of that they've got Laura on lead vocals, again another plus point.

The Monkeys have got another dozen original songs in their repertoire but remember it's quality not quantity that counts.

You can see the band in action tomorrow night at the Spiders Web along with "The Void" and "Change" and it's £2 on the door. You can also see "Caged Monkey" at the Beachcomber on Thursday 16th December along with "Evergreen", "Zuma" and "Dune Bug" and that ones £4.50 on the door.

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That's What I Call Good Value

Free CD's with music magazines is a fairly recent phenomenon but look on the shelves in your local newsagents and it's almost like a record shop! Seems that every top music mag these days has the obligatory compilation album glued to it's glossy cover.

Presently over the Christmas period there are about a half dozen music publications all at around the £2.50 mark that come complete with albums. I suppose this emphasises how cheaply compact discs can be produced and at the end of the day the winner is the consumer. I'm not going to single out any particular publications but it adds a new dimension to those of us who use to buy vinyl albums and then have a good read of the album cover and enjoy the artwork!

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A Taylor Made Sound

I may surf the net a fair bit these days but I still enjoy snail mail especially when it's a postcard from the creative guru Mick Taylor. I never quite know fact from fantasy with Mick, his world is one of camper vans, pirate radio stations and adventures of wheel clamping, no doubt all song material from the former Humberston musician now resident in London.

It looks like Mick under his "Cleethorpes Promenade" guise has a new record coming out in the Spring on the "Elephantztrunk" label which features Taylor originals like My Summer Holiday and Driving Up The Coast Road. Some demo tapes will be winging my way soon so I'm looking forward to that.

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Is George On Your Xmas List?

I suppose I fall in the camp that George Michael has lost the plot a little. Seems that the only whammy George wants to give these days is in crooning mode!

"Songs From The Last Century" is the title of his fourth solo album and I suspect it's on plenty of Christmas lists. George plays the arrangements pretty straight with possibly the exception of "Roxanne" where it's been "late night jazzed up" and because of this different touch it's probably the best cut on the album.

What you do get in the main are note for note renditions of standards like "My Baby Just Cares For Me", "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Brother Can You Spare A Dime". It's all a bit like one of those paint by numbers pictures, where's the originality George?

The only number approaching a rock track is "Miss Sarajevo" the U2 song. Couple that with "Roxanne" and you've got a really good CD single! Maybe you should put that on your Christmas list instead!

*******************************************************************Cliff's PR Spin

The whole debate about the Cliff Richard "Millennium Prayer" record has centered pretty much on the quality of the song and it's lack of radio airplay. I'm not getting into that debate but what I do find interesting is that the record has had the might of a public relations company behind it.

Mark Borkowski is a name I certainly know in the PR field and in a way what Max Clifford does for his showbiz clients, Mark does for his music clients!

This in effect means that regardless of the quality of the music, it's down to the promotion and column inches in the press that are generated. Get people talking about a record and the next thing you know is that they're buying it!

It's interesting that Cliff has now officially overtaken both Elvis and the Beatles as the top charting artist in the UK. Millennium Prayer is his 127th single, no wonder he's decided to take a year off!

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Blues on the Menu

Bluesman Ian Siegal slipped down such a treat the last time he appeared at the Granary in Grimsby that this London based performer is returning in February for another "Blues Supper Party".

If you like your blues accompanied by some fine food then this night at the Haven Mill venue in Garth Lane is for you. Ian really is top notch gritty performer at home either in a solo setting or with his band.

Providing the support slot once again is Grimsby's very own Humber Delta blues artist "Dick Appleton". Dick is much more than this because he can put his fingers to a range of styles although I've no idea what he's like in the kitchen!

Numbers for this event are strictly limited to 60 and the advice is to book it now because tables are already going fast. The date to note is Thursday the 24th February and the number to ring is Grimsby 346338.

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Watch This Space, Listen To This Sound

Scunthorpe guitarist John Clay's latest project is called "Watch This Space". John has been around since the early seventies and the man with a penchant for all things Bill Nelson has had a number of links with Grimsby area bands.

