& Heard - CD Review
Taken From Issue 225 - March 2016
There are currently several people who write regular reviews for the magazine;
but unbiased reviews from other individuals are always welcome.
C D Review
Stargazers: Carry On Jiving
Tone Records RTRLP 1
By Trevor Noddles, Thrapston Northants.
Go, 2. The Wedding Band, 3. Play My Game, 4. Little 'Ol House
Of Rock, 5. Free Tonight, 6. Boo Hoo Hoo, 7. Keep Cool & Carry
On, 8. You Bring Out The Poet In Me, 9. Phantom Frolic, 10. The
Wonderful Thing About Rock 'n' Roll, 11. Haunted House, 12. Louise,
13. Love, Love, Love.
a breath of fresh air. I've heard many bands, and musicians either
play, or attempt to play jive music, but the Stargazers are one
of the best at their craft. The CD, Carry On Jiving recorded in
2017 at Skinny Farm and Gizzard Studios, encapsulates a similar
flavour to that promoted by the Comets, the Jodimars, Freddie
Bell & The Bell Boys from the USA plus Tony Crombie from the UK
during the early fifties. The recordings are also on a par with
the 50's sounds.The
theme of the disc follows seemingly as a sequel to the series
of the legendary British Carry On films. There's also some tongue
in cheek liner notes from Sid Fiddler, the band's entertainment
manager. The front, (dummy cover) depicts facial characters of
the band members, and what appears to be actors from the Carry
On Team including a police officer, the Queen and a guardsman
all jiving. Everyone appears to be having fun and enjoying themselves.
back in time to the early 80's, nearer 40 than 30 years ago, I
recall the Stargazers, setting out on their musical career, and
being bloody good at what they did, although the current line-up
has a few fresh faces. Since their inception, only the vocalist,
and the guitarist remain. Tim 'Trundle' Purkess (double bass)
joined in the mid-late 80's. I'm reliably informed his first recording
with the Stargazers was on their second album, Back In Orbit released
on Ace Records. Ricky Lee Braun, the original drummer left about
1991. John Wallace the early saxophonist left several times over
the years to play with The Jo Boxers and Heavy Shift, finally
departing in 2005. I'd seen John several years ago with the Midlands
based Jive Romeros. The current drummer joined around 2007, the
saxophonist soon afterwards and the piano player has been with
the band for 6 years. All current members have worked together
to create Carry On Jiving. Despite
the changes in personnel over the years, the Stargazers still
hold the same esteem in my book. Their career has seen them support
and work with household names from the music industry in the UK,
Europe, Japan and the USA.
included on the CD are as follows; Peter Davenport, described
as the 'Twanger' the guitarist responsible for writing or having
co-written several of the numbers. Danny Brittain, the 'Crooner'
no prizes for guessing, he's the lead singer. Jim Russell, the
'Tub Thumper' the drummer and writer of at least two tracks. Aaron
Liddard, the 'Honker' saxophone player, plays both tenor, & baritone
saxes, yet another composer. Jamie Rowan, the 'Ivory Tinkler'
the pianist who wrote 'Free Tonight'. Matt Radford, the 'Bottom
Ender' double bass player and Tim Purkess, the 'Other-Ender' a
bass player on some of the tracks who also mixed some of them.
All the tracks are originals, having noted that the band members
had a hand in writing them, I couldn't wait to listen to what
was in store. The thirteen tracks include; 'Let's Go' which starts
off proceedings with a Tony Crombie style drum roll. This is followed
by a vicious tenor saxophone, then clever guitar work, well before
the vocals interject.
Wedding Band', slower tempo and layered saxes to a more 'New Orleans'
style of rhythm. 'Play My Game' with a big brass introduction
features some modern 21st century lyrics referencing e-mails and
the like. 'Little Ol' House Of Rock' sounds as it could have been
recorded by the Comets, or the Jodimars. 'Free Tonight' has a
rolling blues piano introduction followed by layered tenor saxophones
that could have originated from the 40's or the 50's but with
a far cleaner recording sound. 'Boo Hoo Hoo' is a track I could
have imagined Freddie Bell & The Bell Boys recording during the
50's. 'Keep Cool & Carry On' has a great Tom-Tom drum opening
roll, before the sax comes in, styled very much in a light Louis
Prima mould. 'You Bring Out The Poet In Me' is a big band sound
from a relatively small line-up.
Frolic' is an instrumental inspired by Henry Mancini with brass
arrangements and sax lead by Aaron. It has the other instruments
following behind and includes some unusual work by Jamie Rowan
on the organ. 'The Wonderful Thing About Rock 'n' Roll' is a medium
tempo number that has inspirations from either side of the Atlantic
with a very bluesy guitar style. 'Haunted House' and what a Rocker!
A far cry from the track recorded in Memphis with the same name
by Gene Simmonds on Hi Records. This one includes some big supporting
vocals with the moaning vocal sound created using a melotron.
The penultimate song, 'Louise' I was expecting a ballad but far
from it, it's a good medium tempo Rocker referencing the ladies
name. The final track, 'Love, Love, Love' has a rolling drum opener,
closely followed by the tenor, then unison vocals coming in prior
to the lead singer taking hold of the mantle.
would I sum up this CD? Easy, possibly the best Rock 'n' Roll
recordings I've heard in eons. Promoters, especially jive venues
look 'em up and book 'em, you'll not be disappointed. Many thanks
to the Stargazers for supplying me with the history of the band
and more finite information of the recordings.
ooO - - 00000 - - Ooo