Danny O And The Astrotones at The Festing Southsea REVIEW: ‘This is what real live music is about’

Danny O and The Astrotones at The Festing in Southsea, November 2018. Picture Paul Windsor
Danny O and The Astrotones at The Festing in Southsea, November 2018. Picture Paul Windsor

Forget your £100 ticket to watch a video screen at an arena, this is what real live music is about.

A packed, sold-out room above a spit-and-sawdust pub in deepest Southsea is the place to be as far as I am concerned.

Even better, the band’s DJ is playing proper vinyl, a rockin' collection of wonderful rockabilly and rock’n’roll cuts that makes you realise why bands like The Cramps loved the genre so much.

The audience looked cool too – sharp tailored suits with the shirt collars just right and quiffs with not a hair out of place.

Support band Gary 7 serve up the perfect appetiser of garage-rock instrumentals to warm up for the main act.

The amps and guitars may be vintage but Danny O and The Astrotones are anything but. Indeed, this young band have added a freshness and vitality to what sometimes, in my experience, can be a dated live experience.

Lead singer Danny Dawkins certainly has star quality, and reminded me of a young Chris Isaac of Wicked Game-fame. Equally at home with or without a guitar he is a natural performer and has a great rapport with the crowd.

Song themes are similar to to ‘50s bands, Teenage Obsolescence and Drinkin' On A School Night, but are delivered with a style, panache and exuberance that is really exciting.

Danny and the boys will be back at the Dockyard Club in March 2019, and are well worth a look.