By Rick Slagter, Rock At Night Groningen, The Netherlands
The Kittyhawk Bomber Billies was a very popular rockabilly band at Groningen, The Netherlands back in the 1980s. The band has a live reputation, energetic and wild. They played at every club, cellar bar and street corner of the city. A national breakthrough followed, and they had some gigs abroad. The band existed as long as the members studied together at the Minerva Art Academy. Unfortunately, the band never released any albums–only a demo cassette and a small number of songs on a rockabilly compilation.
A year ago one of the former bandmembers received an e-mal from Igor, living at St. Petersburg, Russia. Igor had discovered the 30 year-old demo cassette and wanted to release it as a vinyl record. The band thought it was a scam mail, but Igor is the CEO of Just Another Normal Guy Records, a label specialized in all kinds of (vintage) rockabilly. Igor recognized a very energetic and crazy kind of rockabilly that tends to psychobilly.
The sound of the old demo tape was remastered and the vinyl album got the title The Kittyhawk Is Back. Fast forward to January 23, 2020, The Kittyhawk Bomber Billies finally had the release party of their debut album The Kittyhawk Is Back, which was essentially a reunion after 30 years. This was was first time they had played together since the band members went their separate ways. Two members are still active in music, but two others hadn’t played since the end of the band. Rehearsals were fun, they said, but sometimes heavy.
The release party was a mini rockabilly event with three bands at Vera Club Groningen. The evening started with The Grave Diggers, a band from the mid 1990’s, highly inspired by the Kittyhawk Bomber Billies. They picked up the flame where the Kittyhawk Bomber Billies had stopped and created their own style of psychobilly.
The second band was Flatt Mountain, in historical perspective they played an earlier, more country-based kind of rockabilly.
RAN was there to cover this special evening with some devilish moments at Vera Club Groningen. Check out the Photo Gallery below:
Kittyhawk Bomber Billies is: Ruud Akse (vocals guitar), Michiel Hoving (guitar), Jeroen Bakker (double bass), Sjoerd Wagenaar (drums)
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