Their name says it all - Rock Back the Clock!! - and that’s exactly what they did at the Halifax Rock ‘n’ Roll Club, with two sets of truly memorable rock ‘n’ roll tunes to suit everybody’s taste, including Jive, Stroll, Boogie Woogie, and a touch of Rockabilly.
The six members of the band all hail from the Manchester and Stockport areas of Cheshire, and include the two founder members, Brian on rhythm guitar and Des on bass guitar. Adding to the lineup there’s Paul on keyboards, John who plays drums, Les on lead guitar, and finally, Lisa on vocals and harmonies, and she’s a lovely mover too!
Brian and Des go back a long way and used to be part of a group that has now disbanded called ‘Vintage’ who - when they were a functional group - had worked alongside such acts as Jet Harris (The Drifters / Shadows), Johnny Preston (of “Running Bear” fame) The Barron Knights) and in more recent times, Linda Gail Lewis and US rockabilly maestro man, Rip Masters.
Les, on the other hand, finds himself working with his first band. Although you wouldn’t know it as he fits in remarkably well, and produces some very good lead riffs and breaks. He has been playing guitar for a good while now.
Paul, a very good key board player, is able to produce sounds from his instrument that really augment and add to that true rock ‘n’ roll sound.
John. With his steady but firm and tight beat, keeps everybody on course but just beavers away in the background, although you certainly know he’s there.
Lisa, who apart from being a good singer, also does some theatre work, which she puts to good use with some pretty nifty choreographed dance moves on stage. She also provides some excellent harmony vocals when she’s not taking the lead spot.
The lead vocals are shared between different members of the band, and that way you get to hear something different, as obviously, everybody has their own interpretation of how a song should go. In saying that though, nobody strays far from the original, but it is nice to hear a different slant sometimes.
Rock Back The Clock!! in there current form have been together as a semi-pro band for the past three years, and between them have a very wide repertoire and style, which again they are able to use effectively on the host of different material that they include in their play-lists.
They include such ‘rockers’ as “Rip It Up”, “Oh Boy”, “La Bamba”, “Move It, “Mean Woman Blues”, “Rock and Roll Is King”, “High Class Lady’, and “Say Mama”. They intersperse with some great harmonies on such numbers as “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”, “One Fine Day”, “Forget Him”, and “In Dreams”. Added to all this, you get for your money some rockin’ boogie with “Ole Black Joe”, “Nadine” and “Be My Guest”.
We were told when we interviewed them that Des has his own recording studio and their plans are to produce their first CD in the not too distant future. If their stage act is anything to go by, then we won’t be disappointed with the finished product.
We arrived at Siddal Workingmen’s Club quite early in the evening, and were treated to the band running through a sound check. On hearing this we both knew that we were in for a good night’s entertainment, and we certainly weren’t wrong.
Rock Back The Clock!! had practically everybody ‘going’ from the start, and it just got better as the night progressed, in fact as their set came to a close, everybody - or almost everybody - was shouting for more, so we were treated to a double encore of two classics. Jerry Lee Lewis’ “High School Confidential” and Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”. Excellent stuff.
And, lest we forget, DJ Yan The Man played some classy tracks himself. Before, in between and after the band, so I think it’s fair to say that a good time was had by all, and certainly by ‘Yours Truly’.
I’ll take Del Shannon as a lead, but instead of saying “Hats Off To Larry” it’ll be “Hats Off To Rock Back The Clock!!”.