Can it really be six years since I voted the first volume as my album of
the year? Indeed it is, yet like fine wine or a Sunderland FC trophy the
wait has been more than worthwhile. This is the final chapter of
Darrel's sincere and heartfelt tribute to his (and our) main man. Volume
one ended around the time of the Singin' To My baby album and this
ventures forth into the classic strewn latter part of Eddie's all too
brief shining moment in the spotlight.
This project was recorded at the impressive sounding House of Boz owned
by former Polecat Boz Boorer (who also engineered/twiddled the cocoa
tins the session expertly). UK rock and roll stalwarts the Jets make
another fine cameo appearance on highly impressive backing vocals and
James Compton (from the Elvis musical) tonks the honky. Sax man Al
Nicholls provides el neato storm blowing, Mrs Higham aka Imelda Clabby
songbirds away on Weekend (glad DH now finally
likes this toon a long time personal fav) and good old Les Sticks
Curtis from the mighty Enforcers provides some absolutely stellar (or
should that be Stella Artois??) skin thumping. All Darrel has to provide
is the usual dexterous guitar wizardry, romping rock warbling and husky
balladry plus some fine person management on this excellent team effort.
The few minor negatives first as they are far out weighed by the
positives, not that keen on What'd I Say (which of course EC helped
introduce to this country), to me it has to be a piano man delivering it
as it the late originator Mr Ray or the Killers Sun UK top tenner, even Mr Ann Margaret (nearly) struggled whilst
racing cars round the Nevada Desert. Tastily delivered as Cannonball Rag
is, I felt it out of place within the time frame of the project (though
it did appear on shiny post Volume 1) and personally I pined for say
Sweet Little 16,Money Honey or Boll Weevil Song, but heck it's DH's
project and who is this unworthy scribe to quibble? To leave minor Mr
Meldrew mode (grumpy UK tv old git), not keen on the b&w cover should've
been Snapper Aynsley's inside stage colour shot methinks, or another 19
shots of the stunning Mrs H!!!!!! The notes and
photos are entertaining and illuminating. As for the caption
reading Trevor Cajiao's 21st! shurly shomme mistook, twas Now Dig This'
21st, not the recycled master editor of fanzine royalty, ah well once a
teacher always a teacher.
Every listener will have their own favs n dislikes, that's what opinions
are for. My farthing's worth of gems include Don't Bye, Bye Baby Me
(enjoy this more than EC's), a doorstep sized Jam Sand-Witch, Les'
drumming on a stonking Summat Else, the Jetanaires on Never (tons better
than Shaky's version young Dazza) and R n R Blues in particular. Great
to hear the excellent and under rated (but not by me) I Remember and
Pocketful Of Hearts. The sparkling fun filled romps through My Way,
Nervous Breakdown, Pretty Girl and Teenage Heaven have gladdened this
Welshman's heart as much as Mr Bend It like Beckham's recent penalties.
Top marks to the spiffing combo and lovely arrangements of these and
others where catching the spirit, energy and fun of the originals is far
more satisfying than a genetically modified warts-n-all replica. Dare I
say it, we have a new Dave Edmunds on our hands here.
Showpiece Eddie's Blues thrilled me when I first heard Darren play it
live on stage in Hemsby many moonshines ago, as did the big hits when
Darren toured his Cochran/Vincent tribute theatre show to darkest
Llanelli in the last millenium. The versions here have that golden
Goldstar glow about them. There are other EC songs/related songs dotted
about many of DH's other recordings for other labels, but like Coca Cola
used to swing on Radio Lux 208, “this IS the real thing baby!”
A heartfelt well done to DH and the swingers for remembering the legacy
of the Albert Lea legend with such joi de vivre and panache also to the
usual Rockstar mafia for concluding this project (hopefully Mr Barret is
on the mend). Tip top tickety boo, put this on your wants list ASAP, if
you ain't got the prequel either well you ain't no friend of mine.
“It’s got a great beat and you can dance to it, Oi’ll give it five”
copyright Ms Janice Nicholls Thank Your Lucky Stars tv record reviewer
What a “Liberty!”
ps shouldn't this literary classic and website published by hard working Bill Beard and Hot Rob Humphreys, be
mentioned somewhere on the sleevenotes ala Bear Family and their fanzine
nods on their booklets???