|Howdy! Diana & The Rockatones|
Skinny Records, SKCD 6920
Diana & The Rockatones play rockabilly music, mainly influenced by well known female artists of the 50s like Barbara Pittman, Janis Martin and The Collins Kids. The band hails from Asturias, in the north of Spain. They started rehearsing in august of 1993. They played gigs around Asturias and at the Festival "Rockin' Pilar 93" with Janis Martin, Glen Glen, Red Hot 'n' Blue, Rusty Steel & Tin Tax, Johnny Fox & The Hunters, and two spanish bands; Eddie Y Los Mutantes And Los Fingertips. Due to musical differences there were several changes in the line-up over the years, but Diana always managed to get a new band together.
In the summer of '94 they played "7th Terciopelo Azul Party" and "The Rockin' Carthagonova Festival" with bands like Peter King Band, Dixie Rock Band, Tiburones, Little Boy Arnold & His Western Oakies, Moondogs and Tupelos. They also gigged at the famous Spanish rock 'n' roll clubs "Savoy" and "King Creole". In september of '95 they played in Barcelona with Duckbills and Ascetics, in february '96 with The Jets and they were also double billed with Carl Perkins in March of 1996.
The last and definitive members are: Diana (lead vocals & drums), Chiri (double bass) and Igor (lead guitar). Skinny Records, a record company from Spain, invited them to record an 10" LP. They first recorded firstly 5 songs and six months later another 5 more. In 1998 they played in the "Festival of Denia" with guest musician Héctor on rhythm guitar. Two songs of the band were released on a Spanish rockabilly compilation titled "Historia Del Rockabilly Nacional Vol. 1".
In 2001 all 10 tracks of the original 10" album were released on CD. It's cool to see that all tracks are self penned originals, there's not one cover on this album. The first song "I've Got A Baby" immediatly showcases Diana's vocal abilities, she has a sparkling young voice and a cute Spanish accent. A cheerfull slap bass rhythm pounders right through to the next track "I'm Twenty". Diana tells the story of how Elvis stole her heart in "R'n'R Stole Your Soul" and, although her Spanish accent gives the songs a refreshing sound, it is sometimes hard to understand the words. "You're So Blind" is a real bopper to cheer up your party and get y'r feet off the floor.
"Tell Me" is a ballad written by a guy named Eddie A., who used was a founding member of the band in 1993. No last names, not in the bio, nor on the CD cover. I guess the band likes to keep things on a first name basis with their fans. "Foolin' Around" is a fast rocker, with a driving bass rhythm and clear lead guitar riffs. Diana throws in a bit of high pitch voice, and that makes all the difference, very nice song. "Dressed To Love" keeps up the boppin' tempo, and "You Can't Change Me", with some blue grass influences and guest musician Beto LaCalle on banjo, takes up a little more speed. Too bad Diana is more difficult to understand when she sings this fast.
"Poison Lips" is one more rockabilly bopper, and the closing song "Drivin'" is somewhat difference from the rest, Diana's voice is scraping a bit, maybe on purpose, maybe worn down from a long recording session. It's a good rockabilly song, but the singing is not a clear as on the other tracks. Anyway, I'm glad Skinny re-issued this album on CD, because I didn't have the original 10" release, and it's worth having in in any rockabilly collection.
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Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2001