Ready to Rumble
cool & crazy records
One of the most popular bands on the UK circuit, the Bombers always deliver on-stage, be it in a sweaty little club or on the rockin' stage at the Americana International. Ready to Rumble showcases some of there stage act, and they kick off with title cut 'Ready to Rumble' a story of settling girl-related scores with a touch of violence, something i'm sure these guys are far too busy making music to be too familiar with, but delivered with passion nonetheless.
'Why Don'tcha ever listen' is Dave Brown's rockin' update on 'Honey Hush' and is driven by some well-tasty harmonica from Bassist Paul Chambers. 'Making love to my record machine' revisits the old story of Dansette love before the band slow it down with a semi-ballad 'I've changed my mind', next cut is, for me, the stand out song on the CD, thier take on poet Shelby Silverstein's 'The ballad of Lucy Jordan', an object lesson in how to rock up a song from another genre, and miles better than the Dr Hook verion i've suffered for thirty years.
'Bop with me' features more great harmonica and some heavily treated vocals that make it sound like Howlin' Wolf's in the room. I'll pass on heard-too-many-times 'House of the rising sun' but will take any amount of 'I can't dance' (a straight ahead rocker with more nice harp) and, for that matter, respectful takeson Elvis' 'What now, what next, where to' and 'That's all right Mama' with Dave Brown's guitar work on rhythm and lead impressing a lot. The band slow it down for the plaintive sounds of Claude Gray's 'I never had the one i wanted' and finish in fine style with the self-penned 'Loveaholic'.
There's no cut on this Cd where i was anything less than entertained, and some of the songs are absolute rockin' gems.
I recommend it.
Johnny Hop - UK Rock'n'Roll Magazine (Jan 1, 2012)
Got the CD 'Aroused' and have been listening all day. Love it! Anyway, here is the review I've written for Crackerjack...hope you approve. I'll be playing some on rockabilly radio as well soon..will let you know when.
A new CD from the Hicksville Bombers is becoming an annual event, coinciding nicely with the Americana International Festival, at which they seem to be the resident band. Last time they released one, “Deal with the Devil”, regular readers may remember that I remarked upon the change in lead singer, Dave Brown’s voice. A Year ago, he had developed a huskey burr to his voice, which I felt was a definite improvement on his previously clean cut tones. This time around he seems to have gone for back to a cleaner sound, but with a slight growl to his voice and once again, I have to say it suits the material that he’s performing.
The Bombers work hard, travel a lot and put on a great live show. What more could you want? Well, actually if you’re asking (rhetorical), I would suggest that you SHOULD want this CD for your collection!
The album kicks off with the driving rocker, “Lonesome feeling”, which has a short but very nice quality guitar break. For “Checking on my baby”, there is a definite Chicago blues feel, with a
persistent harmonica riff in the background and a restrained guitar break that threatens to explode but never quite strays from where it should be. “Bad things” follows, and this one will fill the
dancefloor with strollers, this is followed by an up tempo cover of Skeets McDonald’s “Heartbreaking Mama”, a favourite song of mine, so that went down well. “It aint your Business” is next and a return to that Chicago blues feel, but with the Distinctive mouth harp more in prominence, creating a great feel....arguably the best guitar break on the album, great stuff!
Next comes the title track, and that’s a nice driving stroller complete with wolf howls, that again will fill the dancefloors...this is followed by a cover of ACDC’S seminal, “Whole lotta Rosie”. Ican
understand why bands want to cover ACDC’s material, because it is basically rock n roll, but I think doing this number, which in it’s original form is nothing short of explosive, is quite brave. Those that know the original will be appalled, but the Bombers do a good job on it, and it has grown on me from the first listening. “Prettiest girl in town”, is a Dave Brown composition which I really like. A nice melody on top of a good 12 bar blues, which works really well. Several more original tunes follow, including my favourite track, “Southbound Train”, a lovely slow blues number called, “Not enough Alcahol”, a really nice version of “Little Pig”, then a great cover of Slim Harpo’s, “Don’t start crying now”. The album is finished off with some live tracks, meant to show their talents as a live outfit, but frankly, thanks to the rather quiet audience...they should have been raising the roof, so they DON’T do them justice as a live outfit...they are really good live, so that’s a bit of a shame.
All in all though, this is a really solid album and whilst dedicated Bombers fans will probably already have it and a T Shirt, which displays the really great cover. But to anyone that doesn’t have this yet....go and get it. It’s a must have for your collection!
Mike - Crackerjack Magazine (Jul 20, 2010)
The Hicksville Bombers
The Prettiest Girl In The World
Like the blues, honky-tonk and classic rock, in fact any style that’s carved its own Grand Canyon size niche in music’s core, rockabilly is always going to be crafted in approximation of the well chiselled cheekbones of silver screen icons by sharply dressed desperados. Currently enjoying another resurgence of popularity The Hicksville Bombers are one reason why this music will keep seducing new blood and causing unsuspecting pulses to pound with a V8 thrum.
