Two I's show number seven really rocks
The annual Tales From The Woods tribute to the early days of British rock and roll and to Soho's famous 2 Is coffee bar has reached its seventh year and, judging by the sell out crowd at the Borderline last night, it will be around for many years to come. This was an excellent show from beginning to end with some lesser known names from the fifties and early sixties holding their own with some of the bigger names from the period. Once again the TFTW House Band, led by ace guitarist John Spencely, provided great support for five of the six acts on the bill, and Rockin' Rick Stevens acted as MC, also singing three numbers during the evening. John Howard spun the discs between acts.
First act on shortly after 5pm was Robb Shenton, not a well known name but a man who was in demand as a session man with Joe Meek and who has recently made an album of rock and roll covers. Starting off with Down The Line (one of many Jerry Lee songs on the night), his set included several tracks from the CD, including Be Bopping Baby, Cincinatti Fireball, Lonely Blue Boy, the Jesse Belvin original I'm In Love, Pretty Little Love Song and the title track We're Gonna Rock, before signing off with Mean Woman Blues. Robb has a strong voice and his interesting choice of songs set the night off to a rocking start.
Here are Alex Bland and Sid Phillips blowing in tandem.
This was the best attended 2 Is show yet, and the format is now proving so successful that there is another show planned for April featuring King Size Taylor and Roy Young, among others.
Finally, here's the man who made it all possible, Keith Woods. His Tales From The Woods newsletter provides a quirky outlet for this loose network of music obsessives and roots music enthusiasts and is the glue that binds the group together. Keith struggled to get decent attendances for his early promotions, but the long queue of people outside the Borderline must have been very satisfying for him. Well done Keith.