Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven In Pattaya

What a fantastic couple of weeks I have enjoyed as far as music is concerned. Firstly, I went to see Helmut and Friends at the wonderful Hemmingways in Jomtien, where the band blew me away, with some amazing cover versions of soul, blues and rock tunes.

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Helmut is a guitar maestro and handles everything from Mark Knopfler to Gary Moore. In fact, the whole band are superb and if you haven’t seen them and you are in the Pattaya area, head along to Hemmingways on a Thursday evening from 20:00 and observe an awesome band in action.

The food in the bar is rather tasty too, I hasten to add.

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However, this post is about a certain Jerry Lee Carlson from Sweden and Håkan Nelson, from the same country. The pair played four gigs in Pattaya and I was fortunate to see two of them.

Initially I ventured out to The Triangle in central Pattaya, where a large crowd gathered to enjoy the show and secondly at New Country Road Bar (NCR) in Rompho, which is located in the Rompho Complex in Jomtien area of the city.

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Many people said the event would never work in Rompho but my friend Martin asked me to promote it for him and I did just that. Firstly with posters and flyers then numerous videos supplied by Sweden’s number one rock ‘n’ roll star, Jerry.

Jerry has played all over the world, including tours of Europe with his legends show, featuring tributes to Elvis, Roy Orbison and of course Jerry Lee Lewis.

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He has recorded a number of albums, appeared on TV and radio and is simply, one of the best entertainers you will ever see.

A lot of planning and preparation went into the NCR event, hours of hard work, hiring equipment, tables, covers in case it rained, food and so much more. Was it worth it?

Damned right it was.

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NCR attracted 102 people seated, plus 16 inside the venue and approximately 40 bystanders, who watched from the sidelines, due to either a lack of seating or they were enjoying the event from another bar.

Jerry kicked off the show as always with thundering rock ‘n’ roll classics from his hero Jerry Lee Lewis. He sang the hits of Elvis, Fats Domino, Hank Williams and even did a rendition of a Robbie Williams hit, just to show his versatility.

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Rock, country, blues and boogie woogie tunes all blasted out from the venue. Håkan Nelson on drums was his usually faultless self ashe followed Jerry’s left hand to keep the tempo going.

People came from other bands to watch the gig. Local media in the form of Pattaya People were present to record video material, which will air shortly. Love Pattaya were represented too and kindly supplied the bar staffs shirts.

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Bar owners came from pubs in Pattaya and Rompho to enjoy a fantastic show.  Many people came to Rompho for the first time and hopefully they will return with other new faces for future events.

Jerry sang “Great Balls Of Fire”, “Whole Lotta Shaking”, “High School Confidential”, Hound Dog”, Bonnie B”, ” Mean Woman Blues”, “Lewis Boogie” and many more classics from the golden era of music.

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If ever there was a man born to entertain, Jerry Carlson is that man. He is a genius on a keyboard/piano and sounds identical to a certain Mr. Lewis, when the legend was in his prime.

He also does a great impression of Andy Kaufman’s fictional character Latka Gravas from the hit US sitcom “Taxi”.

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Jerry also impressed with a version of “Take Me Home Country Roads” with a “NEW” added into the lyrics, just for the bar. He sang ” Blueberry Hill” replacing Blueberry with Phratamnak to give the song a local feel about it. Phratamnak Hill is a popular area in Pattaya with tourists.

Yours truly even acted as compere for the night, introducing Jerry and Håkan. Not something that was planned, I can assure you but it’s amazing what you can be persuaded to do following a few Smirnoff Midnight’s.

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Jerry did three sets and even came back for an encore or two once he had washed the sweat from his face because it was incredible hot on Saturday evening.

Like many others, I felt disappointed when the show came to its conclusion. The guys had entertained us for a couple of hours but I would have happily listened for another two hours.

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I love rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly, especially when it is produced to this standard. But all good things have to come to an end – till next time that is. Jerry and Håkan’s return cannot come fast enough and rumours are rife that they may return as a trio. I hope so!!

Next up NCR have Rock ‘n’ Roll Stephanie, who will feature at Martin’s birthday party. Steph, like me, is Scottish and does a fair bit of hip shakin’ during her act.

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If that event proves successful it will pave the way for further live music events at NCR, which can only help to attract visitors to the area, which in turn will benefit the many other bars and restaurants in the complex.

I happen to know a few great singers and bands in the UK, who if they ever fancied a busman’s holiday to Pattaya, could be catered for.

