Shake That Thang are what the hepcats used to call a ‘happening combo’. They play up tempo jump swing, and the brand of R’n’B that has nothing to do with booty shakin’ or Usher. The five piece are a blur of wailing sax, dirty harmonica, swinging bass, rock solid drums, and twangin’ guitar.
It’s a full house at The Jade on a Sunday afternoon and people are packed in every which way. Right from the start they are smokin’ hot, with Going Poppin’, Joe Jackson’s Jack You Dead and the Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson classic Red Hot (a huge hit for Robert Gordon). There are a bunch of Joe Jackson songs this afternoon from his Jumpin’ Jive era, which is a particular style of jump swing. It’s bold, poppy, but swings with a big beat. It’s the same vibe as The Brian Setzer Orchestra (former Stray Cats front man) from whom get Jump Jive & Wail.
The Coasters Down In Mexico and Riot In Cell Block Number 9, Elvis Presley’s Little Sister and Louis Jordan’s Is You Is Or Is You and Aint my Baby all make an appearance today and they are tight as a drum.
It’s music with a real groove to it and while I think everybody had a ball, I think they might have missed a trick not having any space to dance. It’s the second year in a row I’ve seen them in this venue and it was the same last year. Their audience is somewhat on the older side, but you could see people desperate to bust a move all round the room.
They finish off with a killer version of Royal Crown Revue’s Zoot Suit Riot. It’s terrific stuff.
Fringe Review by Ian Bell
Shake That Thang are playing two shows at The Wheaty on Sunday March 18 with The Furball Express. 3pm (tickets available) and 6pm (sold out).