Saturday, 18 August 2012

60s R Us - Beeston Summer in the square 18 August 2012

It`s Saturday, it`s August and it`s time to head for Beeston for another bout of free live music.

As the name suggests, 60s R Us promote themselves as a `60s covers band. If you want to get pedantic about it, actually they`re a mid `50s - early `70s covers band and therein lies there great strength.

They perform no original material. They are capable musicians adept at vocal harmonies but they are not likely to attempt unusual arrangements or cover anything too obscure - there are no northern soul `b` sides or tunes by almost-forgotten rockabilly acts of the past among their material.

What sets them apart from others is their willingness to tackle songs that other bands, with some justification, would find too daunting. Thus we find covers of Reflections of my Life (Marmalade) ,  Stuck in the Middle With You (Stealer`s Wheel), Meet Me On The Corner (Lindisfarne) and Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival) among the more predictable Beatles, Monkees, Small Faces and Elvis covers. Other surprises, though possibly less challenging, included a version of Marc Bolan`s Jitterbug Boogie ! 

Another band might have stumbled along the way attempting what is, in it`s own way, quite an adventurous set, but 60s R Us were convincing throughout. They never came across like a variety act and pretty much the only song that I thought didn`t suit them too well was a cover of the Rolling Stones` Honky Tonk Women. That`s really very impressive given the range of material they attempt and the fact that they played for around two hours in total.

At the end of the day, they cover guitar-based pop/rock/rock `n` roll of the past. They obviously love it, it`s what they do and they do it well. If you`re going to see a covers band, this is the one to see. 

Footnote - I have a particular ability to mis-hear lyrics, which causes my friends much amusement. For years I belived Be Bop Deluxe sang about "Having a ball with the men in velour" on their song Beauty Secrets ( it`s actually "...  the men of the law"). I`m guessing therefore that when 60s R Us did a `50s medley including Return to Sender and It`s All or Nothing, one of the tunes wasn`t actually called Hey, Little Robot Girl which is what it sounded like to me. If anyone knows what it really was, I`d be interested to know. Maybe I should write a song with that title !


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