Friday, 16 August 2013

Rock Around the Clock - Music in the Square - 10 August 2013

Rock Around the Clock were something of a contrast with the days` other act, The World Groove Orchestra.

RATC, as we shall call them, play rock `n` roll. Often when musicians make this claim, what they actually deliver is pub rock, punk rock, heavy rock or some other variety of rock, but not often actual rock `n` roll. To their great credit, RATC do exactly what they claim to do, they play rock `n` roll.

Their set opened with a cover of Shake, Rattle and Roll, presumably inspired by the Bill Haley and the Comets version as it had different lyrics to the Big Joe Turner original. Still, it was a pretty creditable introduction to the band, though it faded into insignificance compared to their next tune, which I think was called Everybody Rock.

That pretty much set the tone for their set, which mostly comprised of covers of `50s r `n` r tunes. A purist might bemoan the inclusion of lightweight numbers like See You Later, Alligator or the fact that more obscure `50s tunes were noticeable by their absence. I myself was not concerned by those things at all (though I wouldn`t have minded a couple of Johnny Carroll tunes !).

At the end of the day, there`s not too much to say. They do not perform slavish copies of the tunes they cover, but they do perform them with an authentic feel and maybe that`s more important. They don`t mind taking on a challenge, as illustrated by their version of Mystery Train, a song which often defeats bands who give it a whirl. I`m not suggesting the RATC version was comparable with either Junior Parkers` original or Elvis` cover, but it was pretty solid.

There came a point where the bassist swapped his stand-up bass for an electric one and they did four sixties tunes. For me personally, I wasn`t wild about their choices, but there again I am probably the only person in the whole world who dislikes Please, Mr Postman, so my opinion in these matters may not be all that important.  I did like their version of Twist and Shout, but not as much as I liked their version of a `60s surf guitar tune (Wipe Out if I remember correctly) which came later in the set.

Most of the members of this band are young (one has only just left school), but to my mind they could appear on a bill with more seasoned local rock `n` rollers like The Memphis Riders without any problem at all.

On the web ;

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