Review: Top quality blues and rock and roll at Leamington gig

The DTs performing at the Zephyr Lounge. Picture by Andrew Lock.
The DTs performing at the Zephyr Lounge. Picture by Andrew Lock.

The DTs at Kelly’s Nights at the Zephyr Lounge, Leamington, September 4.

Steve Walwyn rocked back the years at his latest Kelly’s Night with this performance by The DTs, Steve’s band prior to his position in Dr Feelgood.

This was the band’s first gig in this area for over 20 years and the large audience was treated to an evening of ‘throttle down’ top quality blues and rock and roll - plenty of fun and games with charismatic vocalist Simon (Honey Boy) Hickling and a very special guest for the encores.

Stage centre with a case full of various mouth organs/harmonicas, Joe Cocker-like facial expressions and a fabulously bluesy voice, true showman Simon controlled the stage while Steve Walwyn played some of the finest blues guitar I have seen him put down. Keeping the groove tight the line-up was completed by Craig Rhind on bass and Chas Chaplin on drums .

Full of blues/rock standards, this was a delight for aficionados of the genre and included pounding versions of Who Do You Love and High Heeled Sneakers, a simply stunning, full of energy Crossroads with Steve on dynamic form. Talking of Steve, his emotion-soaked lead on the slower paced Sonny Boy Williamson number 23 Hours Too Long was truly one of those shiver-down-the spine moments.

Introduced as “from the band’s folk faze”, Going up the Country was upbeat and sprightly. In good contrast to the rest of the evening’s blues material and keeping the rock and rollers well and truly happy was the brace of Chuck Berry classics Promised Land and Nadine - the latter enhanced by the appearance on stage of legendary rocker Steve Gibbons on vocals.

While all of the Kelly’s Nights I have attended have been quality, this was one of the very best - and on the evidence of this show you would have thought they had been touring for the last 20 years.

Andrew Lock