Hands up out there those of you who remember names like "Seagull" and "The Six Pistons" from the seventies "The Classics" and "Back Street Romeos" from the early eighties and "Illicit" from the nineties who also featured Andy Wood on vocals. That's not a bad record over three decades and don't forget I'm just talking about band's with a Grimsby connection!

John was also a member of the rock meets folk trio "Terra-pax" who were winners of the 1973/74 Melody Maker Rock Contest which just goes to prove that winning such events can be the kiss of death for a band! I have a confession to make in that I was a participant in that event all those years ago and well remember "Terra-Pax" winning the regional heat at Hull. They were an acoustic all male trio complete with vocalist and bongo player and I seem to recall their violin player wore a long red dress for the grand final which caused quite a stir! It was the early seventies after all.

I appeared with a couple of friends, guitarist Paul Johnson (sadly no longer with us) and Ivan Codd. It was the first time I'd performed before a proper crowd of discerning music fans and I suspect it showed. Certainly no record company executives beat a path to our door following our ten minute set! Grimsby's guitar meister Dick Appleton under the moniker "Moby Dick" also appeared, and I have reminded Dick of his appearance, not sure whether he appreciates it or not!

But back to John Clay who now has a musical partnership with Graham Hibbitt and the pair go under the name "Watch This Space". They've just released a CD of mainly guitar based instrumental music which goes under the title "Enter" and the pair are now also working on a follow up.

John and Graham have also set up a very good website on:

"http://listen.to/watchthisspace" which is definitely worth a browse.

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Imagine Lennon At No 1 For Christmas

John Lennon's classic "Imagine" is being released in time for the Christmas market following a recent poll which placed the song's lyric as the nation's favourite.

Backing the single will be seasonal favourites Happy Xmas (War Is Over) and Give Peace A Chance.

"Imagine" was originally an album track and a No 6 hit single but following John Lennon's death the song took on a whole new significance and was much more successful than ever it was during his lifetime.

It also put an end to the "will the Beatles ever get back together" issue. Now that would have been quite an event for the new century!

Lennon being the first No 1 of the new millennium would also be quite a statement wouldn't it?

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Ploughmens Bunch On CD

Look out for a forthcoming review in the Grimsby Telegraph of the debut CD from the Lincolnshire folk meets blues n'country based band "Ploughmens Bunch".

When I'm not doing my day job or writing this column I have been known to strum a guitar and attempt a tune or two and the end result is I now find I'm in a band and putting my head on the artistic chopping block!

So far we've only made one foray into Grimsby which was a short support slot when former Byrd Gene Parsons and his partner Meridian Green appeared at the Spiders Web in early September. As I was standing at the bar in O'Neill's a couple of weeks back a young lady reminded me I'd made a hash of the words to "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" on that particular night, which means at least someone was paying attention to us. In fact this lady works for a London based record label and I know she hadn't come to see us, but hey that's the music business.

I've had a lot of really positive feedback about the Gene and Meridian gig which I've forwarded to their California base. In fact Gene agreed a deadline with me for the first draft of his autobiography which he's currently writing. This was after I suggested he really should have a date to aim at, so September 2000 is now in the Parson's diary. His is a fascinating story, he grew up in the California desert , his parents were staunch communists, his mother had to go into hiding in 50's America and that's all before you get on to his musical exploits, adventures and inventions.

As for "Ploughmens Bunch" I have been approached about playing some more Grimsby dates and interest in the album which is on sale at our gigs, is growing. It includes original songs like the Humber Rhumba, Mavis Enderby, Even The Best Grow Old and Tractor Blues amongst a mix of original and traditional instrumentals.

I won't be writing the review of the album you'll be pleased to know but do look out for it!

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Tackle This New Sound

With the rugby world cup in full swing and a lot of talk centring around New Zealand's awesome "All Blacks" I'd put it down to good timing that "Oceania" has just been released.

Oceania is what happens when Maori culture, the music and traditions of New Zealand's native people collides with the modern world. So in addition to modern guitars, drums and keyboards you get a range of traditional Maori instruments which sound a little like flutes and trumpets and something called the pahu, which is a drum hollowed from a tree trunk.

