Hicksville Bombers

Live Gig Reviews

PictureDave Brown of the Hicksville Bombers

Well what do you know loyal readers, the Bettajive Review website is six years old this month.  One gig review and a club review for you this time, so here goes 

Bombs away!  A road trip into Buckinghamshire, to Bill Guntrip’s Bletchley Rock n Roll club and a date with the Hicksville Bombers, who are, I believe in their 23rd year.  Ever present vocalist and guitarist, Dave Brown, with Landon Filer on bass and Paul Saunders on drums, make up the current incarnation, and always are a go-to band for a top night out.
Bill and Jimmy Guntrip tag teamed the DJing for the evening, with some seriously cool grooves throughout, either side of a humungous single set by the Bombers.  With any show by this trio, it was ad libbed throughout, often relying on requests from the audience, opening up with a powerhouse bopper, ‘Deal With The Devil’.
Dave, with his trusty orange Gretsch, seared through the solos on the cover of AC DC’s ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ and their own bluesy sounding kicker ‘Low On Gas’.  It’s not all a high octane, pleasure assault on your ears, there’s some time for a lesser tempo, which also delights.  ‘I’ve Changed my Mind, About Leaving’, which is just excellent, Tommy Sands’ ‘Worrying Kind’ and Johnny Horton’s ‘One Woman Man’ got the strollers out.
Fans of Peaky Blinders would’ve been familiar with the theme music, Nick Cave’s ‘Red Right Hand’, and the Bombers do a pretty darn good cover of that, which is another tune from the newest CD, or off the much lauded (in a Carry On stylie)  ten inch, ‘Danger Road’.  Indeed that title song, and ‘The Man You Want Me To Be’, ‘Victims of Love’ and ‘Stand Up and Fight’ all from the new release featured in the set.
For many years, the Bombers have opened a show with their own siren wailing, butt kicking instrumental ‘Bombs Away’, which on this occasion, made a late-set appearance, along with the anthem ‘Jungle Rock’.  I don’t think there’s a Hicksville set that hasn’t contained ‘Playboy’, a song that has featured in their set, since God was a boy.  With the audience shouting out all sorts of songs, Bo Diddley’s ‘Road Runner’ threw the lads a curve ball, which they knocked out the park, with accompanying ‘beep beeps’, while the set concluded with another of their ‘Danger Road’ compositions, ‘Goodbye, Roger That, Over and Out’.
A corking, no nonsense set.  And as Dave is often heard to say, ‘Fan-tastic’

WELL WE DIDNT EXPECT THAT.we book the band.hire the room arrange the DJ and then like all other promoters up and down the country sit back and wait for the doors to open and worry if we are going to cover the cost of the gig.but last night was why we do this every month.an absolute full house.and an electric atmosphere. Made it all worth while.a great big thanks to each and everyone of you that came along and supported us.to Dave and the HICKSVILLE BOMBERS thanks for two great sets in front of your home town people. STEVES ROCK N ROLL ROADSHOW for keeping it all together..it was really nice to see people from other clubs supporting us.and those that travelled from all over Lincolnshire it just goes to show we know how to rock in the shire lol.this is our 10 year anniversary with bands booked to suit everyone.but as always without you we can't put on nights like last night.so please keep on supporting us.and tell your friends about us.check out our web page. Www.lincolnrockrollclub.co.UKfor all gig dates.next gig is Friday 5th February.the renegades.don't miss out.thanks once again

Damn!! where did you all come from,what a night,biggest crowd we've had for ages,& all to see Dave,Landon & Tony a.k.a. the HICKSVILLE BOMBERS,once again doing a mix of stuff in their own unique way,they rocked the arse off the place,many thanks boys, we won't leave as long next time,(about 5 years since they last played for us),as i said a helluva crowd besides our longstanding regulars so many thanks to y'all for coming,now on to the next one,9th April sees us welcome back the band that kicked off the Fireball back in 2009,the SUNDOWNERS,a great bunch of guys who always go down well,so see y'all then, remember keep the faith people

By the time the Hicksville Bombers came on, the dark clouds had been replaced by flashes of lightning and massive rumbles of thunder and the rain had been replaced by hail. It was a biblical storm as the Bombers rocked away while the crowd stayed and danced in the rain. It was one of my favourite shows as the lightning was fierce, the hail actually hurt and band played a blasting set, appreciating the fact that their fans were carrying on regardless. They adopted a couple of heavy metal tunes into rockabilly numbers and although I've seen less than favourable reviews in Now Dig This, to me it worked really well. I loved the set and with the weather and everything, it's a gig I'll never forget.
