The Jack O'Bones live at the SYDNI CentreReview
It's been a while since I'd seen, or reported on, the Jack O'Bones (apart from all the issues we all know about, the band are so in demand in Europe that they are often busy playing abroad) but thankfully I caught up with them at a Classic Car event at Leamington's SYDNI Centre this afternoon.
The weather (hopefully it was the same for you) was sweltering but I'm pleased to say that the well organised event (though I wish they'd advertised stage times) had provided the band with shelter: but even so psychobilly requires much physical exertion from its players & I was most impressed by the people in vintage rock & roll clothing dancing in the heat. It was also good to bump into this magazine's co-founder Paul Englefield helping make sure everything worked smoothly at the event.
Talking of physical effects, since I'd last seen them, founder, double bass player & lead singer Paul Harwood had relinquished his instrument to Wes Stanton: as a warning to all of you thinking of taking up psychobilly bass: if you play it as long as Paul has, it really doesn't do your hands a lot of good….
It's impossible to think of anyone more suited to taking over than Wes, though I'm sure he'll find the pace of songs a bit more frantic than those of The Folly Brothers or The Old Flames….
I've had a few things to say about sound quality in recent weeks: both praise and concern. This is never easy outdoors & the style of music must have doubled the challenges today, so hats off to Matt Waddell for the impeccable sound he created while also playing impeccable guitar.
The band adapted nicely to the circumstances, popping in some more conventional rock & roll tunes like "Ubangi Stomp" amidst their originals & toning down the odd lyric in the latter.
We don't have too many local artists with as substantial an overseas fanbase as Jack O'Bones, so it was good to catch up with them while playing in the area.
One other occasion on which you can see them locally is at their annual "Psycho Santa" charity event at the Altoria in Leamington. Sadly it will be the last of these, though the good news is that the huge number of artists wishing to play has entailed expansion into a three day weekender event over the first three days of December. https://www.facebook.com/letitsnow2018 is probably the best place to look in terms of seeing when tickets go on sale (prices will be Friday Night £8, Saturday £12, Sunday £12 and Weekend ticket £25).