Roscoe Chenier – at the Boom Boom Club, London, 10th April 2004
I decided to walk to this venue in Sutton which is three miles from my flat as I seem to be putting on weight now that I’m not working full time. I arrived at Boom Boom at just about the right time as the backing band had just come on stage at 8.50pm.They played two numbers on their own and then on came Roscoe Chenier – a big man dressed in a red suit. He leaned against a stool and started off playing some good Chicago type blues – ‘Raining In My Heart’, the old Slim Harpo number, ‘Every Day I Have The Blues’ and then a very good version of ‘Shake A Hand’ – very good guitar riff on this one.
He moved on to a couple of Fats Domino numbers, ‘Walking To New Orleans’ and ‘Hello Josephine’ and then many of his own recordings. The second set included ‘Flip, Flop And Fly’ and Chuck Berry’s ‘Betty Jean’. He asked if John O’Leary was in the audience, who was, and came up on stage and played harmonica on a couple of songs, one being ‘You Ain’t Nothing But Fine’. John was very good… must check out his band if he plays locally.
Following this, Roscoe sang one of my favourite Rock’n’Roll songs, Little Richard’s ‘Lucille’ and then Fats Domino’s ‘Blueberry Hill’ and several other songs that were new to my ears. Roscoe finished off with Johnny Otis’ ‘Willie And The Hand Jive’ mixed up with ‘Hey Bo Diddley’ which got a few people dancing. That was the end but he came back for an encore with ‘Shake, Rattle And Roll’.
This is the fourth time I have seen Roscoe and I always enjoy his shows; good honest blues with nice, sharp guitar and nothing too showy like some blues artists I’ve seen. They say they are blues but are heavy rock with long guitar solos. After the gig, I walked to the town centre and caught a bus right away, getting home at 11.30pm. It’s nice to have a good venue near home but I wish they had more blues bands instead of all the revival groups.
Little Brian Jessup
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