Put all this lot in a blender topped off with the Maori vocalist "Hinewehi"and the end result is world music with a danceable edge.

Former "Killing Joke" fans will be intrigued to know that the project has been put together and recorded by Jaz Coleman a cutting edge band that emerged from the heavy punk era. Six years ago Jaz left England for New Zealand to take up the post of composer in residence for the Auckland Philharmonia, an unlikely home for a former punk.

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Uneasy Listening From Fister

Wow, I've just had my eardrums pummelled by the debut album "Phrenum" from "Fister" a London based extreme noise and grindcore band which features on drums Steve Rooney formerly of popular Grimsby rock band "Fahrenheit" during their early nineties phase.

With tracks titles like Apathy In The UK, No Apology, and Save Your Own Life And Disappear, you know this is going to be uneasy listening. These guys make one big noise for a three piece, it's all big wadges of guitar chords, played at the types of tempo and rhythms you'd hear at Scunthorpe steel works, all that's missing is the smell of smoke and the furnaces, maybe Fister should put out a scratch n' sniff version of the CD for the complete effect!

The trio consists of Rooney on drums, Jes on bass guitar and Std on lead shouting and screaming and a thunderous guitar technique.

Actually, there is some light and shade on this album and the sound is held together really tightly and goes off into ambient dub directions and other interesting nooks and crannies which stops it from being predictable. The very nature of this extreme sound is that I know music fans will either love it and get the point of this dark brooding sound or hate it, I don't think there's any in-between.

It's heavy rock meets alternative and the lyrics are of of the explicit nature so I suppose this album should come with a parental guidance sticker. The band also have a website on http://www.fister1.co.uk.

***************************************************************** Polestar Evolve into Redhill

Remember Louth band "Polestar" who managed to build up quite a nice little reputation in the region for their brand of Indie rock? Well the bad news is that the trio are no more but the good news is that from the ashes a new four piece outfit "Redhill" has arisen.

The band contains Matt and Kester who were the vocalist/ guitarist and bassist with "Polestar, alongside Goodge on guitar and vocals and Steve on drums.

"Redhill" are managed by Tribal Management who used to look after "The Wildhearts", which is a good start and the band have organised some county dates which included Grimsby's Wheatsheaf last Saturday and the renowned Axe and Cleaver last night in Boston. More dates are to follow but I don't see any home town Louth gigs for the band so maybe they'll put that right.

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Big Country Back In The Driving Seat

Big Country have just released their first new album in four years "Driving To Damascus" and when the accompanying press handout said that the album reflects leader Stuart Adamson's move to Nashville I began to fear the worst. Far from going all soft that hard Scottish edge is still there and yes Stuart's guitar still has that knack of sounding like bagpipes!

I would call this 8th album from the band a return to form and the fine voice of fellow Scot, Eddie Reader joins Stuart on some of the tunes. The band have also recently been collaborating with former "Kink" Ray Davies and there's a couple of songs on the album that Stuart has co-written with the legendary songwriter. "Perfect World" isn't one of those but it really has a touch of the "You Really Got Me's" about it!

I was probably always more partial to Stuart's previous band "The Skids" but "Big Country" have had much more commercial success selling something like 10 million albums since their start in the early eighties.

"Driving To Damascus" is out on the reactivated "Track" label, formerly home of The Who and The Jimi Hendrix Experience, so there's a lot to live up and what you get here is a mature offering from Big Country, which is worth a listen.

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It's Cowpunkabilly From The Prowlers!

Wow, what a fine bunch of rockin' boppers "The Prowlers" are! I caught the quartet at O'Neills last week and was bowled over by the sheer enthusiasm of the band who play a brand of cowpunkabilly. Cross rockabilly with Hank Williams and throw in the vocal mannerisms of Jerry Lee Lewis and you've got a flavour of what "The Prowlers" are all about.

I suspect the nearest these guys have been to Texas is their local DIY superstore but they've certainly captured the rawness of 50's Americana. If I didn't know they came from deepest Hainton Avenue, then those mock redneck song introductions would certainly fool a few folks from round these here parts!