Hicksville Bombers, Rudy La Crioux and Lennerockers- Live at Leeds Irish centre- Tonight Dave Williamson had assembled another eclentic bill to cater for all rockin' tastes and appeal to far more than merely the inquisitive. Fortunately no egos were in evidence with all three bands having reputations to qualify for pole position. The Hicksville Bombers appeared to have drawn the short straw , opening up with a 60 minute set in uncompromising style. The band is consistently good, indoors or out, having no qualms accomodating requests and consequencly was embraced by everyone here to rock. Paul Chambers' familiar turquoise doghouse is a reassuring sight in anticipation of what's to come and Dave Brown personifies the unruffled persona of someone at ease with his status, as much a mate as a singer delivering some spicy vocals to his own lead guitar work. Tonight those two long time Hicks, along with drummer Shaun Cutts, posted an impressive set that swelled as it progressed. Along the way the band nailed down strong interpretations of 'Ready to rumble', 'Playboy', an irrisistable 'Prettiest girl in town' proving just that to the strollershere, as did 'I forgot to remember to forget', the trio making a fair fist of this with Dave's vocals displaying hints of vibrato. In completely different mode 'Bad things', 'Deal with the Devil' and Shaun's vocal on 'Domino' all upped the anti preceding 'Honey your mine' and 'I like the way you move' which has a great groove. The pace never slacked with Paul on vocals for 'Let your hair down baby' before 'whole lotta Rosie' and 'Bad to the Bone', which i'm pleased to say the guy's still stick with, headed for that all important big finish setting the seal on a scorching set. As noted, to it's credit the band has a flexible attitude appearing to access material not used at every gig and certainly not heard by me in the very recent past sending out a message to some outfits who continually stick to the same programme. Just look for the turquoise doghouse.
HEMSBY 46 The Hicksville Bombers … This weekend has provided the best of british in more ways than one , its been very cleverly put together so that the crowd is constant and a stroke of genius was finishing the weekend with The Hicksville Bombers and a dozen kids on stage singing who the f is Alice! From the first number the party atmosphere heightened to a ridiculous high pitched squeal of delight. From friends, fans, and stalkers alike pure love for these guys , Dave, Paul and Shaun finished the weekend with an amazing atmosphere and a surprisingly large crowd for late Sunday.
