The Stargazers

Carry On Jiving

(Ruby-Tone Records)

How can an album cover evoke Carry On films, Palm toffee bars, Corona lemonade, Lyons individual fruit pies, The Daily Sketch and other past glories and objects? I guess it is because part of the musical backdrop to the above era of consumables was the sort of songs you get to hear on this record. Can they go for a retro sound and imbue some warmth? Do they swing? Are they as dreadful and lame as Showaddywaddy? Better press ‘ Play ‘ and find out…

Opening track Let’s Go! is unusually for this collection not a band composition however it makes for a swinging start to the record, all thumping drums, chugging guitars, standup bass, wild sax and a toppy guitar break..then at @ 1:30 a growly vocal from a man on the make. The ancient TV pop show 6-5 Special had all this stuff in spades. Next up is The Wedding Band with its slightly unusual resolve and bog-standard middle eight, very Fats with its loping NO rhythm and rolling piano and cruising horns. The drummer has a real grip on this selection, just as well on this sonic smile of an album…

Play My Game is a springheeled rocker about modern dating, a quasi-Big Bopper speak-sing passage. Little Ol’ House Of Rock makes the listener think of Bill Haley & His Comets. Free Tonight lets that glorious piano roam over the backbeat, quite a catchy tune, too. Boo Hoo Hoo is an uptempo song, daring you not to clap along. One for the jivers who turn up at the 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street, from their time machine. Keep Cool And Carry On and its pounding drums brings to mind the late Eric Delaney…this really is stretching the old memory cells!

U Bring Out The Poet In Me is another snappy Saturday Club style number ; Phantom’s Frolic is an instrumental – just as well as I was dreading a rhyming lyric! -showing off guitar man Peter Davenport and the sax players, along with a distorted organ (oo-er). The Wonderful Thing About Rock’n’Roll is an excellent guitar-led rocker, great feel for the genre is displayed by all. Why does the vocal here sound like a relaxed Gene Vincent ? Haunted House isn’t the number Little Village used to do but a straightahead rock’n’roll thing you could play alongside Monster Mash. On to Louise which skips along like a vintage jukebox hit. The collection ends with Love Love Love, jungly drums and slivers of sax on a rather nice melody…

Back to that artwork, the illustrator is Tony Diavolo and a tip of the hat to him for his cigarette-card graphic style.

There is not a note played on this entire record that you couldn’t have heard in the 1950s, but what it sets out to do it achieves. Rock’n’roll nostalgics will love this as much as they dug the Lyons Corner where did I put that sherbert dip?

Pete Sargeant


(Thanks to James Soars)

The Stargazers new studio album 'Carry On Jiving' is out now on Ruby-Tone Records.

For tour dates and more information visit the band's official Facebook page:

The Stargazers