GIG: Pipeline Convention 2010
DATE: Sunday 4th April 2010
VENUE: Metropolitan Police Sports Club, Bushey, Herts
COST: £16 in advance
RATING: Twanged Up


This was our 3rd Pipeline convention, so by now we knew more or less what to expect…… an afternoon of sorting through racks of CD’s and DVD’s for sale interspersed with live bands playing.

First on the bill was a band from the Oxford area, The Vicars of Twiddly (www.myspace.com/vicarsoftwiddly). A tremendously religious band, wearing the clerical robes, blessing the audience, this band was very much Ventures influenced, and also quite heavy on the organ. Not a bad act at all, and supplemented with the go-go dancing Sister Jules they were a great fun act to kick off the convention. Although we would have to say they would be better placed in a pub / club at night rather than performing on Easter Sunday! Their set was definitely entertaining, and even included the old favourite “Churchin’ Safari”

Following another browse of the mounds of CD’s for sale, we took our seats for the next band on the bill – Apollo 11. The stage curtains had been drawn while this band was setting up and the programme introduced this band, from France as having been “invited to play at the annual Spotnicks festival – and you will soon see why”. The reason for the curtains soon became clear as the curtains were pulled back, the band were dressed in the Spotnicks’ space costumes. Dramatically they were good, however their set was quite mediocre and quite melodic, rather than guitar twanging rhythm. We think the fastest track they played was “Mona Lisa”, and were quite classical with their guitar playing.

The convention timing does not allow much time for eating and in order to grab some mid-afternoon sustenance, we missed the 3rd band on the bill, The Vintage (http://www.thevintage.se/) from Sweden. This is a young band, and from the last 3 years we have been to Pipeline the younger bands have always brought a lot of vitality and edge to the convention. After returning from lunch, we felt there was a bit of a buzz about the band so we did buy their CD and from the quality of that, we were sorry to have missed hearing them play live. We are glad we bought their CD though – the guy who sat beside us said we should get the CD signed as he felt this band was going to be big.

Next up on stage was The Shadowers (http://www.theshadowers.com/). From the name you can tell their influence is The Shadows, and the lead guitarist was certainly a doppelganger of a young Hank Marvin. Indeed, Bruce Welch from the Shadows was in the audience to watch this band. Coupled with a few years of experience in the band, from ex Shadows bassist Alan Jones and rhythm guitarist Steve Longden, this was a class band. They were tight. The lead guitarist, Justin Daish (the Hank lookalike) although young, was brimming with confidence and obviously loved playing his guitar and coaxed the notes out with seemingly little effort. This band stood out due to the fact that on occasions, Steve switched from electric guitar to acoustic (for tunes such as “Moonlight Shadow” and “Sound Of Silence”) which really made a difference. The drummer also had a spotlight slot, with a great drum solo.

The last band on the bill was a Duane Eddy tribute act. The Twang Gang started off with “Peter Gunn” with a very strong sax player. They did a few Duane Eddy numbers but in the spirit of Pipeline also did a number of other instrumentals, including a Chet Atkins number. The front man of the band also played a fantastic looking 1950’s Gretsch guitar which had actually been lent to Duane Eddy when he re-recorded a version of Pipeline. We had reservations about this band when they gathered on stage as we realised that some of the band had been guilty of constantly chattering in the background while the other bands had played, but their stage presence and great guitar & sax playing won us over and we found we really enjoyed their set.

So to sum up – another good convention day. We left the sports centre having seen some great bands and with some good CD’s ranging from Jan & Dean Take Linda Surfin’ to a Dick Dale plus some DVDs.

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