Hicksville Bombers have been a favourite of mine since I clapped eyes on them in Crondall r ‘n’ r club about 16/17 years ago, thanks to one of the club’s previous promoters ‘Paul Prictoe’ who brought the band down South. There is one thing I don’t like about them though. They are almost as fast a band now as they were back then! They haven’t slowed much, regardless to the fact that there have been a couple of line up changes in that time & are still all 3 of them about the same age as me. So what’s that all about? Rock ‘n’ roll I guess. I should have been a musician. You can always guarantee you’ll have a good night with Hicksville Bombers. They have a great rapport with the audience, are open to requests and will have a go at most, even if they only manage a couple of lines just for a laugh. They’re Fast, Friendly & Frivolous & if you don’t leave a Bombers gig revived of energy, there’s got to be something wrong with yer body chemistry. Hicksville Bombers produce such a sound that they could send ripples of excitement to the next town & that guitar playin’ just drowns the electrical impulses in my brain! For those of you who haven’t yet seen Hicksville Bombers yet.....WHY HAVEN’T YOU?! Actually, for those of you who haven’t seen them, they have an air raid siren which they take around to some of their gigs. I did ask Dave Brown – Frontman/ guitar to make sure he brought it along as I so wanted to have a go on it myself. Well, as I was on the door when the band started, I missed the chance to start off the set, and the band managed to get a volunteer to do the honours by another huge Bombers fan, Julie. I put my head together with Dave’s in the break & we decided that I’d finish the 2nd set as a grand finale after the encore. Oh yes......Great FUN! Love it! Paul Chambers is on his trustee ol’ beautiful turquoise coloured stand up bass slappin’ them slippery sweaty strings! And Shaun Cutts (once member of ‘Boogie children’) on those shiny smooth skins...oh dear, I get worse don’t I? Shaun also has the added element of doin’ a bit of lead vocals, singing ‘Domino’, much to the delight of an American lady who was in our midst this night & had great pleasure in telling the whole club that it was Roy Orbison’s birthday that day, and vowed her love for the band. Somehow, this lovely lady got the band to do ‘Domino’ a 2nd time later on, much to the delight of some of the customers who thought this particular track was worth doing twice . What a great cover. Some of you might have seen a HOT Hicksville bomber T.shirt wonderin’ around at various gigs in an assortment of shapes n sizes. If you fancy one of these, you can buy one from their website on the ‘Buy cds’ link @ www.hicksvillebombers.com or at the band’s gigs. Same with ‘AROUSED’ – the title of the Bombers latest CD, available on ‘Cool & Crazy Record's’, released no later than a year from the previous release ‘Deal with the Devil’ (also available) & has the same cover pic as on their tee shirts, which is of a hot chick scantily clothed sittin’ on a bomb, leanin’ seductively up against a slap bass. A CD with a lot of self penned tracks & a few good rockin’ covers. Also available from the website or at gigs. Tonight, we thought we would give a young DJ wannabee a chance at spinnin’ a few discs of his own. He doesn’t have his own gear just yet, but would like to become a DJ. He’s only just 20 & goes by the name of DJ Billy Bayou. He specialises in western swing/hillbilly/1950s country/bluegrass & seems to know some decent stuff considering his age. Coming from a rockin’ family who’s sister was once a DJ, has obviously helped in his knowledge of the music. I wish the best of luck to young Billy. Not only do we need young blood forming bands, young DJs are also the future of our scene.
Friday 30th July saw the club play host to the Hicksville Bombers, and for some unfathomable reason, other than the fact that the Bombers are a great band anyway, the event had caught the imagination of the rockin’ crowd. Many clubs have been struggling for a while, attendances are around the 50 or 60 mark and of course, the recession hasn’t helped. However, I lost count at 160 as more and more packed into the hall for this one! And it wasn’t just the fact that mid Kent in general is a rock n roll wasteland, because people had travelled from London, Surrey and beyond to come and visit the club. Jo and Dave had already staged a couple of events and quite obviously word has got around that this is the place to be! The Hicksville Bombers come from Lincolnshire and if you have never seen them.....where have you been? They have been producing CD album’s for quite a while, but it with their last two they have upped their game to the top level and can now be considered as being right up their with the best that the UK has to offer. Their sound is blues based rockabilly, backed with a driving bass and some searing guitar work from Dave Brown. Their repetoir covers a huge range of styles and songs, from the earliest days of Elvis, Scotty and Bill, through the heady days of the original rock n roll explosion to covering modern songs such as ACDC’s ‘Whole lotta Rosie’, Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to be Wild’. In between Dave seems able to produce some bizarre and unexpected version of standard songs such as Doris Day’s “Secret Love”, Robbie William’s “Let me entertain you” and I have even heard him do a rockabilly(sic) version of Kylie Minogue’s “I should be so lucky”!!! Whatever their secret is, they are doing something right...the dancefloor was packed with strollers, jivers and even a few boppers. In summary, The bombers have done no harm to their reputation with this gig and the Sheppey rock n Roll club have now set themselves a very high standard which they have to follow. I have no doubt that they will not only follow it, but with a bit of luck and a following wind, will go from strength to strength. Their next date is 27th August, when they play hosts to the excellant Porky’s Hot Rockin’ . See you there!!
