Monday 11 March 2013

Lee Rocker

Lee Rocker
London Bass Guitar Show
Olympia, London

I'd waited a long time to see Lee Rocker. I came close back in 2008 but the Stray Cats farewell show in Manchester was cancelled at the last minute. I did get to see two Stray Cats at Brian Setzer's 2011 Rockabilly Riot and I've been watching out for a UK visit by the third Cat ever since.

I was therefore delighted to see that the London Bass Guitar Show had pulled off an admirable coup in adding the rockabilly hero to their weekend. I booked a ticket immediately.

The Stage Is Set
Once the trio took to the stage, there was a very quick word from Lee, who said he was ''happy to be here at the big show and especially to be back in London, where it all began for me.'' Then, after checking, ''you boys ready?'' it was straight into an electrifying rendition of Bulletproof - a great opener.

Slap That Bass!
The heavyweight numbers didn't let up; next, it was a storming Stray Cat Strut - complete with extended bass solo, naturally - and that was followed by a fabulous set of classics.

Given the festival nature of the weekend, the set was relatively short (45 minutes) but that didn't reduce the excitement or enjoyment.

Buzz Campbell, who has been working with Lee for nearly a whole decade, showed his class for every one of those 45 minutes, firing red hot licks from his trusty Gretsch with great aplomb. His solos were fantastic. (Incidentally, make sure you check out Buzz's own rockabilly CD, Shivers and Shakes. You won't be disappointed.)

The trio was completed by rockabilly drummer Les Curtis, who was nearly always hidden from my line of vision by Lee's big bass!

''Man, this is fun!'' exclaimed Lee, halfway through the set. He was right!

Set List

Stray Cat Strut
Fishnet Stockings
Built For Speed
That's All Right/Blue Moon Of Kentucky
Drink That Bottle Down
Miracle In Memphis
Rock This Town

There was even the opportunity for a post-show chat with Lee and Buzz. Both were very friendly and approachable.

Keep up to date with all things Rocker here.

For details of Buzz's solo work, head to his website.

For my report on the rest of the day, please see this earlier post.

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