hipbone slim & the knee tremblers Ugly Mobile (LP, £12.50)label: Dirty Water Club
This is a band that plays proper rock’n’roll! They take all the influences of original rock’n’roll, rhythm’n’blues, whatever you want to call it, and give it their own unique stamp and energy, with a garage band attitude and enthusiasm. They have somehow captured the true essence of rock’n’roll in a way that very few have been able to do in a very long time. The band is led by the ubiquitous Sir Bald Diddley (aka Hipbone Slim), on guitar and lead vocals, a man who has been described as ‘Britain’s string king’ in reference to his wild and fiery guitar style, influenced by Bo Diddley, Link Wray, Chuck Berry, Dick Dale and the like. He’s also been described as ‘Ricky Nelson gone very wrong’ (with regards to his singing!) which he, and we too, are happy to take as a compliment. Also known for his very precarious stage antics, including the infamous ‘Pea Bug’, which involves much rolling around on the floor during guitar solos! Also a part of this rock’n’roll trio is Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand, one of Britain’s, if not the world’s, finest rock’n’roll drummers. A veteran of such bands as the Milkshakes and Headcoats (as sidekick and comedic foil to Billy Childish), as well as Holly Golightly’s band, the Masonics, and more, he has also worked with the Pretty Things, Downliners Sect, Wreckless Eric, Mungo Jerry and made two albums with Link Wray along the way. Then there’s Gastus Receedus (bass/harmonica), who has played in many a band (Big Wigs, Arousers, Playboys, etc) and worked with many a rock’n’roll legend – Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess, Dale Hawkins, and Don & Dewey to name but a few! Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers have become something of a cult sensation thanks to their previous four albums of accomplished rock’n’roll fundamentalism and regular appearances on Mark Lamarr’s radio shows over the years. (Their collaboration with Mama Rosin received rave reviews in both The Guardian and The Independent.) Harsh critics may single out their unwillingness to deviate from the primitive rhythm’n’blues blueprint as their downfall, but this would be a failure to understand the objective of the group. To put it simply, as already stated, Hipbone Slim & the Knee Tremblers play rock’n’roll music. And they do it better than pretty much anyone else in the UK right now, if not the entire damn world. Tracklisting: Bald Head, Hairy Guitar, Ugly Mobile, Orangutan, One Armed Bandit, Sally Mae, Voodoo Love, Hieroglyphic, Hey Ramona!, Indestructible Love, Why Can’t I Find What I’m Looking For?, Don’t Know Where To Start, Meanwhile, Back in the Jungle, Number One Son, There’s Only One Louie.
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