AMERICANA 2009- Following Imelda May, or indeed anyone that has just presented such a impact making perform- ance cannot be easy, and the task fell to James Inveldt. He arose to real prominance as the voice for Johnny Depp’s Crybaby in the film of the same name, but has since moved on and although some would claim him as a rockabilly performer, country seems to be his music of choice these days. Although he started his show with a very confident rendition of “Boogie Woogie Country Girl” and there wee a couple of rockers mixed into his set, mainly it was country and that was not of interest to the majority of rockers, especially as the wind and the rain was beginning to take on all the characteristics of a major storm! As quickly as they had appeared stagefront, the majority of rockers and many of the country fans too, headed for entertainment that was under cover! As far as the rockin’ crowd were concerned, this meant heading towards The Hicksville Bombes, essentially the resident rockabilly band for the event. As accomplished and exciting as ever, the Bomnbers are more or less on home turf in this part of the world, know what their audience want and give it to them in spades. Their last album, “Deal with the Devil” is a big step forward for them, more professional than any- thing that has gone before. This is a nice touch and has received critical aclaim from most that have reviewed it, including me. Sunday held no real attractions for me and with the thought of work the following week, I headed home from the north, which was rather cool, to the very warm and muggy south, having once again enjoyed a very good Americana festival. Chris Jackson’s nect event will be the 30th anniversary and in the programme he is suggesting that the line up next year will consist of all the major perormers that have appeared over the last 30 years. If this turns out to be the case, then the rockin’ crowd can expect to see the likes of Hi voltage, Imelda May, Travis LeDoyt, Hayden Thompson, The Hicksville Bombers, Slim Slip and the Sliders, Jack Rabbit Slim, Robert Gordon, Rosie Flores, Jack Earls, Wayne Hancock, The Sugar Creek Trio and many more luminaries. Should Chris actually managed to secure the services of even a handful of them, the Americana next year will be an event that any self respecting rockabilly will be drooling over many months beforehand. Fingers crossed, Chris!
Previously, we had Hicksville Bombers on Crondall's 30th anniversary night back in Nov.'06. I had so much to write about, then, that the Bombers didn't get much of a review, so I can make up for it now. I 1st saw the Bombers approx 13/14 years ago at Crondall which was where they did their 1st Southern gig. The Lincoln based band have been a regular there ever since & always go down a storm. The Rosecroft club & Barnstaple rock 'n' roll club, also book Hicksville Bombers on a regular basis. This band is on turbo boost from start to finish, & they had our dance floor having the living daylights knocked out of it with all the stompin' boppin' punters throughout both of their sets. The Bombers don't take long to do a sound check, 1 song & it's done. Now they are good 'n' ready & raring to go after a refreshing cup of tea after their 3 &1/2 hour long journey. They're wild, exciting, enthusiastic & loud, as rock 'n' roll should be. They have the ability to get the adrenalin pumping through your heart and soul, from yer head to yer toes, driving you to unavoidably NOT keeping still ! Paul is such an energetic bass player, going crazy with his turquoise coloured bass really giving it some good ol' slapping & letting rip on it, like it was as light as a feather, moving it from one side to the other, forward & back, and even trying to hide from me & my camera, taking his bass backstage!.....crazy! They played some fantastic boppers, some deep 'n' bluesy, a few to jive to, but mostly heart pumpin', foot stompin' stuff. Dave sung from his rockin' heart, some of his own material, which can be heard on their new c.d ' Deal with the Devil ' (brand new at time of gig) on ' Cool & Crazy' records. This is the first release with the Hicksville Bombers latest line up with Paul Chambers on bass, Dave Brown on guitar & lead vocals & Andy Turner on Drums. The band also did a good cover of that great Johnny Cash' no. - ' Folsom Prison Blues', which seems to be a popular song with many bands at the moment. Oh Boy! Record Hop kept the floor busy while some of the punters decided to go out for some cool air, after a steaming hot 1st set performance from the Hicksville Bombers heating the atmosphere. The Bombers were lucky to get off the stage at all after their 2nd set, as all the rockin' crowd, teds & rockers were cheering them back on. More info on the Hicksville Bombers can be found at www.hicksvillebombers.com I have to mention one of Crondall's regulars, of 32 years plus - Jill a.k.a one of 'The Crondall sisters', was celebrating her 50th in true Crondall style, with the band doin' a rockin' rendition of 'Happy Birthday to you' & Jill joining them up on stage for a stroll with the next song. A nice touch to someone who has been loyal to the club all these years. I'd like to thank anyone & everyone who has helped support Crondall rock 'n' roll club in one way or another for the last 32 years. You all helped it to survive! Keep on rockin', Janie.
