The fourth 100 Club gig to celebrate the seminal role of London's 2Is coffee bar in the early days of British rock and roll was undoubtedly the best yet. Organiser Keith Woods - he of Tales From The Woods - managed to book acts from as far afield as Germany and Lousiana this time around, and the result was an evening of music that far exceeded previous gigs in terms of quality. What's more, the gig attracted a fair sized crowd, so hopefully Keith will have at least covered his costs.
Topping the bill, and rightly so, was the 'Incredible' Roy Young, whose excellent boogie woogie piano playing has earned him a decent living in the US for the last 30 years. He blasted his way through a selection of Little Richard, Fats Domino and Larry Williams numbers, plus his own composition Big Fat Mama from 1959 - named, apparently, after his mother. As well as being a solo performer Roy was also a former member of Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers and made his name in Hamburg, where he backed a who's who of rock and roll, including Ray Charles, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Gene Vincent, Bill Haley and Jerry Lee Lewis - and the Beatles.
Playing a mean saxophone with Roy Young was Howie Casey, also a veteran of the Hamburg scene. Howie led one of the first Liverpool bands The Seniors and also played with Kingsize Taylor and the Dominos.
Making a guest appearance with Roy Young was the ever popular Chas Hodges, of Chas and Dave.
Margaret Lewis was the undoubted star of the second 2Is show and she made a return appearance - all the way from Shreveport, Louisiana - for this the fourth show. Once again this dimunitive lady made a big impression with a series of rockabilly numbers, including Good Rockin' Tonight and her own Shake A leg, plus her big hit Reconsider Me. Margaret sounds just as good as ever and added a welcome piece of US authenticity in this otherwise UK-centric show.
Strangest act of the night was Tony Sheridan, once associated with The Beatles in their Hamburg days. His set was an odd mixture of rock and roll (Skinny Minnie), R and B (What'd I Say), heavy-ish rock (It's All Right Now), country (Detroit City) and the Beatles (Yesterday). Probably not what the rock and roll fans were expecting, but interesting in its own way, until the end when we nearly needed a man with a hook on the end of a long pole to drag him off.
Providing sterling backing throughout the evening was the Tales From The Woods house band. Here is ace guitarist John Spenceley, with 'Bunter' Clark on drums.
One of the hits - apparently - of the Eddie Cochran/Gene Vincent tribute show a week ago was Kevin Sunburst, an energetic Tommy Steele type singer (Why would anyone want to sound like Tommy Steele?)
Returning to the 2Is show after a couple of years was Terry Dene - 1950s alleged 'bad boy' - who played a selection of his original material, including Stairway Of Love and a White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation, plus some rock and roll standards. Backed up superbly by the house band and John Spenceley's excellent guitar work, Terry gave a more than adequate performance and showed that he's still got what it takes.