TWANGSVILLE came to Sheffield last Friday night when guitar legend Duane Eddy blew into The Greystones for a pre-Glastonbury warm-up, backed by Richard Hawley’s band.
The Grammy Award winner, now 73, who has played the world’s biggest concert halls in a long career, seemed relaxed and comfortable in the backroom of the pub, chatting between songs to the sell-out audience, many of whom were not born when he first hit the charts in 1958.
Tall and slim, a black hat wedged firmly on his head, he still looks the business and it was clear from the opener, the shimmering Rebel Rouser, that he’s lost none of the down-and-dirty, string-bending magic that gave him hit after hit on both sides of the Atlantic and a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Old classics like Cannonball, Three-Thirty Blues and Forty Miles Of Bad Road blended well with new tunes Curveball, and Road Trip from Eddy’s latest album, while Dance With The Guitar Man and Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar saw Tina Peacock and Louise Thompson, once of Sheffield girl group Supersister, help out with vocals.
“This is the man who’s made it all happen,” was the cue for Richard Hawley to take the microphone for Still As The Night and the hauntingly beautiful Girl On Death Row, songs written by his late father’s hero, Sanford Clark.
Duane Eddy played on both the original records.
He had good words too for disc jockey Johnnie Walker, who adopted Eddy’s hit Because They’re Young as the theme tune for his Radio Caroline show back in the 60s.
“I’d take my hat off to him,” he said, “if I took my hat off, which I don’t.”
All night, Eddy’s American sax player Ron Dziubla had growled and roared on the old numbers and he didn’t let up on the closer, Peter Gunn, before an inevitable encore gave all the band opportunity to solo on Hard Times.
An hour later the King of Twang was still in the pub, signing autographs and chatting to fans.
Those who were there will not forget the night Duane Eddy played The Greystones.