Kitty, Daisy & Lewis

archive review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 12 August 2010

The Hurricanes' take on 1950s rockabilly, despite lacking the poise and range of the headliners, is full of energy, and makes them far more than a throwaway support.

Entering the tiny stage of the Electric Circus looking like the bastard children of Buddy Holly and the Backstreet Boys, dressed in matching suit jackets that covered t-shirts and jeans, perhaps the most impressive thing about this Edinburgh band are the three-way vocal harmonies. They make songs their own, confident and composed as they reel out covers; Ray Charles' 'Sticks and Stones' and 'Got My Mojo Working' amongst them.

Headliners Kitty, Daisy & Lewis appear like extras from Rock Around The Clock: Lewis suited and booted in pinstripes with slicked back hair, the girls in black dresses. And the music, rather than coming across as a hackneyed Frankie and Benny's soundtrack, is the real deal: relentlessly up-tempo, jittery and more than anything, really fun.

The Londoners impress technically, too, alternating instruments between songs, and showcasing a sound which switched effortlessly between honky tonk, blues, and ska. The only let down here is the lack of on-stage banter, something Jamaican trumpet player Eddy 'Tan Tan' Thornton almost made up for with his call-and-response chants, taking off his Obama cap to leave the stage to huge applause. Seeing a legend who has played with the Rolling Stones and Boney M jump up and down between the stage and the audience is wonderfully refreshing. And by the time the Durhams leave, everyone is well and truly knackered from grinding this out. It was only then that we realised, sadly, that it wasn't 1956 after all.