Monthly Archives: May 2014

TJ and the Suitcase .Duck and Drake. 24.5.2014

A few weeks ago, we noticed in the Duck and Drake that The Mustangs were due to play on the 24th, so it duly went on the calendar. They had put in a good spot at the Butlin’s Rock n Blues weekend in January (see earlier review) and I also checked it was the ‘same’ Mustangs on their web-site. It seemed strange that these  stalwarts of the R&B/Blues circuit would be playing at the D&D but seemingly they were playing at lunchtime in Hebden Bridge , so it sort of made sense.

However, when we arrived the stage looked very empty, and it appeared that they phoned at 4.00 pm to cancel. No comment on their website, I will try to get further information though.  So, we were there anyway, and TJ Norton had been hired as a replacement.  Under the guise of TJ and the Suitcase, he arrived and set up. The afore-mentioned suitcase was 50% of the percussion section (via his right foot) and a tambourine occupied his left foot.   I missed the introduction as I was in the little boys’ room, but came out as he was talking about Billy Boy Arnold’s ‘I wish you would’ and how the Groundhogs covered it. I always think of it as being the Yardbirds first single though.   TJ was soon multi-tasking with vocals, harmonica and his percussion set-up, and we quickly appreciated that it had been a wise decision to hang around.   ‘Ain’t your train’ was a good original number , and Sonny Boy Williamson’s ‘Help Me’  (the second SBW, by the way, not the earlier blues man) was well-received.  The ubiquitous ‘Got my mojo working’ got some good crowd response, drawing the first 40-ish minute set to a close.

Sadly, the last bus home was due so we had to leave. TJ gave us plenty of tales about being on the road in the US and if the second set was as good as the first, then the name ‘Mustangs’ would have quickly faded from memory.  Well worth checking out and it’s always a bonus if ‘the turn’ is pleasant to talk to.
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Graham Gouldman. ‘Heart Full of Songs’. Brudenell Social Club. 14.5.2014

This gallery contains 5 photos.

It’s the 60s, in England, and Lennon/McCartney are the tops regarding songwriters. Jagger/Richards soon latched onto the £sd involved and Pete Townshend and R ay Davies were soon writing classics for their respective groups. But someone who wasn’t on the … Continue reading

Mad Jack and the Hatters. The Lion, Castleford. 3.5.2014

The best pub in ‘Cas Vegas’, but if you want piped music, real ale and comfy chairs don’t come here!  A real ‘spit and sawdust’ place, with live music every weekend.  There can’t have been many weekends in the Lion when we haven’t heard ‘Whole lotta Rosie’, ‘Boys are back in town’ and ‘All Right Bloody Now’, so it definitely can’t be labelled as the Rockabilly capital of West Yorkshire!  But read on…

I saw this lot a while ago in the Lion, so was excited when I saw their name outside again. They came on at 9.00-ish, a 3 piece featuring a diminutive young lady hitting a cymbal and snare while standing on a beer crate. Seemingly, this was her first gig on percussion, deputising for the regular percussionist.  However, I am sure she played stand-up bass last time.  ‘Jack’ treated us to manic versions of ‘Baby please don’t go’ and ‘Honey Don’t’ . Things slowed down slightly for ‘Stray Cat Strut’, and the young lady took up the bass to give us some Blondie and ‘Jolene’. A great version of ‘Rock around the Clock, ‘Long Tall Sally’ and the first set was done.

The break between sets was just a bit too long though, about 40 minutes, and they came back with ‘Rolling and Tumbling’. Some more changing of instruments, and ‘These boots are made for walking’ was our final number as we had to head off for the last bus home.

I was surprised by how many were in the pub, the group are obviously popular. I had overheard one of the Lion ‘regular’ Billy Nomates announce to no one in particular that he ‘wouldn’t be stopping long for this’. It was heartbreaking to see him slump off with his Metallica T-shirt firmly in place around his bloated midriff, of course.

A real breath of fresh air for the Lion. Mad Jack and co are really, really good, try and get to see them.