Denigrators may carp that such retro attention to detail should be left in the fifties but play the Hicksvilles and any of their near contemporaries like The Crawdads, The Rhythmaires or The Tennessee Trio in comparison to a set like Proper’s recent Classic Rockabilly and quickly disabuse them of such trite ideas. Originating around the Lincoln area and rarely venturing away from the Rockin’ circuit this trio are a primo deluxe proposition straddling the bonnet-bucking bop-beat, country swing and midnight blues in fine voice and Brilliantined slinky strings.
While drawing indelibly on the Sun sound such sad-eyed, self-penned titles as Weather Baby, Don’t Let Me Face The Rain and Within These Four Walls show the superficiality and fallacy of simple likenesses. Easily standing collar to collar, if not tower over, classic I’ve Changed My Mind, these are articulate laments in best Buddy Holly or Felice and Boudleaux Bryant manner that smoulder like Rick Nelson (indeed, Get Out Of My House could be a cold kiss-off to Hello Marylou), while some brazen fuel-consumption boogie breaks bail on Hey Judge, drinking I’ve Got A Problem, Moonshine Mama and comic-strip caper of jack the lad cool cat Johnny Valentine.
Well worth blazing a trail to a hick town of your own shaking, stirring full-house slamming on table causing drinks to spill invention.
- Stu Gibson
Stu Gibson - Review on 'Prettiest girl in town' cd "Sleazegrinder" (Jan 22, 2008)
The Best of The Bombers
Raucous Records RAUCD 154
Blackout Baby / Coming Home Baby / Crazy Baby / Playboy / Do The Bop / The Worrying Kind / Alabama Jailhouse / Kaw Liga / When It Rains It Really Pours / Ice Cold / Bombs Away / Cindy Lou / So Hot She's Cool / Bopper And A Shaker / Desperate Living / Greenback Dollar / I've Changed My Mind / Moonshine Mama / Love Is My Business / Knockdown Dragout / What Kinda Fool / Get Outta My House / Bopper And Shaker / Swamp Walk / Just Like An Old Hank Williams Song
The Bombers seem to have been around forever and if you've never picked up any of their albums before then I would say this compilation of all their best bits would be a a good deal.
They are a fantastic live band who always seem to be gigging - when a band gets plenty of bookings it tells you something about them.
Sadly, I don't think their recorded material does them justice somehow. I've seen them a few times and they've always blown me away with a lively energetic set. This CD, though musically and technically pretty good, sounds mild in comparison to the real thing.
That said, they are still a Top Ten UK band and deserve all the success in the world. There are plenty of groups kicking around the scene with albums which are more professionally produced and designed than this one - but still could not touch The Bombers with a 10 foot barge pole when asked to play live.
A great lead singer and first rate musicians, their own material is really strong and is the best stuff on the CD - all the Hicksville Bombers need is to find a producer capable of capturing the magic they have on stage.
7/10 reviewed by Gordon
7/10 reviewed by Gordon (Mar 1, 2008)
By the time the Hicksville Bombers came on, the dark clouds had been replaced by flashes of lightning and massive rumbles of thunder and the rain had been replaced by hail. It was a biblical storm as the Bombers rocked away while the crowd stayed and danced in the rain. It was one of my favourite shows as the lightning was fierce, the hail actually hurt and band played a blasting set, appreciating the fact that their fans were carrying on regardless. They adopted a couple of heavy metal tunes into rockabilly numbers and although I've seen less than favourable reviews in Now Dig This, to me it worked really well. I loved the set and with the weather and everything, it's a gig I'll never forget.
Part of the review of the Americana 2011 by slam reviews (Jun 6, 2012)
Hicksville Bombers, Rudy La Crioux and Lennerockers-
Live at Leeds Irish centre-
Tonight Dave Williamson had assembled another eclentic bill to cater for all rockin' tastes and appeal to far more than merely the inquisitive. Fortunately no egos were in evidence with all three bands having reputations to qualify for pole position. The Hicksville Bombers appeared to have drawn the short straw , opening up with a 60 minute set in uncompromising style. The band is consistently good, indoors or out, having no qualms accomodating requests and consequencly was embraced by everyone here to rock. Paul Chambers' familiar turquoise doghouse is a reassuring sight in anticipation of what's to come and Dave Brown personifies the unruffled persona of someone at ease with his status, as much a mate as a singer delivering some spicy vocals to his own lead guitar work. Tonight those two long time Hicks, along with drummer Shaun Cutts, posted an impressive set that swelled as it progressed.
