Newcastle’s, Jumping Hot Club 25th Anniversary Concert
Gateshead Town Hall
Sunday 12th June 2011
The final concert to celebrate 25 years of the Newcastle based Roots Music Promoters the Jumping Hot Club was a real humdinger; with three acts who all started their careers playing in the downstairs of the Bridge Hotel 25 years ago.
James Hunter got the evening off to a barnstorming start with an hour of good old fashioned Rhythm and Blues.
James’s star is currently burning brightly in America and the artist formally known as Howlin Wilf had people dancing as early as the third song, ‘Riot in my Heart’ which was followed by a new love song ‘Goldmine.’
‘No smoke without fire’ had an added bonus tonight; the addition of a Grand Piano to compliment James’ smooth delivery and it went down a treat with the fans.
If I have a complaint about James Hunters concerts and tonight was a prime example as he was only playing a short set; is the amount of cover songs he includes. As with everything he does they are never bad; but does the World need to hear 3 songs by 1950’s Doo Wop bands when James’ own songs are far superior?
Hunter’s trademark rolling ska, soul and blues beats had the punters dancing in the aisles until the encore when the band got to showcase their individual talents until James joined them for a rip-roaring version of ‘Talking About My Love.’
Next on stage was Tim Dalling who; is a folk singing accordion player, but on stage he is much, much more than that; his anecdotes, poems and songs are hilarious and occasionally very rude, but his deadpan approach makes them sound innocent, and homely.
The immaculately dressed Mr. Dalling stunned the audience (myself included) with the scariest version of ‘The Teddy Bear’s Picnic’ I’ve ever heard – I doubt he gets invited to many children’s parties. To round the set off he dug deep into his repertoire for a rocking ‘Wild Thing’ which culminated with Tim throwing his Piano-Accordion around like a toy windmill.
He’s well worth seeing; trust me.
The party ended with Martin Stephenson and the Daintees reforming for the umpteenth time. Few of the original band has aged particularly well (apart from the delectable Kate on drums); but all of the songs sound as crisp and fresh as when I first heard them 20 years ago. ‘Little Red Bottle’ and ‘Nancy’ were double lush and ‘Crocodile Cryer’ still managed to bring a tear to a glass eye although this version was a twin guitar, Country Rocker for the night.
As usual Martin talks at 100mph all night and his brain is even faster; meaning he never shuts up; even mid song!
For tonight’s party they had special guests come on stage for a couple of songs; harmonica Ace Ray Burns from the Hot Licks Cookies and folk chanteuse Helen McCookerybook who sang three songs including her hit single ‘Freight Train;’ both showed us what a wealth of talent we have in the NE.
When Martin dedicated a beautiful version of ‘Salutation Road’ to the late Alan Hull from Lindisfarne I swear there was a collective lump in the audience’s throat.
A fantastic year of celebration was rounded off perfectly when the band came back on stage for a reverberating ‘Left us to Burn.’