THE HICKSVILLE BOMBERS (1st FEBRUARY 2008 AT SHIPLEY WORKING MENS CLUB) February 09th 2008 Posted to Gig Reviews This place was packed. We got there at just after 7.30pm, and still ended up without a seat. The HICKSVILLE BOMBERS always put on a good show, and in my opinion are still one the best ‘LIVE’ Rockabilly bands on the circuit. This band have been on the circuit for 16 years now. I could be a bit biased because I have seen these lads many times in the last 16 years and I saw this band with their original line up when they 1st hit the scene 16 yrs ago. Dave ( the singer/guitarist) is the only original member, although the current line up have been playing together now for quite a few years. Paul replaced Pete (the mad geordie) on the slap bass many moons ago and had previously played in THE BEAGLE BOYS, THE BLUE DOTS, and THE HUB CAPS. Andy replaced Bryn on the drums, a few years ago, and had previously been the drummer with COTTIE AND THE ALLEY CATS. These lads have had 6 cd’s released over the years with a 7th on the way, along with a couple of EP’s on vinyl prior to that. I think most of their cd’s are available from RAUCOUS RECORDS. A slight tip though, check EBAY first, cos I know Dave often sells Bombers CD’s on there (and he sells them cheaper than Raucous). The lads played alot of songs from their new forthcoming CD, alot of it self penned, and damn good rockin’ songs that I’d not heard before. The lads as part of their act, ask the audience to shout out songs that they have never heard the bombers play before for them to have a go at. I tell you what as well, I’ve never seen them stumped. They always manage to play whats requested. They played OH BOY as a tribute to BUDDY HOLLY, with it being the anniversary of the plane crash, the day after. The DJ played WALKING THROUGH MY DREAMS for the BIG BOPPER. Ritchie got mention but none of his music was played. The HICKSVILLE BOMBERS myspace url is http://www.myspace.com/hicksvillebombers We had a great night, then I had the job of driving home through a freak snow storm. lol. Have a look at these pics. The ones of the band are not as clear as normal for some reason.