Along the way the band nailed down strong interpretations of 'Ready to rumble', 'Playboy', an irrisistable 'Prettiest girl in town' proving just that to the strollershere, as did 'I forgot to remember to forget', the trio making a fair fist of this with Dave's vocals displaying hints of vibrato. In completely different mode 'Bad things', 'Deal with the Devil' and Shaun's vocal on 'Domino' all upped the anti preceding 'Honey your mine' and 'I like the way you move' which has a great groove. The pace never slacked with Paul on vocals for 'Let your hair down baby' before 'whole lotta Rosie' and 'Bad to the Bone', which i'm pleased to say the guy's still stick with, headed for that all important big finish setting the seal on a scorching set. As noted, to it's credit the band has a flexible attitude appearing to access material not used at every gig and certainly not heard by me in the very recent past sending out a message to some outfits who continually stick to the same programme. Just look for the turquoise doghouse.
Mike Stott - UK Rock'n'Roll Magazine (Jan 1, 2012)
Hicksville Bombers have been a favourite of mine since I clapped eyes on them in Crondall r ‘n’ r club about 16/17 years ago, thanks to one of the club’s previous promoters ‘Paul Prictoe’ who brought the band down South. There is one thing I don’t like about them though. They are almost as fast a band now as they were back then! They haven’t slowed much, regardless to the fact that there have been a couple of line up changes in that time & are still all 3 of them about the same age as me. So what’s that all about? Rock ‘n’ roll I guess. I should have been a musician.
You can always guarantee you’ll have a good night with Hicksville Bombers. They have a great rapport with the audience, are open to requests and will have a go at most, even if they only manage a couple of lines just for a laugh. They’re Fast, Friendly & Frivolous & if you don’t leave a Bombers gig revived of energy, there’s got to be something wrong with yer body chemistry.
Hicksville Bombers produce such a sound that they could send ripples of excitement to the next town & that guitar playin’ just drowns the electrical impulses in my brain!
For those of you who haven’t yet seen Hicksville Bombers yet.....WHY HAVEN’T YOU?! Actually, for those of you who haven’t seen them, they have an air raid siren which they take around to some of their gigs. I did ask Dave Brown – Frontman/ guitar to make sure he brought it along as I so wanted to have a go on it myself. Well, as I was on the door when the band started, I missed the chance to start off the set, and the band managed to get a volunteer to do the honours by another huge Bombers fan, Julie. I put my head together with Dave’s in the break & we decided that I’d finish the 2nd set as a grand finale after the encore. Oh yes......Great FUN! Love it!
Paul Chambers is on his trustee ol’ beautiful turquoise coloured stand up bass slappin’ them slippery sweaty strings! And Shaun Cutts (once member of ‘Boogie children’) on those shiny smooth skins...oh dear, I get worse don’t I? Shaun also has the added element of doin’ a bit of lead vocals, singing ‘Domino’, much to the delight of an American lady who was in our midst this night & had great pleasure in telling the whole club that it was Roy Orbison’s birthday that day, and vowed her love for the band. Somehow, this lovely lady got the band to do ‘Domino’ a 2nd time later on, much to the delight of some of the customers who thought this particular track was worth doing twice . What a great cover.
Some of you might have seen a HOT Hicksville bomber T.shirt wonderin’ around at various gigs in an assortment of shapes n sizes. If you fancy one of these, you can buy one from their website on the ‘Buy cds’ link @ www.hicksvillebombers.com or at the band’s gigs.
Same with ‘AROUSED’ – the title of the Bombers latest CD, available on ‘Cool & Crazy Record's’, released no later than a year from the previous release ‘Deal with the Devil’ (also available) & has the same cover pic as on their tee shirts, which is of a hot chick scantily clothed sittin’ on a bomb, leanin’ seductively up against a slap bass. A CD with a lot of self penned tracks & a few good rockin’ covers. Also available from the website or at gigs.
Tonight, we thought we would give a young DJ wannabee a chance at spinnin’ a few discs of his own. He doesn’t have his own gear just yet, but would like to become a DJ. He’s only just 20 & goes by the name of DJ Billy Bayou. He specialises in western swing/hillbilly/1950s country/bluegrass & seems to know some decent stuff considering his age. Coming from a rockin’ family who’s sister was once a DJ, has obviously helped in his knowledge of the music. I wish the best of luck to young Billy. Not only do we need young blood forming bands, young DJs are also the future of our scene.
Janie Warner - Blue Suede News, (May 10, 2011)
Previously, we had Hicksville Bombers on Crondall's 30th anniversary night
back in Nov.'06. I had so much to write about, then, that the Bombers didn't
get much of a review, so I can make up for it now.