The music hits the nail on the head good and the guys also have a neat line in haircuts so hats off to their stylist. for Put the whole package together throw in a number of original rockin' tunes and these guys will show you the wild side of life.

Check out songs like Reservation Rock, Prowler Style, Be Bop Baby, Hot Rod King and Mutha Truckers for cowpunkabilly

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November At The Woodman

The Woodman in Louth has a trio of rock n' blues artists lined up for November.

First off on Friday the 12th is the "Frank White Band". I've written about Frank many times over the years and this self effacing Yorkshireman is something of a legend in his home city of Sheffield. Mr White has a gritty blues voice coupled with some fine playing chops which slips down a treat.

On Friday the 19th November the "Skeleton Crew" from Manchester play the Eastgate venue and I know diddly squat about this lot but landlord Dave Kilgour obviously thinks they're good! (see more info Fizgig blues page)

I do know about Connie Lush though and Connie and her band "Blues Shouter" from Liverpool have been to compared to the Janis Joplin school of rock and they play the Woodman on Saturday November 27th.

In view of the artists appearing at the venue, the Woodman comes across a bit like Louth's version of the Spiders Web which means that everyone is in for a good night! If you want to know more then please ring the venue on Louth 01507 - 602100.

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Letter From London

Former Grimsby guitar star Steven Crayne has been in touch from his London base to update me on his activities.

Mr Crayne is currently taking the first performance based popular music degree in the country which is a three year stretch. In addition he has appeared in a couple of club venues playing Hendrix and some blues guitar.

He also said something interesting in that your London based record moguls are looking for that live following in addition to good songs, so bands take note!

I don't know whether we'll see Steven back playing at our local venues because his long term plan is to stay in London once he's finished that degree course.

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Deacon Blue Return

Scottish outfit "Deacon Blue" were one of the leading bands to come out of Scotland in the eighties and early nineties and had a string of UK hit albums and singles.

I suppose their best known song is "Real Gone Kid" but in 1994 the band fronted by Ricky Ross decided to call it a day with their "Greatest Hits" album firmly ensconced in the top 5 placings.

Maybe they felt they were marking time but it always seemed a strange decision to me to quit while at your commercial peak, I would imagine their record company were not best pleased!

In time honoured fashion the band are back with a new album "Walking Back Home" and tour. I say new album but it's a collection of the groups ballads which includes "Love And Regret" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" alongside three new recordings and a trio of older unreleased tracks. A bit of a hotchpotch I suppose and I'm sure a full album of new material won't be long in coming.

The band have resigned to Columbia Records and got the taste to reform when they played a one-off charity show in Glasgow earlier in the year.

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Rock With Balls On!

I've said this before but if your a fan of Bon Scott era "AC/DC " then "Bons Balls" the Scottish rock band are you perfect hard rockin' and hard riffin' night out!

Although on a commercial level the later Brian Johnson line-up has sold more units and play the huge arenas, many people still hanker after the original band in which the late Bon Scott captured the spirit of the Aussie rockers and lived the excesses of life on the road. He also had a great set of sandpapered vocal chords!

Let There Be Rock, Powerage and the classic "Highway To Hell" are just some of the earlier hard rock benchmark albums released by the band who originally formed in 1974.

So back by popular demand are "Bons Balls" who play the Spiders Web in Grimsby on Friday 22nd October. Admission is £5 on the door.

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ROCKABILLY WEEKEND PARTY

The Cleethorpes Beachcomber is staging it's "Second Rockabilly Weekend Party" over four nights from the 18th-22nd November and tickets are on sale now.

I have to confess that the Rip Masters, The Big Six and Space Cadets mean very little to me, but the four day show features boogie, swing, rockabilly, rock n' roll, hillbilly, jive and country rockabilly and I do know that's a lot of billys!

Other bands booked to guarantee you bop till you drop, include The Sundowners, Blue Devils, Crazy Wolves and The Hicksville Bombers who I've mentioned a time or two in recent months (check out their "Prettiest Girl In Town " CD).

Throw in top jocks with names like Rubber Legs Stew, Cave Man Leon and Wild Cat Pete and you know your in for a wild time!

I know it's a few months away but as the promotional blurb goes "don't delay book today". There is a hotline number on (0117) 955 3629, if you want to know more.

