Rockabilly Hall of Fameģ Archives
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ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAME

REVIEWS

Thursday, 1 January, 1998
DARREL HIGHAM - (Tennessee Club, London UK) - NEW YEARS EVE
by Rod Pyke



More than 300 revellers turned up to Ritchie Gee's New Years Eve party at the Tennessee Club in London last night. Kathy and I left home at 8.45pm for our 30 mile drive into London. We arrived at the Club at about 10pm to see the place was already buzzing. Everybody was in a party mood, dressed in their best regalia and putting their best feet forward on the dance floor. The bar was three deep at times with people queuing to toast the new yearin. Kathy and I got our usual warm greeting from Ritchie and Frank and shared a Budweiser with them. There were many familiar faces present and many people paying their first visit to the Club. The main reason for my visit was to catch Darrel Higham and the Enforcers who had received rave reviews after their recent success at the Johnny Burnette '58 show.

I did not have to wait long and at 10.30pm the band was introduced and did the first of their two slots that evening. Kathy and I were not disappointed, a thoroughly professional outfit that gave the audience everything they wanted and really looked as if they were enjoying every minute of it themselves. They had a wonderful rapport with their fans and got them involved at every opportunity. The music played covered a wide spectrum. Apart from numbers from the bands early recordings they covered songs by Johnny Burnette, Gene Summers, Elvis, Little Richard and Eddie Cochran to name but a few. Darrel Higham is an excellent guitarist and his guitar licks in the Elvis numbers, in the style of Scotty Moore, were brilliant. The group showed their versatility with two instrumentals. The first being an interpretation of "The Sweeney", a British detective TV theme. The second was a number they had penned themselves as a tribute to Gene Vincentís first and legendary guitarist Cliff Gallup. If you had closed your eyes you would have sworn it was Cliff playing.

The number that stole the show in my opinion was "Somethin' Else", the Cochran tune. Darrel is a natural ringer for Cochran. He has the looks, the mannerisms, smile and neat appearance of Eddie. He also plays the identical Gretsch guitar, and boy can he play it. Let us not forget the Enforcers. Mick Wigfall on Upright bass, full of energy and very versatile. Les Curtis an excellent drummer, lacking in nothing. The three complement each other well and I would say have a big future ahead of them. I saw enough tonight to make me want to see them again. Unfortunately Kathy and I could not stay to see their second set but I am sure it would have been as entertaining and energetic as the first. I managed to get a word with Mick Wigfall in the dressing room at the end of the first session. He is going to supply the RAB HOF with some material for a Darrel Higham and the Enforcers page. He was also enthusiastic about a new CD of theirs that should be available in March, entitled "Letís Rock Tonight" and is on the Fury label. I thanked Mick and told him to let us have as much material as possible and then went back to see in the New Year with the rest of the Rockin' revellers.

As midnight struck the party really began. The balloons were let loose the streamers were thrown and strangers were embracing strangers. It was a pity Kathy and I had to leave shortly after but is nice to know that London still has a Top Club and in Ritchie, somebody who will bring us the best acts.

1998 should really see a big resurgence of Rockabilly music throughout the world. With young bands like Darrel Higham and the Enforcers our music has a big future.

HAPPY NEW YEAR,
Rod