Monday, 20 April 2015

15 April 2015 Cockabilly DJ Set List

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As promised / threatened on Facebook:

"Drag a comb through your quiff, swallow a fistful of bop pills and rock around the cock – at COCKABILLY! 

COCKABILLY returns to the louche surroundings of The George & Dragon in Shoreditch this Wednesday night (15 April 2015)! Gay greasers, leather boys, cry-babies, prison wives and juvenile delinquents of all ages are welcome at Cockabilly - London’s only regular queer rockabilly night! With DJ Mal Practice and I spinning all your favourite rancid vintage sleaze classicks! FREE admission. 8 - Midnight."

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/ Esquerita (1935-1986) - the human face of Cockabilly /

This post will be another quickie. Much as I want to document the most recent Cockabilly, I got back from my American misadventures on 11 April (I went to the annual Viva Las Vegas rockabilly weekender – first time since 2013 – followed by a few days bar-hopping in decadent New Orleans) and devoting an epic tell-all blog to that soon while the putrid details are still relatively fresh in my addled mind is top priority.

Happily, this was one of the best Cockabilles in ages. I had friends in attendance (Pal and Christopher) and no one behind the bar gestured to Mal and I to turn the volume down once all night. (Trust me – there is no greater buzz kill for a DJ!). It definitely made for a more liberating and raucous atmosphere. (Well, that and copious beer).

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/ "Blacky" as captured by the great homoerotic Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger. Zurich 1962 /

Musically in my tight and succinct hour-long set I whipped together greasy rhythm and blues, frenzied rockabilly white trash rockers, some twisted atomic-era kitsch pop inspired by Kenneth Anger and David Lynch soundtracks (I've Told Every Little Star” unforgettably features in Lynch’s Mulholland Drive), then brought things to a punk-y conclusion. (The Bobby Bare track was my tribute to 1950s horror movie hostess Maila Nurmi (1922 - 2008) - I bought not one but two Vampira t-shirts in Las Vegas!). 

My best new recent discovery (via my friend Kevin in New Orleans) is The Ramonetures, who do tough, twang-y instrumental surf versions of punk songs by The Ramones and X. (The Ramonetures aren't new: their debut Ramones cover album came out in 2000 and their X-related follow-up Johnny Walk Don’t Run Pauline in 2001 – but they’re new to me! And destined to become a staple in my sets). 

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/ Adorable young Etta James - bad girl of rhythm and blues /

Let's Go, Baby - Billy Eldridge
Your Phone's off the Hook - The Ramonetures
Vampira - Bobby Bare
Beat Girl - ZZ en De Maskers
Beat Generation - Mamie Van Doren
Believe What You Say - Ricky Nelson
Killer - Sparkle Moore ("screaming" version)
Woo-hoo - The Rock-A-Teens
Red Hot Car - Bobby Verne
Train to Nowhere - The Champs
The Flirt - Shirley and Lee
Welfare Cheese - Emanuel Laskey
Party Lights - Claudine Clark
What Do You Think I Am? Ike and Tina Turner
Maybe Baby - Esquerita
Rip It Up - Little Richard
Little Darlin' - Masaaki Hirao
I Will Follow Him - Little Peggy March
How Much Love Can One Heart Hold? Joe Perkins and The Rookies
I've Told Every Little Star - Linda Scott
Roll with Me, Henry - Etta James
Hearts Made of Stone - Rudy Gray
Wiped Out - The Escorts
Action Packed - Ronnie Dee
Whistle Bait - The Collins Kids
Rock Around the Clock - The Sex Pistols
Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramonetures
What's Inside a Girl? The Cramps

Further reading:

Read about the sordid antics at previous Cockabillies hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere,  here, hereherehere and here.

Follow me on tumblr for all your retro, kitsch and homoerotic vintage sleaze needs! 


If you like this kind of thing (and who doesn't?): see a treasure trove of sexy 1950s biker imagery redolent of Kenneth Anger's Scorpio Rising or Marlon Brando in The Wild One here. The jeans, biker caps, engineer boots and leather jackets are to die for!