|Rock Till We Drop, Ronnie Nightingale & The Haydocks
Rarity Records C192675
Did you ever try riding a runaway merry go round, spinning at full speed, for fifty minutes? Guaranteed to knock you off your feet! And that's exactly what will happen to you, when you spin this new Ronnie & The Haydocks CD "Rock Till We Drop". A Teddy Boy roller coaster ride from beginning to end, with just a little time to catch your breath on track 9 (I Wish) and 17 (Waiting For My Baby). The Haydocks are definitly the best crazy rhythm band in Holland these days, and possibly even far beyond the Dutch borders as well. This is the sound you will only find on the original Crazy Cavan albums from the late seventies and early eighties, cream of the crops!
On the eve of their 20th anniversary, The Haydocks have issued their first full length CD on the Dutch Rarity Records label. Not at all the style they played in the eighties when the band recorded an LP and several 45s for the Belgium MAC label. This is Teddy Boy rock 'n' roll, as good as it gets. Twenty-two tracks, nineteen of which are self-penned originals. The three remaining tracks are tributes to the founders of the style, Carl Perkins, Crepes 'n' Drapes and Crazy Cavan & The Rhythm Rockers.
Surely you can hear that this gang has been playing rock 'n' roll music for over twenty years. These guys are fantastic musicians and Ronnie's voice is one of the best on the scene. Not to mention the fast rolling basslines of Charles Heyse, king of the electric bass. Completed by the energetic accuracy of Jeroen Van Den Berghs sneering lead guitar and William's hard hitting drums. From the first track onward, you won't be able to stop your feet from bopping all over the place.
The first track "Atmosphere" kicks off real fast and sets the pace for the rockabilly rumble that is to follow, with footstompers like "Rock Till You Drop", "Bop Boogie Bop" and the incredible "Why". Speeding away from the law on "Two Miles Down The Road", or jumping to the ultimate Crazy Cavan rundown "Who's The One" and "Rockin' With Nina". Ian Smith (Crepes 'n' Drapes, Chevrolet, Bonneville) wrote the classic "Boogie Bop Dame" in the late seventies, and it's good te hear it revived in it's full glorie by The Haydocks. Jeroen really goes bananas on the lead breaks. Carl Perkins' "Cat Clothes" is re-arranged to the Teddy Boy rhythm and represents the ultimate tribute to the master of rockabilly music.
An ode to the famous Norway rock 'n' roll club "The Wild Bunch", with explicit Lyndon Needs style guitar riffs, is a song not to be missed. The fast rollin' "Rock & Roll Man" is certainly my kinda man and "Teddy Boy Rock 'n' Roll" reminds of the early Teencats (Norway) sound. "Night After Night" slows down the pace just a little bit, until you get tugged off the ground again by a spinning "Tornado". "Party Time" shows how good Ronnie's voice really is, screaming his heart out without a flaw. The country influenced "Hang Around No More" is followed by another stomper "Serious Trouble" and the tribute to Cavan Grogan and his Rhythm Rockers is a classic titled "Bop Pretty Baby". The last track is also the only instrumental song on this album, with it's roots in British rock 'n' roll, Hank Marvin style with a crazy rhythm beat.
If you're a Teddy Boy, a rockabilly, or a rocker, there's no way that you can NOT like this album. The five stars are well deserved. Hell, I would give these guys ten stars without hesitating, I just can't stop playing it again and again, and I will surely continue rocking it till I drop! And don't forget to catch these guys live on stage whenever you get the chance, because, believe it or not, they're even better in front of a crowd!
Reviewed by The BlackCat, 2002