Guitarist Kenneth Petrie sends Essex Covers Band global after Viral Video

Incase you missed it, 60 something rock guitarist Kenneth Petrie has sent his covers band Mr Spankey and the Hipthrusters into the land of viral video after a video of him shredding was posted on social media.

Nicknamed The Reverend, Kenny has been doing the rounds for many years in pub, clubs and various jam nights. An apparently unassuming man, the band quick shot to fame just before Christmas 2017 when a video of him playing a cover of ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The Reverend Kenny Petrie. Photo credit

Within a week the video had over 100,000 views and the band was quickly receiving messages from rock fans around the world.

The video was captured at The Cow & Telescope pub (formerly the Sutton Arms) in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdom by Youtuber Lucy Row.

Sadly however, the band was forced to remove the nickname ‘Reverend’ from their website after it seems to cause some confusion. The band were quick to clarify that Kenny Petrie is not (and has never been) an actual church priest.

Meanwhile, some of the new fans are keen to see the band play in person as they receive comments such as “If i ever had a dying wish it would be to hear you play in person, i am in ohio”.

The video smash comes just weeks after another Essex guitarist Steve Forward’s video of Purple Rain went viral thanks to Classic Guitar magazine. It seems live music is still very much alive in Essex.

It’s every band’s dream to have that video that goes viral and it seems Kenny and Mr Spankey have achieved it. Well deserved.

Anyway, here’s the video. And remember people, he’s not a reverend: he’s a very naughty boy 😉


Commitments and Blues Brothers Experience comes to Braintree for one night only

Commitments and Blues Brothers Experience

A local Commitments and Blues Brothers Experience comes to Braintree for one night only on 22nd April 2017.

Fronted by Richard Alcock and Ritchie Hicks who have been performing on the East Anglia circuit for over 14 years, ‘Committed to the Blues Brothers Band‘ brings the songs of two cult-classic films together providing two foot-tapping shows in one evening.

The first half of the show is a trip down memory lane to 1991 Dublin where Andrew Strong and Robert Arkins supplied the vocals to some of the greatest covers of soul music ever to glaze the big screen: ‘The Commitments’.

The second half of the show transforms the theatre back to 1980 when Jake & Elwood (originally played by John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd) bought their Saturday Night Live characters to life in what would be arguably the most famous musical duo of all time; scoring 7.9/10 on IMDB.

“The music of the films go together so perfectly” said founder of Committed to the Blues Brothers Band, Richard Alcock.

“You just can’t help but want to dance to these hits. They’re all classics in their own right” he said.

Live Audio-Visual

The show also includes live audio-visual effects supporting the show, projected on the big screen behind the performers.

Tickets cost £15 and can be purchased at the Braintree Arts Theatre website or by calling 01376 556354.





Cliff Richard Roll Over Beethoven – Please stop it, Sir Cliff

I have just had the misfortune of hearing it again: Cliff Richard Roll Over Beethoven cover. It really is dreadful and I wish major radio networks such as the BBC would stop promoting this singer who seems to have been around since Jesus was a child.

The song originally made fame when released by the legendary Chuck Berry in 1956. It seems Cliff Richard’s way of recognising 50 years since this great song was released is to release his own, simply dreadful, cover.

Perhaps Cliff Richard Roll Over Beethoven cover wouldn’t be so bad if you couldn’t hear Cliff’s false teeth chattering through the lyrics. That, and his pronunciation of words being so quintessentially British just doesn’t work in a song originally performed by a black man from St. Louis, Missouri.

It just doesn’t work and I really don’t understand why millions of people keep on buying these very poor cover albums. If you want to hear Chuck Berry at his greatest, then just buy a Chuck Berry album instead of a re-hashed terrible covers.


Live Act Lounge, Chelmsford

Live Act Lounge

Those people over at Card Trick Music in Essex have come up with a great idea: a rehearsal studio which doubles as a Live Act Lounge.

The Live Act Lounge provides bands a place to polish their performance with a stage-like setting, which includes subtle lighting and a drum riser. Not only does the room work great for practicing, but it also supplies a fantastic backdrop for photo-shoots and even music videos. It looks pretty damn cool.

The room also includes a chill-out area, a fridge and loads of plug sockets for you to plug your gear in to.

It’s a unique idea to the area and it’s likely to become very popular. Check out the Live Act Lounge Facebook page for more information, or call Card Trick Music on 07718 210355.

The Live Act Lounge Chillout area
The Live Act Lounge Chillout area

‘Big Brother’ – David Bowie’s most underrated song

Some time in the mid 1980s I was given a second-hand copy of David Bowie’s ‘David Live’ album on vinyl LP. I was still young and we didn’t have a great deal of money so I was happy with anything new to listen to.

I’ll be honest; I didn’t really get Bowie’s music at the time. To an 8 year-old Me he looked a bit like a blonde-haired version of Adam Ant (another artiste whose music I had on an LP).

But there was one song on the live album which stood out above all others; ‘Big Brother’. Slightly ironic that it would be the same name as the stupid British TV show on which his former wife, Angela Bowie, would learn of his death.

There are lots of reasons why I believe this song was one of his most underrated of all. First of all it was never a hit. I’ve never been interested in following everyone else in music and tend to keep away from chart music.

The second reason is that like the huge rock song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Big Brother was an amalgamation of different musical styles. You had a classic rock sound but also a mix of a bluegrass style (in the bridge), heavy harmonies and an important message to put over.

And then, just when we think the song is over, we’re introduced to breakdown of rock with jazz saxophone overlay. It’s a mix like no other song I’ve heard…and ends with a very similar sound to Queen’s ‘One Vision’.

The Lyrics

Don’t talk of dust and roses
Or should we powder our noses?
Don’t live for last year’s capers
Give me steel, give me steel, give me pulsars unreal

He’ll build a glass asylum
With just a hint of mayhem
He’ll build a better whirlpool
We’ll be living from sin,
then we can really begin

Please saviour, saviour, show us
Hear me, I’m graphically yours

Someone to claim us, someone to follow

Someone to shame us, some brave Apollo

Someone to fool us, someone like you
We want you Big Brother, Big Brother

I know you think you’re awful square

But you made everyone and you’ve been every where
Lord, I’d take an overdose if you knew what’s going down

[CHORUS (3 times)]

We want you Big Brother