Sep 2020

A question I have been asked quite often, a question the band have become used to in interview situations…. Except the one Dave did when the DJ didn’t and all he could think of to share with the audience was his knowledge of the genre! ….he had recently returned from New Orleans in fairness.

So, as we haven’t got a gig to tell you all about and the album Rollin is released on Oct 2nd, tracks are on the airwaves and internet, magazine/newspaper reviews are beginning to apear… Here’s the lowdown on Skiffle according to our music loving blog editor at Voodoo Towers.

” The sudden upsurge of any cool movement depends upon ease of accesibility for those who will participate…..”

Becoming a player in the youth movement that swept through the UK in the mid fifties was as easy as grabbing your Mum’s washboard and three or four fingers of thimbles, or taking her broom and putting the handle of it into an old tea chest, joining the top of the pole and the wooden chest with a peice of strong twine… (maybe a bit of washing line?… Thanks again Mum! :)) and there’s your basic two rythym section… Two people with fun and the prospect of a revolution to kick the wartime frivolity into the can for good. Now to find another mate who might have an acoustic guitar or maybe a Saturday job that would allow a hire purchase deal for a few pennies a week, to buy one!

Next step was to practice, not just any old tune though and remember, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Skiffle took off at the same time so there was no covering of Elvis  Buddy, Eddie et al, in fact at the same point in time when Elvis was recording his first session for Sun, Lonnie Donnegan was recording Rock Island Line on this side of the pond.

The original recording of Rock Island Line was by Alan Lomax who was collecting Southern spiritual and prison songs around America… The performance Lonnie heard was by Leadbelly who was doing time for murder when Alan Lomax visited his cell and asked if he could play that song inmates had told Lomax about.

And so it was that the music genre Skiffle was greatly influenced by Spiritual, Prison, Blues American penned songs and sea shanty tunes with alterations to the lyric to make them more hip and in tune with the youthful regulars at the excited gatherings… Gigs often taking place in coffee bars and deli’s in the City streets from London to LiverpoolĀ  ”Don’t you Rock me Daddyo” by the Vipers is a great example of a traditional sea shanty re-worded for these caffeine fuelled cats.

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