Rockabilly Hall of FameŽ Archives
        Welcome to our Internet hall of fame web site. A place where you will find educational and historical information about the performers who gave us the true beginning of American rockin' music ... sounds that sprang from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Read about Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Bill Haley ("Rock Around the Clock"), Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Ricky Nelson and their peers. Dream about the days of Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, vintage clothing, hot rods, retro hair styles, poodle skirts, hula hoops and Leave it to Beaver. We also feature modern authentic rockers like the Stray Cats. You'll quickly discover that The Beatles and Rolling Stones did not create rock n roll.   Our office is located in Burns, Tennessee. E-mail: info@rockabillyhall.com. Opening page: www.rockabillyhall.com.



ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAME

REVIEWS



RAY CAMPI AND THE INFERNOS
AT THE TENNESSEE CLUB,
FRIDAY 10TH JULY 1998

by Rod Pyke

Just when I thought I had seen all the best Rockabilly artists along comes another one to add to the list.

Ray Campi's performance at the Tennessee Club on Friday 10th July has to go down as one of the best and most enjoyable I have seen. The large turnout at the UK's number one Rock 'n' Roll Club should have told me I would be in for something special. As soon as Ritchie Gee had introduced me to Ray you could feel this bass slappin' legend had an aura about him. Whereas visiting artists usually turn up about thirty minutes before they are due on stage or sit in their dressing room. Ray was different he was out with the revellers enjoying everything that was going on, this is how it should be.

After an hour of the best record sounds spun by top DJ Tony Thorpe, what more can be said about Tony he is the DJ's DJ, it was time for the energetic band from Yorkshire, The Infernos. Nobody can say they don't earn their money, a powerhouse performance that tires one out just watching them on stage. They opened their set with Rockin' & Rollin', That Ain't Nothin' and Cry, Cry, Cry. The next four numbers were Hey Honey, One Cup of Coffee, Servant of Love and They Can't Keep Me. An excellent version of Johnny Cash's Big River followed. Anybody who hadn't seen this band before must certainly have been impressed with their energy and all round professionalism. The line up is Ian Agar (Rhythm Guitar/Vocals), Gary Agar (Drums), Steve Kneeshaw (Lead Guitar) and Angelo Citronie (Bass). Back to the music, Letís Ball, Suzie Q, Fool, You Can't Do No Wrong and Caledonia now saw the Infernos in full flight. The floor of the Tennessee was really jumpin' as the band entered their final phase. School of Rock, That Don't Move me, Local Boy and Crash the Party brought their set to an end, or so they thought. The inevitable encore was called for and MC Big Daddy persuaded one more number out of the Infernos and this was This Is The Night. Along with the Rimshots, the Infernos must rank as one of the UK's top bands. They have a CD due for release about now and my advice is go out and buy it.

After all that energy it was time to retire to the bar and listen once again to Tony Thorpe and watch all the dancers. As Midnight approached people were making their way to the front of the stage to await tonight's star. I did likewise and was surprised at the number of foreign people there. There was a group from Belgium and three Japanese fans standing by close to me. Tennessee Regular Lizzie, from Staines came to say hello and asked if I would take her photo later, as she was going on stage to sing Tore Up with Ray, not that Ray knew anything about this.

Two more rockin' numbers from Tony brought the moment we had all been waiting for. Big Daddy came on stage and the cheers went up as he introduced Ray Campi. Ray was dressed in a dark blue western shirt with a red and white flower pattern. Sporting a red neckerchief, kingfisher blue trousers with a white stripe down the side and black and white shoes. Ray bounced on to the stage and picked up his Double Bass with an American flag draping from it's neck and went straight into Rockabilly Man followed by Hollywood Cats and All The Time. Ray kept a towel with a American flag design hanging from his back pocket which he had to call on several times to wipe the perspiration from his face, hands and bass strings. The temperature was hot on stage and so was the music and appropriately Hearts On Fire was Ray's next number. Everybodyís Moving kept the tempo going and everybody certainly was moving. At the end of this number Ray engaged the audience in a few memories of times gone by and asked how many people had been at Caister when he had played there. Many of the crowd replied positively. It was then time for the next number I'm Coming Home and the old faithful, Honky Tonk Man. Tonight Ray was being backed by Ian, Gary and Steve of the Infernos and Paul Ansell guesting on Piano. Later Steve Bloomfield on Guitar and Electric Mandolin joined him. Ray took this opportunity to introduce his band. I don't think that he will find any better during the rest of his stay in Europe. Rockabilly Music, Rattling Daddy, Cat'n Around and How Can You Feel had Ray up to all his usual antics, climbing all over the bass, swinging it over his head, playing it guitar style, you name it he did it. Rockin' At The Ritz had the floor pounding once again. Lucky To Be In Love was a cue for Lizzie to give me her camera. She was ready for the next number and when Tore Up started she jumped on stage followed by three more girls and two boys. This didn't deter Ray he played along with it and so did the audience, everybody by now was in a party spirit.



Another Tennessee regular, Jan, then jumped on stage with sheets of paper and as the chorus began she TORE UP the paper in rhythm to the music. A deafening cheer went up at the end of this number as Ray laid down his bass and left the stage. The applause seemed to last an eternity as Big Daddy came on stage and asked if the audience wanted more. No need to tell you their reply. After more encouragement Ray appeared to another rapturous reception. He thanked everybody and for asked for appreciation of the backing group who had worked tirelessly. The encore number was Caterpillar, to which everybody seemed to know the words to. Ray and the band seemed to put extra effort into this number and so did the Tennessee patrons. Ray was dancing all over stage with his partner, the bass. Pandemonium broke loose at the end as the crowd bayed for more. The scheduled set was over and because of the reception that Ray was getting the MC managed to get him to do one more number. After a discussion with the group Pan American Boogie was chosen and what better number to finish a brilliant performance on. My clothes were soaked and sticking to me and I was only watching what must it have been like for Ray and the band? Ray still has several more dates to fulfil in Europe and the UK so if you get the chance get along to see him, I intend to fit in one or two more if possible.

-Rod