|Midnight Commotion in Nijmegen, Darrel Higham
This Darrel Higham album "Midnight Commotion" on Foot Tapping Records has a vintage Rockabilly feel throughout. Most tracks are lively and uptempo, but he also performs a couple of ballads very well, for example, "It's All In The Game". Though most of the songs here are 1950s rockabilly and hillbilly numbers, there are a couple of surprises, such as Nancy Sinatra's "Sugar Town", which sounds as if it was sung by Eddie Cochran himself. I've always been amazed bij how well Darrel can perform Eddie's songs. Of course Darrel himself is one of the biggest Eddie Cochran fans around. "Midnight Commotion" will please Darrel's many fans, and is also one for lovers of the vintage 1950s sound.
On Tuesday July 19th 2005, we (The BlackCat & Uncle_B) went to see and hear Darrel perform in Nijmegen, Holland. Although I have all of Darrel's records and have been a fan for a long time, this was actually the first time I saw him perform on stage. And boy was I impressed! Darrel was touring Europe with Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) and Johnny Bowler (Guana Batz) and they put on one heck of a show. Johnny Bowler, who began as the Batz drummer, but later reincarnated as their bass player, was plucking the strings like a wild man, and Stray Cats cofounder Slim Jim Phantom was hitting the skins as if his life depended on it, never missing a beat. With a frontman like Darrel, a magician on the Peavey Rockingham "Gretsch" guitar and a fabulous singer as well, this trio played a show like I haven't seen in a long time.
This gig was in the open air at the festivities of the world famous "4 Days March" in Nijmegen, Holland, and there was quite a large crowd. Not just rockers and rollers, but folks from all musical streams and from all parts of the world. They all enjoyed the show immensely. Rock 'n' Roll is for everyone! You could read from the faces of the bandmembers that they were having a great time as well. Two encores proved this point, and the crowd was really going nuts when the trio played some tremedous renditions of "Gene & Eddie", "Stray Cat Strut" and "Rock This Town". What a night!
Darrel once wrote to me: "Brilliant site, the lyric pages have been of great help to me. Thanks for all the help by putting my new releases up and the link from your site. Hoop to meet you soon, it'll be nice to buy you a beer!".
Well, we finally met, we had a nice chat and a cold beer, and besides being a great musician, Darrel is also a great and very friendly guy. Thanks Darrel for putting the Black Cat sticker on your guitar (or was that just a coincidence :-))
Review & Photographs by The BlackCat, 2005