The Hillside Club, Lenton Nottingham- So on the good days I do manage to venture out one such day being on the 29th December, as Ade and I went to see Hicksville Bombers at Hillside Club in Lenton, Nottingham. As always greeted by the lovely Crazyjo and gang and when we got inside there tonight the place was a buzzing with the sound of people laughing and talking and the DJ was keeping us all in the mood with his excellent choice of songs. Already the club's atmosphere was one of expectation as it filled up to capacity knowing that these guys know how to entertain us. As they exploded into their first set at 9;15pm this talented trio blasted out a continuous fast paced selection of great rockabilly, blues and country songs. With plenty of strollers and Boppers and some jivers they had they crowd enjoying every minute of it. With such classics as 'Love Substitute' 'Mean Woman Blues' 'Tennessee Boarder' 'One Hand Loose' and 'Route 66' all played with such energy and obvious enjoyment from the three guys on the stage, they even play some of their own songs that they have penned...talented or what!? Finishing their first set around 10pm to an appreciative audience and CrazyJo came over and invited us to her birthday bash on the 9th Feb at Hillside...so come along you good people it should be a blast..will tell you all about it next month! The second set from the Hicksville Bombers started at 10;50pm and was as strong as their first with 'I'm On Fire' 'She's The One To Blame' and 'Worrying Kind' a good version. The Bombers were in fine form and as they went into a cracking version of 'Shoppin Around' some of the audience decided to join in with the chorus and ad lib it was real fun. By 11;35pm I was feeling unwell and so sadly had to leave early but as we left the building the throbbing beat of the music still echoed in our ears and I just wished I could have stayed till the end, but Hey Ho! there are always other nights isn't there mateys...lol....so you all take care and till next month as always........ Keep On Rockin’
Excert from the Mad Rag Mag, feature of the Americana 2006- The Hicksville Bombers - I haven't seen the Bombers for a while, so when i heard that they were playing a pre-show set on the thursday night, i made a bee line for stage 3, and whilst i realised that Bryn had left the group, didn't realise that the bass player, Guy had also gone. I had heard that the loss of Bryn had resulted in a loss of quality for the band, and that Dave, wanted to concentrate more on his work with Country Cattin' anyway. However, dedicated Bombers fans, fear not, not only are the Hicksville Bombers alive and very much kickin', but they are doing so with as much gusto and quality as ever. Dave kicked off with his usual 100 mph rendition of "Bull by the horns", and away we went. All the usual stuff was there, plus a couple of new songs and even a couple of improvised numbers. The band were relaxed and able to improvise wherever they wanted, there were only around 150 watching, and i left confident in the knowledge that the reports of the Hicksville Bomber's demise were definately false!
Hicksville Bombers/ Country Cattin/ Houserockers B52 Diner/Club Southend-on-Sea, Essex 20th August 2005 Well, where else can you see three of the best Rockabilly bands in the country for just a tenner? The Mad Rats of course! Those of you who didn’t spend that tenner I guess will be very sorry by now! What a night! Country Cattin’ a real fave of mine, fronted by Dave Brown the man that delivers, not just good rockin’ country like your right, i’m left She’s gone! but can also melt your heart with real gone ballads like I forgot to remember to forget and I love you because, took to the stage with yet another very impressive line up and gave us a full hour of fantastic rockin’. A fifteen minute set from Radar was followed by local favourites The Houserockers. You just cannot fault The Houserockers and if i tried this review would never get written! The true fifties sound untouched by time, a sensational set as always! The crowd loved them and surged forward so there was little room between the crowd and the Houserockers, although they played some real danceable tracks; ‘Little Linda’ springs to mind, dancing was just impossible and the crowd stood their ground firmly in front of them and even the Mad Rat himself jumpin about to ‘Sneaky Pete’ didn’t move them. Last but by no means least Lincoln legends The Hicksville Bombers throwing Dave Brown back into the spotlight. I Like most pondered the bands future when Pete left and when I heard that Bryn had also left I was really concerned, I needn’t have worried they were great!ll action fun and wild solid rockin’, blues boppers like ‘Hip Shake Baby’ had the floor packed with guys showing their moves, Forevers much too long, had all us girlies strollin’. You request it and they will do their best to play it. We had at least four versions of Lonesome Train ‘Thanks Spike’ and as some psychobilly was requested they finished their four encores with ‘maniac’. Not a static person in the place, this was the night of the year. Radar who held it all together didn’t get to play much but the tracks he did play were chosen well! In summing up I think this night will be talked about for a very long time to come. Members of The Roaming Mad Rat Kafe @ The B52 Club/Diner would like to thank all three bands, Radar and everyone who visited us for the first time and travelled a long way for a brilliant night. Janine Higgs