Just a short report (well
it's quite long now that I've written it) on Sunday's Rhythm Festival - Jerry put on a very solid and very professional, FANTASTIC show and start to the tour!!!
thought the Rhythm Festival itself, apart from there being no time schedules, was very well organised. I've never been to an all-day festival with various acts on before, but I can't
imagine it could be much better. It was a family festival with more or less, absolutely everything being thought of and I'm quite sure they'll have it on again next year, hopefully
with Jerry again. The actual Arena part was just a big field with trade stalls, private box areas, food stands and a bar around and the actual stage was fairly big with the sound
engineer only a few feet away. Backstage was only really a half viewable but closed off, small grass area and food stall next to the stage and behind was a large hut and a ramp
leading onto the back of the stage.
After the various Blues/Rhythm & Blues bands (Some were quite good), Chas and Dave came out on stage and warmed up the audience for
Jerry and did their usual numbers including 'My Blue Heaven' and a tribute to Jerry, 'Breathless', which I think is Chas' favourite JLL song and were brilliant as always. Chas played
some fantastic piano and mentioned how Jerry changed his life when he first saw him in '58, playing bass in '63 and the London sessions. The audience were quite welcoming and I think
Jerry appreciated this.
Wolfie (Wolfgang Guhl) had arrived earlier, who's a great person and it was good to get to know him a little better and we spent the whole day and
watched the show together (My Dad & Sister too - Her fourth show!), which was nice. Jerry arrived at about 18.45 with Phoebe and J.W. in I think a black Mercedes with 'JLL' on the
number plate. The Range Rover which Kate Moss left in also had 'JLL' on the number plate I think, I'm not sure. I thought Jerry was about to walk into the part of the hut where the
Band were having a drink and where many fans were (Where Robert was cracking jokes and eating peanuts and Kenny and Buck were discussing which songs to play) and even though there was
only really one large, long hut, they still made sure Jerry had his own private quarters. Jerry looked like a million dollars, with a cream/grey three piece suit on, which I think was
also suede; Shirt, Tie, Waistcoat, Suit, everything and shining black cowboy boots, complete with his jewellery and hair very tidy, quite curly at the back - He looked so smart! Jerry
must have been at least an hour and a half to two hours, probably even longer backstage before he came on.
Before this, about half an hour before, Kenny and the boys had
arrived in all black and looked very smart as always. I talked with B.B. and Buck for a while. B.B. was telling me how bad Bobital was, the sound and the set up and everything and
Buck was walking around introducing himself to everyone, so very friendly and had a huge smile on his face. B.B. is so laid back! Gary will be selling some SUN merchandise at the next
two shows; T-Shirts, Caps, Badges, Keyrings, etc. The T-shirts and Caps will be £20. My Dad had asked Buck to play 'I'm A Fireman' and Buck was more than happy to play it and in the
hut afterwards, Buck was talking about when he last played it in Amsterdam and Paris last year and asked Kenny if it was OK and Kenny said, "Sure, if you wanna play it, play
At 19.45, Kenny and the boys came on stage to do a small soundcheck. It was quite a large Yamaha piano. B.B. had his old bass with him and Kenny and Buck had their
new guitars. Buck was quietly practising the words to 'I'm A Fireman', while Kenny, B.B. and J.W. were fixing the piano. After a 45 minute soundcheck, at 20.30, Kenny kicked off with
'My Babe', Robert with 'Honey Don't' and B.B. with 'Bye Bye Johnny/Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller.' Kate Moss and Pete Doherty were at the side of the stage with Dave from Chas and Dave
and Shane McGowan from The Pogues (I'm not sure who he is).
By this time, about half way through 'Bye Bye Johnny', Jerry came on at the back of the stage (20.38) and put his
leg up onto Robert's mini stage where the drums are and was leaning with his arm on his leg and was looking and scowling around at the audience and checking everybody out and looking
at the people at the side of the stage and was making the drum beats with his hand and singing along with Kenny and B.B. to 'Bye Bye Johnny.' This was great! Unfortunately, no 'I'm A
Fireman', but I think Buck will definitely do at either Wolverhampton or London. Before Kenny started playing, a famous MC came out to introduce Jerry, which included the words,
"Ferriday gunslinger..." and looked alot like Ronnie Wood from The Stones, I can't quite remember his name, but Kenny introduced Jerry again anyway. While Jerry was at the
back of the stage, Pete D squirted something in the direction of him, which Jerry wasn't impressed with and Jerry just looked at him, while security immediately ran over to stop him.
