Brian Setzer Rockabilly Riot Vicar St. Dublin 27th July 2011

Still walking the walk, Brian Setzer joins his upright bassist and drummer onstage in his stylish rockabilly threads and they proceed to rock the town with a set of uptempo workouts that see cohorts Noah Levy on drums and Johhny Hatton provide a solid foundation for Setzer to display his undoubted prowess as a guitarist of the highest calibre of Gretch rockin' twang. Songs for that segment of the show included '49 Mercury Blues, Drive Like Lightening, Crash Like Thunder and This Cat's On A Hot Tin Roof. He then slowed things down with Slow Down. They band were also joined by pianist and acoustic guitarist Kevin McKendree who played some fine Jerry Lee style keyboard skills. Setzer understanding of pacing allowed things to build in an organic, if fairly frantic pace. He did a nice segue into a countryish Folsom Prison Blues early into the set. It should also be noted that Setzer is a strong vocalist able to handle the different tempos and styles with ease. The initial rhythm section then left the stage to be replaced by original Stray Cat drummer, singer and all round showman Slim Jim Phantom and a second double bassist Chris D'Rozario. Phantom's kit was a stripped down snare and cymbals set up. The bass drum providing a platform for Slim Jim to stand on rather than being used as an actual rhythm instrument. None the less this partial Stray Cats reunion was much loved by fans and Phantom and Setzer seemed to enjoy playing off each other. Old favourites were played including the theme song Stray Cat Strut. Phantom enthusiastic playing saw the destruction of one snare skin along the way. Johnny Hatton then rejoined the stage and the two double bassist began a slap string showdown and some gymnastic displays with the instruments which then led to Setzer joining them with his own silver sprayed double bass and the trio then worked together in harmony and competition. The Rockabilly Riot tour undoubtably is as much a spectacle of skill and showmanship as it is pure rockabilly. But that doesn't detract from the general audience enjoyment who were obviously delighted to see these guys up on stage together. An extended Fishnet Stockings was soon followed by an encore which included all band members on stage for a fitting. They did and we smiled.