Ziggi – your audience awaits you 🙂

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Steph Recordings

A good friend of mine from Scotland but currently living in Pattaya, Thailand, recently went into the recording studio to produce a new tune for her many fans.

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Stephanie Quinn has been rocking around Thailand and beyond for a number of years and has in fact numerous recordings to her credit.

Steph is also a trained nurse and school teacher so has many strings to her bow.

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I photographed her at a bar in Pattaya a few months back and I am delighted to say that Steph was pretty happy with the results.

We met up recently at the Crew Bar and Cloud9 Bar in Pattaya’s Soi Buakhao area for a chat. When she informed me of her new venture into the studio, I thought I would offer her some publicity.

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Stephanie recently appeared on Sky TV (UK) and can often be heard on Rockabilly Radio, which is a popular Internet radio station for Rock ‘n’ Roll and Rockabilly fans, which runs 24 hours per day.

Want to hear Steph’s latest recording Red Alert? Simply click here to listen to her latest release.

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Red Alert was written by Steve and Heather Taylor and recorded at Oceanwave Studios in Thailand. It will be available from Amazon, Spotify, Itunes and Nimbit.

Watch Steph on the Janey Kirk TV Show (SKY TV). Click to view.

Steph is a huge fan of 1980s star Shakin’ Stevens and covers many of his and other rock ‘n’ roll legends music. Listen to her tribute to Shaky. Click here.

If you wish to hire Rock ‘n’ Roll Stephanie you can contact her via her Facebook Page here.

If you love rock ‘n’ roll music and want to keep it alive, please share this post.

Keep Music Live.

PS: The beers are on you Steph 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Stephanie

A few months ago, a friend back home in Scotland, introduced me to a Scottish lass, who now resides in Thailand and does a bit of singing around the bars of Pattaya.

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The introduction was via Facebook and we happily accepted friends requests. That was a couple of months back and I have monitored her visits to Pattaya via the social media app ever since.

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Why you may ask?

Well I love rock n roll and rockabilly music, so anyone playing or singing golden oldies, immediately has my attention.

Steph Quinn goes by the name of Rock ‘n’ Stephanie and fair likes to belt out a tune as we say in Scotland. She is originally from Falkirk but lived in Edinburgh for many years, has been in Thailand from some time, living almost 500 miles from Pattaya but is a frequent visitor to the city.

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I noticed she was in town and I suggested that I would come along and meet her at a bar near Soi Buakhao, providing she was going to be singing of course. I was assured she was. She enquired if I would bring my camera? I did not have to be asked twice.

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So we met at the Crew Bar, which is a small compact drinking house, surrounded by a market place, numerous other bars, eating venues and much more.

Due to poor lighting, I considered leaving the camera in my bag but I decided to give it a bash. The worst that could happen after all is the images would be dark or unusable, and of course digital images cost only your time.

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So was she any good? Well I was dubious when I first met her. She is a down to earth lady from Scotland, who doesn’t look any different from the many other tourists of Thailand.

Only her attire set her apart from the crowd, dressed casually in jeans and a denim jacket, for not many people dress in jeans here. It is simply too warm.

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I considered my options if she turned out to be abysmal but again, my curiosity got the better of me and I hung around to listen to her vocal chords belting out some tunes.

I was pleasantly surprised when she began to sing. The female Shakin’ Stevens rocked the joint with four songs as I clicked away with the camera.

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She produced the hits of Elvis, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Shaky, all in her own unique style.

Steph was full of confidence as she danced between verses. Her voice was note perfect, never offkey, despite the movement or her Elvis style gyrating.

It is clear to see she is a huge fan of Shakin’ Stevens for his influence is prominent throughout her appearance. From dress sense to singing style and movement, Shaky can be detected from start to finish. And why not? He after all, is the UK’s best selling singles artist of the 1980s, recording 33 chart hits.

Those who were in attendance appeared to be having a ball. Both the young and the old were seen dancing and rocking the night away. Feet were tapping, the majority singing along to the selection of old rock ‘n’ roll songs that Steph produced.

Would I go back to see her? Absolutely. She is a fantastic lady, who can entertain an audience.

Nom and I also had the pleasure of Steph and her friend Gem’s company at another bar for an hour or two after we departed the Crew Bar. A great night out in Pattaya once more.

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So if you get the opportunity whilst visiting or living in Thailand, go and see Rock ‘n’ Roll Stephanie. She is often around The Crew Bar, Lock and Load and The Piss Stop bars.

Or maybe Rompho could give her a slot 🙂