|Between The Polecats, Boz Boorer
Raucous Records, RAUCD 082
Boz Boorer is a legend on the rockabilly scene, among the many bands he has played with are The Polecats, Adam Ant, Boz And The Bozmen, Ronnie Dawson, The Deltas, John's Children, Blubbery Hellbellies, The Shillelagh Sisters, and Jet Black Machine. Boz is also a producer, he produced the Moz/Siouxsie "Interlude" single, as well as songs for Kirsty Maccoll and Jet Black Machine.
Raucous Records has licensed 20 tracks from NV Records and issued them on a new CD titled "Between The Polecats". The album contains many styles and a variety of demo's, live recordings and unissued material. Great collectors stuff for Polecats and Boz Boorer fans and for rockabilly cats in general. The CD inlay contains short comments of The Boz on each track.
The album starts with a song titled "Sasquatch" which was to be the 4th Mercury single for The Polecats, but the label dropped the Polecats all together. It's rather a strange mix of folkmusic and rockabilly with a lot of fiddling. "Mama Rock" is the song that The Frantix usually started their gigs with, and it's fast paced rockabilly music with great guitar instros by Boz and a driving slapping bass. "Save Me A Stool At The Bar", a sad bluesy song, shows pretty well that Boz has also got great vocal capabilities. "Two By Two" is an unreleashed Deltas recording from the "Fleetville To Vgeas" sessions, a Chuck Berry kinda song with additional harmonica. Rockin' Holocaust's "Cry Baby Cry" is very basic rockabilly, vocal, slap and guitar. "Crazy News" is a hot rockabilly demo recording which was later recorded by The Deltas on their "Tuffer Than Tuff" LP.
"When I lay My Burden Down" sounds a bit like an old gospel song to a rockabilly beat and Boz calls it 'Choral Rockabilly'. It's followed by a few hillbilly tracks that did not send any shivers down my spine, but The B-Men's "Well I'm Gone" is another great rockabilly track, recorded live in Germany. Next is an alternate recording of Ronnie Dawson's "You Tore Your Playhouse Down", somewhat slower than the version on his "Rockinitis" CD.
The Deltas "Play With Your Poodle", an out-take from "Tuffer Than Tuff", is listed as a traditional, but it's a cover of Johnny Buckett's song, which was also issued on 45 by Hank 'C' Burnette (MAC 100, 1973). Some more hillbilly in "On And Off Baby", followed by a live rockabilly recording of The Rugcutters titled "Lucky Little Man", one of Boz Boorer's first post-Polecats excursions.
Next are three Boz Boorer tracks from the nineties varying from hillbilly to rockabilly, of which "Well Now Baby" is surely the best with its fast rockabilly slap bass. Of course we all know the fabulous "Red Ready Amber" from the "Polecats Are Go!" LP and here's an alternate recording, taped for "Dress In Dead Man's Suits", but not released. "Killburn Two Step" is another one of Boz Boorer's sidesteps, this time into Cajun, accordion and all. The last track is one more Rockin' Holocaust song "You're My One Desire" of which Boz states: "Another 15 minute wonder, time taken to write, record and mix the song".
Overall I think this is a pretty good overview of Boz Boorer's lesser known work and the album should be interesting for the rockabilly collector, although I personally feel that Boz does a lot better on the rockabilly tracks, hillbilly is not really his cup-of-tea (or mine for that matter).
Boz Boorer's Website: http://www.bozboorer.co.uk/
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2001