So by tea time I was feeling a bit more like rockin’ it up. Especially as the rain had stopped (albeit everything was very wet) and Si Cranstoun was coming up at about 9 o’ clock. After eating, I replaced my smarter shirt with the Vince Ray one I bought earlier and we went to see Si.
I’ve heard a lot about this guy, both good and bad; some relinquish in the idea that ‘Dynamo’ was in fact his ‘only good song’ but a lot of others have described having fantastic nights out at his shows. I was pleased to finally see the man behind that floor-filling single, and put a face to a name. What struck me instantly was how powerful his voice was; from such a slight man it was pretty impressive! He really knows how to sing and has been doing it for years. There were songs I enjoyed in his performance but generally I began to realise that it wasn’t Si that was the problem but the band behind him. Armed with trumpets and reggae guitar, the ska-element of the backing turned the hairs on the back of my neck up (in a bad way) and although all were excellent musicians, the sound wasn’t really rock and roll. It’s a shame because I’ve listened to his album since, and it’s a lot more like the traditional 1950’s rock and roll with a modern twist. I wouldn’t travel to see him again (unless it was just him or if he had a different band) but would still enjoy his music if he had a set alongside other bands. Part of it was personal taste too; the fusion may be interesting and enjoyable to someone else but personally I really can’t stand ska or reggae music so it just put me off. However kudos to him for writing his own songs; they were just as well written as some of the old rock and roll that’s continuously regurgitated. It was really refreshing to hear new music, and to not know all the songs for a change.
(Thank you wordpress for saving my draft without telling me… internet explorer did that old trick of closing itsself down.)
It seemed like a vast proportion of the day was spent going back to the car to get more snacks; after Si Cranstoun we adhered to this tradition and sat eating doritos while watching people go by. It was a while until the Fret Tones and Jack Rabbit Slim. A group of ladies came by and one decided to have a look around our car even though we remained inside it. The light of the day had now diminished and it was beginning to get dark; combined with the blacked out windows of Barrie’s pimped out PT cruiser it was amusing to realise that said lady had not noticed that people were inside. As she approached the front bumper, squinting at the paintwork in the bad lighting, we flashed the headlights at her. The amusement of ourselves was probably not matched to hers; she didn’t seem too impressed that we made her jump… but then she laughed (after recovering from the shock) and came to chat to us for a bit.
We went inside to the pavilion, to see the Fret Tones. Although the room was filled with violent drunks and The Fret Tones (although we only caught the end of their set) were surprisingly good. The guitarist was incredibly talented and I could have watched him play all night. They really entertained and had a brilliant stage presence. I would definitely go and see them again and would like to get to know a few more of their songs! Their sax player was impressive!
After the Fret Tones it was of course JACK RABBIT SLIM.
My personal favourite.
These were fantastic, as I’d expected; the new album hadn’t been really exciting I didn’t find but live… these guys were absolutely fantastic. Desperately disappointed that I didn’t manage to dance to any of their set – apart from a salsa to ‘Wolf Call,’ but they were really enjoyable. They have that kind of lowdown and dirty blues element and you can’t help but to be swept up in it and love it to bits. This is my favourite genre of rockabilly and I can’t resist it! Fantastic set, and wicked dancing from a couple near us.
Knackered, we went home shortly after they’d finished.
Next year I’m staying all weekend.