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THE BLUE DOTS UP, RUNNING & ROCKING

Grimsby rockabilly outfit "The Blue Dots" have got their feet hard down on the excelerator with the CD release of "Up And Running" an excellent follow up to their debut album "Tired Of Travellin"

Their songwriting talents are again on display with half of the 16 numbers featured being "Blue Dot" originals. The album has already been played by Joe Brown on his BBC Radio 2 programme and it's easy to see why because these guys have nailed that sound!

Recorded at Total Audio Studios in Cleethorpes the record kicks off with the title track which is an instrumental a bit like one of those 60's Ventures surf type things although the image of guitarist Tony Watson on a surf board does conjure up a certain image! Tony handles the bulk of the vocals and the man is in fine form throughout as is his authentic period style guitar playing.

Some really good cover versions in the shape of "Bad To The Bone" which features some wicked slide guitar and "Viva Las Vegas" which is all rockabillied up. Also I've never heard "Mustang Sally" done in the rock n' roll style, which the Blue Dots make their own.

The band are a really tight and well greased unit, Paul Chambers on slap bass and Tim Wheelhouse on drums provide the under the car bonnet muscle and Danny McCourt provides the essential guitar accompaniment to those Watson licks.

Other favourite tracks include "Get Outta My Car" ( these guys have a thing about automobiles), the original instrumental "Misbaz" which would be a fine soundtrack for a car chase scene and "Neckless Of Pearls" which is tailor made for Jerry Lee Lewis.

The CD sleeve is in colour so these guys don't entirely live in a grainy black and white world and the music may hark back to another era but if it's good it's good and that's what counts and let me say this .......it's good!

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PARASITE UPDATE

This years "Kiss Expo 99" event again features an input from Grimsby band "Parasite", well a portion of the band at least!

The event again takes place at JB's in Dudley near Birmingham and headlining are the Kiss tribute band "Dressed To Kill". The special guest spot however features Darren and Danny from "Parasite" performing a 45 minute acoustic set.

Apart from the live music there will be all the usual stalls and competitions and the event runs from 4pm through to 11.30 pm. Admission price is £7 and there is a hotline number on 0121 532 3359 for further information.

Parasite fans from this region can expect to see the band return to the live stage for a possible Halloween show.

Pic enclosed - Danny from Parasite appearing at this years Kiss Expo event

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INTERNET LINCS

Music sites on the internet are a whole new ball game. The amount of information available is just mind boggling and I haven't even touched the surface yet!

I've had a look at the web site of British heavy metal band "Saxon" which includes Grimsby musician Nibbs Carter and frontman and leader Biff Byford from Wainfleet within it's ranks. Information on their recent British and Brazilian tours is there in all it's glory as well as oodles of other stuff and pictures of the band.

"Strangeways" the rock band based at Theddlethorpe near Mablethorpe are huge in Germany and details of all the bands albums are there on the bands homepage.

Lincolnshire songstress "Vikki Clayton" now part of the Fairport Convention extended family has her own site and every lyric written by Bernie Taupin , once of these parts but now an American citizen can be found on the net.

Regular visitors to the area "The Bushburys" also have an excellent choc full of detail web site as do rockin' rodents "The Hamsters" again no strangers to these parts.

So hop on board and get connected but be prepared for a little less sleep each night!

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ISAAC GUILLORY PLUS BAND

Isaac Guillory the renowned folk and blues guitarist is no stranger to these parts, normally appearing as a solo performer but he's returning to the area soon with a band!

The Isaac Guillory Band are appearing at the Spilsby Theatre on Tuesday 19th October and Isaac has chosen four quality musicians to appear alongside.

Drummer Tony Hicks was formerly of the legendary jazz rock trio from Tyneside "Back Door" and has been living in Australia for the past 15 years. Bass player Dave Stuart is head of music studies at Nottingham University and has recorded with countless bands including Clannad and Dream Academy and composed music for TV and film.

Guitarist Tim Stone has his own production company recording acoustic and electric guitar music for underground dance labels. Race Newton on keyboards is a veteran of New York's golden age playing for Kai Winding and Buddy Tate but he now lives in Yorkshire and when he's not playing music he raises goats and keeps bees!

