The Blue Beat Rooms, Billericay
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The Mannequins & Shake101 The Blue Beat Rooms, Billericay Football Club 20/04/12


First time to see bands at this venue; I have been here quite a few times before for football though. The venue is quite sizeable and hosts shows about once a month, normally 60’s, mod influenced. Walking through the doors after paying £6 (well worth the money) you have the bar at one end. It serves no real ale but I am reliably informed that the Guinness is very palatable. I was at work early the next day so decided to drive, so I was full of cocacola. Opposite the bar is quite a large stage and the music that boomed out while the bands weren’t on was late 60’s early 70’s reggae. I love this music and have quite a bit of it on vinyl and CD but I didn’t recognise one song all night. So this is all good.

The first band who came on to celebrate St Georges day were the Mannequins, a three piece from Dagenham. A powerful group who played very fast RnB, lots of power chords and energy. What I liked about them was that they played most of their own music, so I can’t tell you what the tracks were apart from “Keep on running” by the Spencer Davis Group and Stax fave, Eddie Floyd’s “Big Bird”. I don’t know why more bands don’t do the old soul records as covers, they are always good songs and you can make them yours by rocking them up. I thought they were a great band and will definitely go and see them again, it’s just a shame that they had a bit of trouble with the mikes and cables. They are doing an acoustic soul set at the Blue Beat Rooms on the 26th of May which I would have loved to have gone to but I will be in Germany, so can’t make it.

The Mannequins

After a bit more reggae, Shake101 hit the stage. Different to the Mannequins as most of their songs were covers, maybe all of them. They started with a great energetic cover of Otis’s “Shake” followed by Count Five’s “Psychotic reaction”. There were lots of other songs “Stepping Stone”, A version of Barrett Strong’s “Money”, songs from the Who, Kinks, Small Faces, unusually the Sonics and ending with the only Beatles song that I like “Helter Skelter”. They are a very loud and powerful band who are a 4 piece and create a huge wall of sound. Very smart dressers who look the part and could have come from the Mod era. I will also see this band again as well. They are playing at the Clay Pigeon in Chelmsford on the 28th of April so will try to make this one.

Summing up I will deffo go back to the Blue Beat Rooms, even though us people from the big city find it hard to get there and have to drive. The 2 bands are also on my watch list also, to see where they are playing.

The Blue Beat Rooms have a Mods Maydayer on the 26th of May featuring 5 live bands, a Mannequins acoustic set with a few DJ’s as well, which I enjoy as they often play stuff that I haven’t heard before. For the young at heart it starts at 1pm till 1am. For all of us married people 8pm sounds more reasonable.

Duncan, April 2012.


The Mannequins

Shake 101