When The Heat toured the UK in 1977 with ex - Feelgood Wilko Johnson, we lived out most of our sleaze and rock 'n' roll fantasies between Liverpool Eric's, Birmingham Barberellas and Aylesbury Friars. We were "asked to leave" top punk club The Roxy after playing rockin' covers like "Little Queenie" and "Let's Dance" and released an eponymous EP. The subsequent Steve Hooker Band single "Keep Dancing" in 1979 topped the Record Mirror "Other Chart" and broke the ice at London venues like The Hope and Anchor.
Photo Fin Costello 1979
The Shakers kept the rock 'n' roll flame burning (almost single handedly) in Southend from 1982 to 1987, toured France fifteen times and stopped off in Switzerland and Luxembourg. Ram Jam Geno Washington befriended us at a Fulham Greyhound gig, we opened Mr Maybelline Chuck Berry's UK shows in 1983, Small Faces Steve Marriott's comeback at Dingwalls Dancehall in 1984 and for New York Dolls Johnny Thunders on his birthday at The Marquee in 1985. We released "hit" single "Temptation Walk", French LP "Really Gone" and "The Missing Link EP".
Photo Jack 1986
It was a rockin' '88 trail blazing with Barracudas Jeremy Gluck, a seven day weekend in Berlin with Tex Mex legend Flaco Jimenez, rockin' ol sputnick with Boz And The Bozmen, workin' on the midnight shift with the "new" Hooker Band and studio time with Wilko Johnson. Maintaining the touring reputation in France opened up new territories in Spain, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland - we notched up thirty European jaunts between 1987 and mid 1995 (and one with Flaco Jimenez in 1988), released "Its All Over Now" (with Wilko Johnson 1988) and "Dress in Deadmen's Suits" (with Boz And The Bozmen 1988).
Photo: Ken Copsey 1988
|Following the example of an early hero Chuck Berry, Rumble was a stripped down unit built to tour. No semi-trucks, lighting rigs or the like, when we hit town with the bass strapped to the roof and the drums in the trunk you knew we'd arrived! Like another rockin' idol Gene Vincent, in the same black leathers night after night we hit the high and low spots of France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Spain, Eire, The USA and The UK on another thirty six trips from 1995 to 1999. We appeared on the soundtrack of "Burning Love" / "Rockabilly Vampire" (the film) and released "Hell For Leather" (10" vinyl 1996) then "Loco Rumble" (cd 1998). |
Photo: Dominik Schunk 1996
Simultaneous to recording with Rumble, there was a sudden call up from Cadillac to help out on guitar for several dates including the 1996 Teddyboy Weekender, then a studio lock-in the following year with Hemsby TV wildman Captain Drugbuster. Touring continued with The St's, Tetsuji and Hiroshi and a revamped Rockin' Trio travelling sixteen times to Finland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Japan into the millennium until 2002. New releases included "The Raid" (with Captain Drugbuster 1997), "Boogie Chal" (cd anthology 2000), "Alligator Boogie" (with the ST's 2001) and "Don't Try To Understand 'Em" (cd 2001).
Photo: Steve O' Connell 2000
Unlike previous albums that document line-up changes "Boptown" (cd anthology 2004) is completed by four tracks from the same krewe who cut the acclaimed "Stagger Lee Is Back" (CD 2006), "Sugar Devil" (vinyl EP 2009), "Before The Rooster Crows" (CD 2010), "Smokin' Guitar" (CD 2013), "Otis Lift Me" (vinyl single 2014) and "Duende Blues" (New CD 2016). We work to a selective agenda that has taken us away sixty five times to France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Japan and The USA. Prestigious London venues, European and UK festivals are booking us (we supported rockabilly star Robert Gordon at The 100 club in 2007) and Gaz's Rockin' Blues is one we always look forward to!
Photo Steve O' Connell 2006