Tickets to see the Isaac Guillory Band in action are £7 with £6 for concessions. Please contact the theatre box office for availability on 01790-752936.

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Advance Notice Of Millennium Date!

I'm on safe ground when I say that I've never plugged a concert that is over a year away but I've been supplied with the details of the Beachcombers "Party Night Of The Century" which takes place on Saturday 31st December 1999 ,so this is the exception to the rule!

Now I suspect that most venues will be well on their way to organising their special "Millennium" events and it looks a bumper night for bands and artists with possibly the mother of all pay days for the musicians involved.

I'll stick to the Beachcomber event for now and as this is a music column I won't be featuring the food on offer but what I can say is that Grimsby's most popular live attraction "The Rumble Band" have been booked to appear , as have "The Moggies" and solo performers "Andy Wood" and "Harry Cambridge".

The event starts at 9 pm and finishes seven hours later at 4 in the morning so some staying power will be needed! Now brace yourself ,because the ticket price is £120 per person and that includes all the entertainment and gourmet food on offer.The Humberston venue is operating a monthly payment scheme to assist ticket buyers and it's worth adding that the evening is strictly limited to just 600 revellers.

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GET CAUGHT IN THE SPIDERS WEB

The September and October dates for the Spiders Web are looking pretty good. For nearly ten years now the Spiders has been putting on some top notch rock and blues bands as well as some quieter acts from time to time!

September kicks off with the former Byrd, Flying Burrito Brother and Stringbender guitar inventor Gene Parsons. Gene appears with his wife Meridian, daughter of famed American folksinger Bob Gibson on Wednesday 1st September. There's also a support band "Ploughmens Bunch" making their Grimsby debut and advance tickets are on sale now priced £6.50 or £7.50 on the door.

Friday the 10th September is also pretty special with the return of the blues wonderkid "Aynsley Lister" and his band. Aynsley is destined for great things and always slips down a treat. Admission is £5 on the door.

American, Eugene "Hideaway" Bridges makes a welcome return on Friday 17th September with his B.B.King influenced blues meets soul guitar and vocal style. The consummate performer, Eugene will make sure you have a good night. The venue was packed last time round for his first visit to the area and advance tickets are £6.

The Paul Gibbard Band are back on the 26th of the month, hot on the heels of their debut album, choc full of Gibbard originals. It's £4on the door.

Moving on to October, on Friday the 1st, blues gunslinger Stevie Zee is back with his trio and on the 9th it's a Quo tribute night with "Status Quid". Remember Yosser and Ape the bass and drums with popular Merseyband "Engine"? Well these guys are part of the "Quid " sound, so pin back your lugholes for all those 12 bar hard rockin' classics. Never mind a quid it's a fiver on the door!

Finishing off October is the rescheduled appearance and Spiders debut for "Slack Alice" on the 15th, followed by the ultimate AC/DC tribute "Bons Balls" on the 22nd, with their paintstripper full throttle rock sound. It's £5 on the door for "Slack Alice" and advance tickets for "Bons Balls are£5. Now there has to be something there for rock n' blues fans, get the dates in those diaries!

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EDDIE'S AMAZING TOO!

Eddie Baird is one third of the Lincolnshire folk rock band "Amazing Blondel" who are something of a legendary name in this neck of the woods with their Lincolnshire connections.

Now the good "Baird" Eddie has had his first solo album out for some time now and it's a quality piece of work. If you've ever sat through an "Amazing Blondel" soundcheck, you know these guys can be a mite fastidious when it comes to the technicalities of sound , but that's because the band strive for perfection.

This same approach applies to Eddie's solo album "Also" which is a quality piece of work. "Also" is very much an outlet for Eddie's alter ego, so don't expect songs about wenches, highwaymen and chastity belts a la the Bondel! What you do get are finely crafted tunes about relationships and matters of the heart all delivered in a classy mix of jazz flavoured guitar chords with occasional blues and classical influences.

