Scott Roberts on drums
Mitch Turner on lead guitar
Darren Howe on rhythm guitar
Mick Cane on bass guitar
I have seen more than my fair share of sixties tribute
bands over the years, which is understandable given my
passion for that decade. Shake101 are an Essex-based
band with a big sound and big ideas. I went to see them
perform at The Essex Arms pub near Brentwood on a cold
Saturday 8th January.
I talk to the band before their set and after a rather
frenzied sound check - one of the pleasures of playing
pub venues. The guys don't claim to have a particular
leader but each of them does seem to have adopted a
natural role within the band, at least from my
I tell lead guitarist Mitch that he has the look of one
of The Small Faces and his reaction is positive and he
seems rather pleased. He certainly has the sixties
mod look although he's a lot taller than his sixties
counterparts would have been. Based down in Brighton and
studying music, Mitch has impressive musical tastes and
knowledge for one so relatively young. He's only
eighteen and has been playing for six years yet is
already an accomplished guitarist. He has a lot of drive
and ideas for the band. Compared to when I was eighteen
all those decades ago he seems very grown up and
switched-on despite his very youthful looks.
Rhythm guitarist Darren is a good-looking guy with girl
appeal - my girlfriend confirms this, and with a great
set of lungs. Darren makes a perfect focal point for the
band. He tells me they have started to write their own
material. A challenge they face, he tells me, is being
able to fill a set with songs because most of the
sixties songs were only a couple of minutes long. I tell
him that The Overtures, who do the Bootleg Sixties
tours, solved this problem by doing medleys of songs.
Having racked their brains for the best choice of
original material, Shake101 now have two sets for the
first and second halves of the show. So now they are
concentrating on writing their own stuff. A CD will be
available soon and downloads too, Darren adds.
Bassist Mick is an impressive-looking figure and is
clearly a seasoned and dedicated mod. He brings
experience and street-cred to the band. I talk to him
about the mod scene and about his musical influences,
both of which are key ingredients of the band.
Drummer Scott is passionate about his music and his
drums and drumming - and the proud possessor of an
original Roberts kit with a wonderfully authentic
binds them all is their love of the sixties music and an
eagerness to play and to progress.
I talk to Darren and Mitch about their favourite bands -
Paul Weller and The Jam, The Kinks, The Who. Darren also
is appreciative of the cult mod bands such as The
Creation, The Action and The Birds. And The
are the sixties so popular? I ask Scott. He says he's
been brought up with it and you just can't beat it -
everything comes from there and it doesn't matter what
you listen to it's all been influenced by the sixties.
"It's never gone away" Mick tells me.
"That's where it all kicked off." Scott adds:
"Rock and roll may have started it all but the
sixties had the fashion, the attitude." Mick tells
me " The early sixties was when people had a little
more money to spend as well so the youngsters could
afford to get the haircuts and suits." And scooters
and cars, of course. Darren says "It doesn't matter
what's new, rap or whatever, it always comes back full
circle to the sixties in the end."
They play a lot of the British stuff and I ask them if
they play much of the American bands' material.
Darren says not really, apart from The Sonics. Scott:
"In pubs you have to play things that everyone
knows or they'll all leave. We do some Doors and a Jimi
Hendrix song." "I love all that American
garage" says Darren. Is it difficult to cover
so many different bands' styles? Mick: "There are
some songs we have tried to do that just don't gel with
the way that we play."
I reminisce about the old days, as I do, about when we
only had one radio station. But all of the guys are too
young to remember that hardship first-hand. But their
roadie does remember and looks as though he does!
Darren: "Listening to the radio was an event,
whereas now everyone's got thousands of instant tracks
available and downloads. You couldn't easily get the
American records in the sixties and they had to come in
at the ports." The band's roadie lived down in
Richmond back in the day and recalls the early days of
The Stones and The Yardbirds at The Crawdaddy and The
Station Hotel as well as the origins of The Eagles.
"Here's a question" I pose to the guys when PJ
Proby comes onto the speakers, "What's PJ Proby's
claim to fame?" Scott: " He was the singer on
Elvis's backing tracks." "That's correct"
I say, rather impressed, but point out that I was
actually thinking of the fact that Proby famously ripped
his trousers while performing on stage in Luton and that
he then did it every night after that as part of his
The band tell me they practice once a week and have been
going for about a year. The band name doesn't mean
anything and they've done nine gigs so far.
"What about the future? " I ask them. They
want to get some more gigs under their belts, travel a
bit further afield and get some of their own songs
completed. In five year time Darren wants to see them as
a band in their own right performing all of their own
material which continues to pay homage to and draw on
the legacy of the sixties, of course.
Their set comprises a lot of familiar sixties tunes and
some not so well-known but all should get your feet
tapping or even dancing! They are a very together band -
are an accomplished group of musicians with a great
image, a tight sound, a great blend of band characters
and a bright future.
or Nothing – The Small Faces
Leaving Here – The Who
Till the end of the day – The Kinks
Shot Down – The Sonics
Whatcha Gonna Do About It – The Small Faces
Hard Days Night – The Beatles
Dizzy Ms Lizzy – The Beatles
Dirty Robber – The Sonics
I Wanna Be Your Man – The Beatles
Can't Explain – The Who
Money – The Beatles
Shake – The Small Faces
My Generation – The Who
Helta Skelta – The Beatles
Have Love Will Travel – The Sonics
Break On Through – The Doors
For Your Love – The Yardbirds
Sha La La La Lee – The Small Faces
Leave My Kitten Alone – The Beatles
Fire – Jimi Hendrix
Jumping Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones
I’m number three, probably, as far as the age goes.
And if you can restore railway clocks then you can
are a band who are passionate about 60s music and 60s
style. We love to play our live music all around Essex
and beyond. We are always on the look out for new venues
to perform at. So if you're looking to hire a band, we
would love to hear from you!
are available to book to play at various events. For
more information, contact us via phone or email!
Phone: 07801 234 658 (Phil)
Thank you David.