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Tuesday, November 3, 2015


(Jill Murraybrown, Francois Hardy, Andy Turrell & Marion Loudon)

An abundance of memorable music excellently played. (Review by Keith Millar)

There can’t be many people who can keep their heads from bobbing and feet from stomping when listening to the raw, stripped down sounds of great rockabilly music.

Said to be a hybrid of Rhythm and Blues and Hillbilly (Country & Western) music it is exciting, fast paced and rhythmic with a powerful driving bass beat.

It was first heard and became popular in the 1950’s when performed by artists such as Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Eddie Cochran, and Jerry Lee Lewis. However, its popularity waned in the early 60’s. It enjoyed a revival in the late 1970’s with groups such as the Stray Cats, and remains popular today with performers such as Imelda May and Kim Lenz.It has in fact become a lifestyle with followers sporting the hairstyles and dressing in the clothing popular in the 1950’s.

All that information was gleaned from the informative audio visual presentation which forms part of the fabulous Rhumbelow production The Story of Rockabilly which was staged at Westville Country Club last week-end and due to perform in Pietermaritzburg this weekend.

The music in the show, which features all the great rockabilly artists and hits from the past and present, is played by wonderful collection of very talented Durban musicians performing under the name of Mazirlou and the Rockabilly Rebels.

Leading the group is guitar ace Andy Turell, son of legendary audio engineer and bass player Glen Turell. Together the group’s performance is fantastic as they play the music with great skill andflair. Turell is a very talented musician and his lead guitar work in this production is exceptional. His performance of Dick Dale’s Miserlou was memorable.

Playing both electric and upright bass is Jilli-Bean Murraybrown. She is like a machine, producing the driving rockabilly bass beat with relentless skill. A new artist to me and a very pleasant revelation, was keyboard and occasional acoustic guitar player Evan Cullum. On drums and vocals is the evergreen Francois Hardy.

Fronting the group and providing the vocals is Durban’s sweetheart, the charismatic Marion Loudon. Looking very attractive with her 1950’s hairstyle and outfits she delivered a vocal performance which was out of the top drawer.

Songs performed by the group included Bill Hailey’s Rock Around The Clock, Johnny Cash’s I walk The Line and Jackson, Carl Perkins’ Blue Suede Shoes, Roy Orbison’s Ooby Dooby, Eddie Cochran’s Summertime Blues, Stray Cats’ Rock This Town, Imelda May’s Johnny’s Got a Boom Boom and many more.

The Story of Rockabilly is a marvellous production. It features an abundance of memorable music excellently played. See this show if you can when it performs at the Pietermaritzburg Rhumbelow, the Allan Wilson Shellhole on Alan Paton Avenue on November 8 at 14h00. Tickets R120 (R100 pensioners). Bring food picnic baskets.Limited secure parking. Bar Available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises).

Booking is at Computicket or contact Roland for bookings on 082 499 8636, or visit – Keith Millar