Some of the instrumentals like "Cachao" and "Canzone Per Andrew" would make great musical backdrops for TV holiday and gardening programmes! Vocally Eddie reminds me a little of a mix between Phil Collins and David Crosby and I really could hear someone like Mr Collins or Sting or bands like "Simply Red" or "The Lighthouse Family" covering any one of a number of songs from the album, because they have that understated from the heart appeal.

Pick of the bunch are "Love Bite", "This Love", "Over" and "Little Darlin" which is a lovely tune and the most commercial song on the album. It's the sort of pretty tune you'd catch a Rod Stewart or a Joe Cocker or a laid back Eric Clapton singing!

Special mention in despatches for the evocative guitar piece "4.4.82" which must be a significant date for Eddie and is a gentle sweeping soundscape and one of the few numbers with a touch of the Blondels' about it.

Special mention also for Pete Clark on keyboards who also handled production duties with John Paterson and Tony Ilkiw on bass guitar, which makes the album pretty much a drum free zone. The icing on the cake is that the album was recorded at Total Audio Studios in Cleethorpes, and "Also" is a fine advert for the quality of sound that can be produced at the studio which is almost a stones throw from Cleethorpes Beach!

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GREEN BACK WITH THE BLUES

Peter Green's name is legendary amongst blues enthusiasts. After many years away from the scene the former Fleetwood Mac leader has made a remarkable recovery when many thought he would never pick up a guitar again.

Peter Green's Splinter Group have just returned from a very successful tour of France, America and Japan and the band have just released their new album "Destiny Road" which contains the first batch of new material from Mr Green, since his early eighties solo album "Kolors".

The album was co-produced by the band and Pete Brown the famed lyric writer and has a sensitive and relaxed feel to it, so don't expect blistering guitar runs!

The album builds nicely on the success of the 98 album "The Robert Johnson Songbook" which was awarded a prestigious "W.C.Handy Blues Award" by the American institution and is the first time that a UK artist's release has been so honoured.

"Destiny Road" contains 12 tracks with an additional hidden bonus, a surprise rendition of an old Fleetwood Mac classic which is not listed on the sleeve.

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BEST OF THE BEATLES

A couple of years back former Beatle Pete Best appeared at the Cleethorpes Winter Gardens before a fairly sparse audience on a Monday night, playing a range of music from his post Beatles days onwards. Ensconced behind his drumkit , Pete never spoke all night and as he was one of two drummers seemed almost superficial to the proceedings.

Fans who had bought tickets wanted to hear stories of the Hamburg days, his departure from the band and some of that Liverpool wit in-between the songs. It just seemed like a missed opportunity for someone who participated in the early career of a group who changed the course of musical history.

I wrote this at the time and I suspect most other reviewers around the UK were pressing the same buttons and maybe Pete did pay attention because he's now undertaking a speaking tour, where he will be sharing his personal collection of memorabilia, including slides, photos and demo tapes many of which are being given a public airing for the first time.

This event is taking place on Monday 11th October at Gainsborough's Trinity Arts Centre which is only a few miles up the road for Beatle fans for what I reckon will be a very interesting and entertaining night. Tickets are £5 and available from the box office on 01427 810710

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Sub News

Grimsby band "Submarine" are now working with John Reid Enterprises and if that name rings a bell , well Mr Reid was formerly Elton John's manager!

The band have also notched up a Greater London Radio playlisting with their song "The Fireworks Of Mary Magdelane" and have been having talks in London with Nude Records and the Independiente label , both of whom will be receiving performances from the band behind closed doors. The Subs have been down this route before so the foursome are keeping their platform boots firmly on the ground. As experience has shown , it's a dogfight out there!

All this means there are no local dates in the pipeline although a batch of new songs is in the offing , so although the band is not gigging they are still very active. The Subs are also more than keen to keep their Grimsby fanbase and you can now e-mail the guys to keep in touch. The address is "

Scott@Submarine99.Freeserve.co.uk

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ON LINE!

You can send me any band news and gig details for this column via my e-mail address which is :

" steve@12bar.freeserve.co.uk "

Alternatively any correspondence can be sent direct to me at :

60 Washdyke Lane,

Nettleham,

Lincolnshire,

LN2 2PY

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