The Gov 25TH September 2016
Contemporary rockabilly is alive and well and living at The Gov.
Last Sunday saw U.S. psychobilly giants, The Reverend Horton Heat bring out Adelaide’s latter-day bodgies and widgies in force.
Opening proceedings were local outfit The Saucer Men, who played tight, fairly traditional rockabilly. Next up was Newcastle-based legends, The Pat Capocci Combo who, although grounded in the standards, still bring a fresh edge to the genre. Their playing was faultless.
Main attraction, The Reverend , exploded onto the stage with their take-no-prisoners approach. Big, brassy and bold, this combo lifts itself out of the standard rockabilly framework mostly due to lead singer Jim Heath’s shredding guitar work. Heath is joined by Jimbo Wallace, who works the double-bass with verve and magic, and Scott Churilla, whose drumming is impeccable.
Opening with an instrumental the band segued into their signature number Psychobilly Freak Out. With the crowd suitably revved (pardon the pun), they settled into a couple of older numbers such as Big, Little Baby and In Your Wildest Dreams. Mid-set saw some of their slower, darker tunes such as Zombie Dumb and It’s a Dark Day, before they cranked it up again for the more recent Let Me Teach You How to Eat. If you get the chance, check out the video clip for that one!
Churilla was allowed his mandatory solo near the end of the night, and delivered some blistering work which shot him straight into my list of top-five drum-solos. And I’ve seen a few!
The guys finished the night with a return to their musical roots, in the form of Fulsom Prison Blues.
If you’ve dismissed rockabilly as big hair and women in vintage frocks, then think again. This is rock. This is tight musicianship. And this is a hell of a lot of fun. Have a listen to any of these, three outfits and if you still hate rockabilly, then even the Reverend can’t save your soul.
By Tracey Korsten