I 1st saw the Bombers approx 13/14 years ago at Crondall which was where
they did their 1st Southern gig. The Lincoln based band have been a regular
there ever since & always go down a storm. The Rosecroft club & Barnstaple
rock 'n' roll club, also book Hicksville Bombers on a regular basis.
This band is on turbo boost from start to finish, & they had our dance floor
having the living daylights knocked out of it with all the stompin' boppin'
punters throughout both of their sets.
The Bombers don't take long to do a sound check, 1 song & it's done. Now
they are good 'n' ready & raring to go after a refreshing cup of tea after
their 3 &1/2 hour long journey. They're wild, exciting, enthusiastic & loud,
as rock 'n' roll should be. They have the ability to get the adrenalin
pumping through your heart and soul, from yer head to yer toes, driving you
to unavoidably NOT keeping still ! Paul is such an energetic bass player,
going crazy with his turquoise coloured bass really giving it some good ol'
slapping & letting rip on it, like it was as light as a feather, moving it
from one side to the other, forward & back, and even trying to hide from me
& my camera, taking his bass backstage!.....crazy! They played some
fantastic boppers, some deep 'n' bluesy, a few to jive to, but mostly heart
pumpin', foot stompin' stuff. Dave sung from his rockin' heart, some of his
own material, which can be heard on their new c.d ' Deal with the Devil '
(brand new at time of gig) on ' Cool & Crazy' records. This is the first
release with the Hicksville Bombers latest line up with Paul Chambers on
bass, Dave Brown on guitar & lead vocals & Andy Turner on Drums.
The band also did a good cover of that great Johnny Cash' no. - ' Folsom
Prison Blues', which seems to be a popular song with many bands at the
Oh Boy! Record Hop kept the floor busy while some of the punters decided to
go out for some cool air, after a steaming hot 1st set performance from the
Hicksville Bombers heating the atmosphere.
The Bombers were lucky to get off the stage at all after their 2nd set, as
all the rockin' crowd, teds & rockers were cheering them back on.
More info on the Hicksville Bombers can be found at
I have to mention one of Crondall's regulars, of 32 years plus - Jill a.k.a
one of 'The Crondall sisters', was celebrating her 50th in true Crondall
style, with the band doin' a rockin' rendition of 'Happy Birthday to you' &
Jill joining them up on stage for a stroll with the next song. A nice touch
to someone who has been loyal to the club all these years.
I'd like to thank anyone & everyone who has helped support Crondall rock 'n'
roll club in one way or another for the last 32 years. You all helped it to
Keep on rockin', Janie.
Janie - Maggies Blue Suede News (Jul 16, 2008)
THE HICKSVILLE BOMBERS (1st FEBRUARY 2008 AT SHIPLEY WORKING MENS CLUB)
February 09th 2008 Posted to Gig Reviews
This place was packed. We got there at just after 7.30pm, and still ended up without a seat.
The HICKSVILLE BOMBERS always put on a good show, and in my opinion are still one the best ‘LIVE’ Rockabilly bands on the circuit. This band have been on the circuit for 16 years now. I could be a bit biased because I have seen these lads many times in the last 16 years and I saw this band with their original line up when they 1st hit the scene 16 yrs ago. Dave ( the singer/guitarist) is the only original member, although the current line up have been playing together now for quite a few years. Paul replaced Pete (the mad geordie) on the slap bass many moons ago and had previously played in THE BEAGLE BOYS, THE BLUE DOTS, and THE HUB CAPS. Andy replaced Bryn on the drums, a few years ago, and had previously been the drummer with COTTIE AND THE ALLEY CATS.
These lads have had 6 cd’s released over the years with a 7th on the way, along with a couple of EP’s on vinyl prior to that. I think most of their cd’s are available from RAUCOUS RECORDS. A slight tip though, check EBAY first, cos I know Dave often sells Bombers CD’s on there (and he sells them cheaper than Raucous).
The lads played alot of songs from their new forthcoming CD, alot of it self penned, and damn good rockin’ songs that I’d not heard before. The lads as part of their act, ask the audience to shout out songs that they have never heard the bombers play before for them to have a go at. I tell you what as well, I’ve never seen them stumped. They always manage to play whats requested. They played OH BOY as a tribute to BUDDY HOLLY, with it being the anniversary of the plane crash, the day after. The DJ played WALKING THROUGH MY DREAMS for the BIG BOPPER. Ritchie got mention but none of his music was played.
The HICKSVILLE BOMBERS myspace url is http://www.myspace.com/hicksvillebombers
We had a great night, then I had the job of driving home through a freak snow storm. lol. Have a look at these pics. The ones of the band are not as clear as normal for some reason.
Gig Reviews (Mar 1, 2008)