The Katmen 'The Katmen Cometh' - Decca

This trio of Darrel Higham, Slim Jim Phantom and Al Gare offer up their take on rock 'n' roll and rockabilly. Higham takes a break from fronting Imelda May's band to join his two comrades on a rock-fuelled take on music that means a lot to them. Higham's stint playing with Jeff Beck may have inspired the opening choice of the Yardbirds' Over Under Sideways Down as the opening track. An unlikely choice maybe, but they pull it off well. Next up they’re on familiar territory with Higham's tribute to the King that fairly flies along and references some of the King's titles on We Need Elvis Back. Higham contributes the majority of the original songs here and he clearly understands the music that inspired him. There are also a trio of songs written by Stray Cat’s pair Slim Jim Phantom and Lee Rocker. 

Every Time I See You It Makes Me Smile has a nice retro feel that is taken at a less frantic pace and uses the backing vocals of Maria O'Reilly and Imelda May to good effect. The Johnny Horton, Tillman Franks and Johnny Mathis co-write I'll Do It Every Time has a classic feel and feels good. This Time It's Real, written by Colin Evans, has an Elvis attitude that is fun and features, as does most of the album, Higham's high class picking. His singing is petty damn good too.

There may be a lot of neo-rockabilly band out there but these guys have the chops and the pedigree to deliver some solid and sonically sound music. It's not going to change your mind if you are not a fan, but it's an enjoyable and energising slice of an era given awell- crafted and cogent workout that does justice to a music that these guys so obviously love. It should be an absolute blast live too.