Sunday, 17 April 2011

13 April 2011 Dr Sketchy Set List

/ An intoxicated and bleary-eyed Jayne Mansfield parties with Mamie van Doren (check out Mamie's outrageously fake wighat). Jayne looks the way I feel /

This might be a bit of a rush job: I fly to Vegas for the annual Easter rockabilly weekender Viva Las Vegas early morning on 20 April and want to blog this set list while it's still fresh in my mind.

I’m the first to admit this night wasn’t one of my better ones: lots of technical glitches to feel anxious about (i.e. with the microphone, the decks themselves, and will I ever work out how the stage lights at The Royal Vauxhall Tavern work?!). Plus the RVT is synonymous with still-agonising romantic disappointment for me (don’t worry, I’ll spare you the details) and as a result I drink one helluva lot more there while DJ’ing, which probably impacts on things. Hopefully the music didn’t come across as too disjointed and erratic.

Musically what I’m really feeling at the moment is moody, atmospheric 1950s heartbreak ballads, the kind with lots of echo on the singer’s voice and ghostly rockabilly guitar: think Eddie Cochran’s "Half Loved", “The Strangeness in Me” by The Runabouts and the eerie “Flower of My Heart” by Sparkle Moore. (I’m kicking myself for not packing “The Fire of Love” by Jody Reynolds – something I’ll rectify next time). "Mess of Blues" is one of my favourite Elvis ballads. “Nobody Knows” by The Earls of Suave packs a boozy sense of regret I can certainly relate to these days.

I wrote recently about my love for the turbulent Turners, but I didn’t realise Ike and Tina ever did a version of “Love Letters” until recently. The song is something of a pop standard, covered by everyone from Elvis, Peggy Lee, Julie London and of course Kitty Lester, whose hushed, gospel-inflected version was used so hauntingly by David Lynch in Blue Velvet. Ike and Tina's rendition couldn't sound less like a typical Ike and Tina number: it opens with a swirl of sugary strings and the Ikettes sound almost angelic, contrasting nicely with the sandpaper rasp of Tina's voice. Her delivery initially starts quite measured but within no time she’s in full roar, tearing the song apart with her bare hands – you’ll never hear a more urgent version of “Love Letters!”

The inimitable Ophelia Bitz was the emcee again this time. This night featured a burlesque performer (Lady Cave, who’s Australian and sports a black patent leather Louise Brooks bob) and the model Tiffany Chin-Sim. For her pose Tiffany wore a spangled belly dancer costume, so needless to say I played Eartha Kitt’s “Uska Dara” and exotica like “Camel Walk” by The Saxons and “Lust” by Les Baxter, featuring the Yma Sumac-like wails, growls and screams of Bas Sheva.

Nobody Knows - The Earls of Suave
The Flower of My Heart - Sparkle Moore
Mess of Blues - Elvis Presley
Reconsider Me - Margaret Lewis
Love Letters - Ike and Tina Turner
Love Oh Love - Little Esther
Two-Timing Loser - Johnny Thunders and Patti Paladin
The Strangeness in Me - The Runabouts
Harbour Lights - Dinah Washington
Sea of Love - The Earls of Suave
Stop and Listen - Mickey and Ludella
Fury's Tune - Billy Fury
Tiger - Sparkle Moore
Half-Loved - Eddie Cochran
Willow Weep for Me - Lizabeth Scott
Ebb Tide - Al Anthony
Solitude - Eartha Kitt
Les Amours Perdue - Serge Gainsbourg
If I Should Lose You - George Shearing
The Thrill is Gone - Chet Baker
I'm Through with Love - Marilyn Monroe
I Almost Lost My Mind - Bill Black Combo
Night Scene - The Rumblers
The Beast - Milt Buckner
Monkey Bird - The Revels
Fever - Nancy Sit
Comin' Home - The Delmonas
No Good Lover - Mickey and Sylvia
Mondo Moodo - The Earls of Suave
Aged & Mellow - Little Esther
Jungle Walk - The Dyna-Sores
Makin' Out - Jody Reynolds
I Wanna See You Dance - Hank Stirrup and Chet Tendon
Gizmo - Jimmy Heaps
Suey - Jayne Mansfield
Baby Doll Mambo - Belmonte and His Afro-American Music
Catwalk - Jack Constanzo
Uska Dara - Eartha Kitt
Camel Walk - The Saxons
Frenzy - The Hindus
Lust - Les Baxter
You Know I'm No Good - Wanda Jackson
That's Why I'm Askin' - Carl Dobkins Jr
Salamander - Mamie van Doren
Wait a Minute, Baby - Esquerita
Snow Surfin' Matador - Jan Davis
Nicotine - The Vikings
Tu veux ou tu veux pas - Brigitte Bardot
Fever - Timi Yuro
Teach Me Tonight - Dinah Washington
Harlem Nocturne - Martin Denny
I Feel So Mmmm - Diana Dors
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - Mallet Men
C'est si Bon - April Stevens
Bachelor's Paradise - Ann-Margret
Crawlin' - The Untouchables
Torture Rock - The Rockin' Belmarx
One Night of Sin - Elvis Presley
Shangri-la - Spike Jones New Band
Beat Girl - Adam Faith (Beat Girl soundtrack)
Like a Baby - Wanda Jackson
Mack the Knife - Hildegard Knef
Jealousy - Billy Fury
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Nina Simone

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