Chaplin’s Cellar Bar, Boscombe, Bournemouth

The Electric Shakes

As the summer sunshine nears its end we enter September in fine style on a balmy night down the Cellar. Two heavyweights are in town to blow the roof off this fine establishment. Rock ‘n’ Roll is the order of the day/night and we don’t leave disappointed.

First up are the interestingly monikered “Blue Carpet Band” from London. Fronted by the outrageously good looking and slender Djamel, they are out to make an impression. For me early impressions aren’t great – I kinda feel I’ve heard it all before. They open unsurprisingly with “Rock n Roll Carpet” and its hard n fast from the outset. “No Cadillac” follows and it’s much the same. This quintet make a big noise but in Djamel they have the ultimate showman. As the song titles get stranger the power becomes greater, yet the vocals are largely unintelligible. “Mental Case” sees Djamel try and bust some moves on the little space that is afforded him, yet when they decide to cover “The Wanderer” the entire performance changes for me.

Djamel introduces the song claiming they’re; “gonna murder it” – which they do! But from here on in they sound clearer, tighter and start to make an impact on me. “I Don’t Wanna Go Home” is next – and why would they when they’re having such a good time, on this their first visit to Bournemouth! “Sonic Reducer” is their next cover and is far better. Their harshness is now replaced with a full-on Dirty RnR assault. “Jumble Dance” seems somewhat appropriate while “Pretty Things” precedes a brilliant snare-driven rendition of The Doors “Break On Through”. Nat’s bass and Luke’s drums are huge as the wall of sound grows louder.

Another highlight is “Another Night in Hell” as they near the end of their set. “Genghis Kahn” precedes their final track “Hangover Cure”, which looking at tonight’s audience seems all too apt. Djamel falls to the floor as the song nears its end and it’s pure theatre. He stays motionless for 30 seconds, momentarily giving this audience something to ponder. Then gets back up on stage to take the plaudits. These guys tonight snatched victory from the jaws of defeat (for me) – I’m glad I stuck around. I’m sure on tonight’s performance they will have garnered a few more fans, while maybe securing a headline slot next time around. Later on in the bar area Djamel acknowledges my Chron Gen T-shirt, which is a bonus!

The Blue Carpet Band
The Blue Carpet Band 12

And so to the headliners. The Electric Shakes need no introduction around these parts, they are local legends. Steve (lead vox/guitar) has once again altered his appearance – tonight it’s the ‘farmer’ look, replete with a fine beard and matching sideburns! Joking aside this is another hometown gig for these guys who have put the work in during the last 12 months. With newer material from their recent LP to play they waste no time in getting started. They open with “Dirty”. Now a couple of years ago when I first encountered them I described them as “Dirty RnR”, their sound these days however is so far removed from that (IMO) – it’s pure Rock n Roll. “The 157” precedes old favourite “Get On Love” which keeps their older fans happy, while “Lightspeed Mother” still sounds fresh. I don’t know if it’s the heat or inebriation but there are some wild moves and shapes being shifted down in the pit.

The second part of their set is largely culled from their debut long player “Electrohypnosis”. Beginning with “The Doctor”; a pacy little number dedicated to Lemmy, followed by “Rats”. Rats is chunkier with a gravelly bass sound running through it. Even Eric (bass) is feeling the heat as he undoes the buttons on his shirt. Strangely Steve (guitar/lead vox) seems comfortable in his shirt and waistcoat pairing, sweat pouring off him. “In The Blood” sees the first bit of self-indulgence tonight both vocally and musically. However, it only adds to the performance.

The Electric Shakes
The Electric Shakes 12345

“Keep It Wild” is a set highlight with powerful cymbal-bashing from “Basha” (drums). Steve strains and twists the vocal while Eric’s middle 8 is impressive. “Shot Me Down” ups the ante and increases the power and speed. With its catchy chorus and sing along ability, it whips those energetic souls down the front into a frenzy. The shimmering guitars in the middle 8 are impressive and allow Steve some vocal breathing space. The pace returns once more and the ending is epic. “Magpie” has the catchiest of choruses while the guitars are great. They end on “Blue Meanie” and the whole place is now rocking. Basha’s drums are huge while Steve’s self-indulgence returns, Eric to his right just gurns away whilst bashing that bass.

A brief departure and quick drink sees them return to the stage for a two song encore. They return with “Volcano” before finally leaving us on “Turn It Over Now”. I have to say I’m finding it hard to fault this band these days. They really have grown into their new sound and deservedly gaining a whole new audience. Confidence comes with a regular show diary and they don’t seem short of shows. There will be a time when the Shakes are too big for a venue this size, so for now we should enjoy them in an intimate setting like this.

The Blue Carpet Band
(in no particular order)
Rock n Roll Carpet
No Cadillac
My Jacket’s Better Than Your Jacket
Mental Case
The Wanderer (cover)
I Don’t Wanna Go Home
Another Night in Hell
Sonic Reducer (cover)
Jumble Dance
Pretty Things
Break on Through (Doors cover)
Genghis Kahn
Hangover Cure

The Electric Shakes
The 157
Get On Love
Lightspeed Mother
The Doctor
In The Blood
Keep It Wild
Shot Me Down
Blue Meanie (Blotto)

Turn It Over Now



Words, Videos and Pictures by Ross A. Ferrone

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