Jerry then came on to a nice audience, without any problems and said it was good to be back in England, looking very healthy. I think Jerry has put on a little weight since
Paris but not very much at all - He looked very slim in his suit. 'Roll Over Beethoven' was a great opener, with some fantastic piano playing from Jerry and although obviously frail,
Jerry looked very strong!
'You Win Again' was next in usual classic fashion. I think Jerry has struggled with this one in the last few shows I've been to, particularly vocals,
but I thought it was very strong tonight. I thought Jerry's voice through the entire show was very strong. I'd say it became a little hoarse around 'She Even Woke Me Up...', but not
very much. Jerry was in a brilliant mood, very happy and was talking with the audience quite a bit between songs, and only told the sound man to turn him up once and that was it. The
audience kept shouting out "We love you Jerry!" and "Your still The Killer!" and Jerry replied "I love you too!" and really meant it.
the first surprise of the night, 'I Don't Want To be Lonely Tonight' with Jerry calling out for Kenny and Buck to play a little bit together - You could see they were really competing
with each other. You should have seen the determination on their faces, both trying to play the very best solo possible, a bit of healthy competition, they were both playing like
maniacs and both produced equally fantastic solos and then smiled at each other afterwards - This was great! Very solid version, very polished, tight and tidy, particularly from Jerry
and the Band too, much better than Pistoia last year. I was actually quite surprised - Really Fantastic! I hope Jerry does this at the next two shows! Wolfie was really enjoying
himself, as I know this is one of his favourite Jerry Lee songs!
Following was a very nice version of 'You Belong To Me' and Kenny played a really nice solo too.
then suggested 'Down The Line', the second surprise of the night and Jerry said it was a request, with particularly strong, precise vocals from Jerry and with lots of effort put into
it and some amazing piano work - Great version. I hope Jerry continues to do this at every show. Jerry regularly called out to Buck and Kenny for a solo and showed his appreciation to
B.B. and Robert by nodding and smiling. I think Jerry really appreciated the audience too and was regularly looking at the photographers below him at the stage (who were earlier told
to leave the stage).
'Before The Night Is Over' was introduced as a song from the new album, "Out in September", with Jerry joking with the audience that you may like
it, hate it, dislike it, dis-hate it, you may... Jerry was in a great mood and was really enjoying himself. To Me, Jerry looked like he could carry on playing all night. The audience
seemed to like this one alot!
'No Headstone...' was a fantastic, extended, 'different' version, with two amazing solos from Buck and an equally impressive one from Kenny. There
was no "I want a monument!" at the end and Jerry looked like he enjoyed this one.
Next was a great, upbeat version of 'Chantilly Lace', which Jerry really was getting into and the crowd loved - Quite uptempo!
Next was another surprise for me, 'She Even Woke
Me Up...' This was very beautiful as it always is with lots of effort put into it from Jerry. Robert suggested it and before going into it, Jerry said, "Here's one I didn't
write, but I did write!" (Ha Ha). Jerry was regularly drinking from his bottle of Sprite throughout the show.
Next was a fantastic, very uptempo, fast version of 'Sweet
Little Sixteen' - One of the best songs of the night, with the now standard superb piano break from Jerry and the audience loved it. I think it was after this one when Jerry said,
"If you couldn't get it what that, it couldn't get it at all!" Great!
Following was a very good version of 'Whole Lotta Shakin', with some very powerful piano playing
and classic guitar solo from Kenny and with the audience on their feet, jumping up and down, singing along!
Next was a fantastic 'Great Balls Of Fire' - Movie Version! With
some very powerful pounding from Jerry and quite a fast version! Jerry then kicked the stool back quite fiercely and the lid came off (Ha Ha) and the stool turned upside down and
Jerry bent down and picked it up, turned it over and placed it calmly on it's spot near the piano (Great!), before walking off to a very satisfied audience!
As always, a
FANTASTIC show, with two songs I've never heard 'live' before, 'I Don't Want To Be Lonely Tonight' and 'She Even Woke Me Up.' 'Down The Line' was also a highlight for me. 51 minutes,
12 songs. The only problem I would say is that the piano wasn't loud enough from the start! Wolfie said to me after that he thought it was one of the best shows he'd seen this year.
Jerry's in brilliant form!