Sunday, 1 April 2012

Rachel Lyn Harrington and The Knock Outs at The Cleveland Bay

Rachel Lyn Harrington and The Knock Outs
The Cleveland Bay, Eaglescliffe

The big night had arrived! Rachel and her new band the Knock Outs were finally at The Cleveland Bay, ready to rock and ready to roll. The full story of how the event was created will follow later, but right now it's time to tell a little about the actual evening.

Sara Dennis was an excellent choice for the support act. A review of her performance will follow soon.

The lounge of The Cleveland Bay is small and cannot comfortably hold many people. However, far from being a problem, the intimacy of the evening was precisely the effect I was aiming for.

As the lights dimmed and the Knock Outs plugged in, a hush descended and their was an air of expectation and excitement. The evening had promised to be unforgettable - and so it proved.

Rachel and her band - united by a ' of old school honky-tonk and country music', launched straight into the opening track of the new CD, Making Our House a Honky Tonk. If the audience hadn't already been hooked, they certainly were by the end of the first number.

We took a lot of photographs but for this review we have something a little different. Peter Rafferty, music fan and manager of The Cleveland Bay, recorded the evening for posterity and I am very grateful for his help and footage. (More of Peter's excellent videos can be seen on his YouTube channel.)

Little anecdotes interspersed the songs. There was plenty to talk about as they had been on tour since the very beginning of March. In that time, they had sunned themselves on a beach in Brighton, played at various venues in Holland and Belgium (including an unlikely Belgian cowboy bar, featuring an 'ex-convict with a lovely assortment of tattoo work' – self inked! and interesting dances which were '..a little scary and a little dangerous') and even visited the 'historic market town' of Wrexham.

Some songs had amusing preludes, such as Wedding Ring Vacation:
'A special song I wrote for someone very close to me, who I now know as my ex-husband – this is one for the ladies out there'

The songs were a very pleasant of mix of those from the new CD, some covers and classics from Rachel's back catalogue.

There were various comments concerning life on the road. Band politics hadn't taken hold; in fact, being in a tour van with the Knock Outs meant that the van '...smells a lot better than a van I’d be touring in if I was touring with a bunch of dudes - this is way better; they’re cuter and they don’t smell as much.'

The set list was presented in two halves. A break in the middle resulted in a busy time at the merchandise stall, made personal by the appearance of the stars for signing sessions.

Set List

Part 1

Making Our House a Honky Tonk
It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels
You’ll Do
Moonshine Boy
Shoeless Joe
Little Pink
I’ll Show You Mine
Wedding Ring Vacation
Nothing To Do But You

Part 2

Goodbye Amsterdam (Rachel solo)
They Started Building My Mansion in Heaven (Rachel solo)
Going Up The Country (Moe on harmonica)
As long As I Got Mine
Fist City (Amy on vocals)
Never was a Bank (Moe on vocals)
I’d Like To Take This Chance
Hippy In The House
He’s My Man

A lot of photos will follow from this remarkable evening. Meanwhile, here's another video for your enjoyment.

For further details, please visit our event page.

All videos in this post are © Peter Rafferty

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