Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Jets live at Jolly Beggars, Coventry

The Jets live at Jolly Beggars, Coventry
25th April 2009

Now Coventry ain’t exactly on my doorstep, in fact it’s three and a half hours drive, but that’s what you get for living like Bobby Charles. This trip was planned for my niece Kelly Ann who like all good girls has developed a little soft spot for some rockabilly. She was going to see the ill-fated Stray Cats show Manchester last September, until Slim Jim did the kamikaze stunt the night before. So who better for her to see as her first rockabilly show than the Jets. I’ve seen them probably a dozen times so I knew she wouldn’t be disappointed. So, me and the misses and my sister and niece spent a lovely sunny day before hand in Stratford, where we got to help celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, along with some totally strange Morris dancers.

The venue in the heart of downtown Coventry is ideal for this type of concert, a long dance-floor and a raised stage with seating all around. The DJ, whose name escapes me did an excellent job of working the crowd up, playing a well thought out set that went through the early days before closing with a couple of recent numbers from the likes of Go Cat Go, Darrel Higham and Bill Crittenden. He also did a few requests, including Billy Fury’s Gonna Type A Letter for my three gals. Him and his misses could cut a rug as well.

I hadn’t seen the Jets since they’ve suffered their health problems, but as soon as they started playing it was obvious that their music hasn’t suffered. They play pretty much anything from the classics to the obscure and their own originals to covers. They have their own unique sound which combines the standard three-piece rockabilly format with exquisite harmony vocals. Highlights of their set would have to include Razor Alley, Love Makes The World Go Around (a request) and an accappella version of Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight. Early in the set they did a great stroller version of Buddy’s That’ll Be The Day which blew me away. Stare, Stare, Stare and Bony Maronie were both excellent but next to That'll Be The Day I would have to say that my favourite was Little Orphan Girl. They encored with Andy Starr’s Dig Them Squeaky Shoes, rounding out of night of rockabilly meets doo-wop in the finest Jets tradition.

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