A Rockabilly Romp to Celebrate Twinning Week

Red Smed putting on the style….of sorts


“Hipsters! Flipsters! And Finger Poppin’ Daddies!” (So that’s most of Highbridge ruled out) Have we got a treat for you this weekend! That’s not a question, that’s a statement. In fact we have. We’ve got Italy’s numero uno rockabilly band AFTER DARK back in Bridgwater for a whole week of twinning festivities culminating in an all star night of all stars at the Bridgwater Arts Centre on Saturday 22nd April. So here’s a final warning…Be there or be, I don’t know, cylindrical maybe.

But who exactly ARE these After Darks? What music do they play? What are their influences? And what on earth are they doing in Bridgwater?

 Cantare, ohohoho.

From Bridgwater’s Italian twin town Priverno

As luck would have it I tracked them down to the coolest, hippest, funkiest jazz bar in their own town Priverno (twinned with Bridgwater)  in the foothills of the Italian Appenine mountains (twinned with the Quantocks)  and interviewed them.

Entering il Caffè Ridicolo, I saw them sat around a card table drinking eggcups full of sambuca and squeezing hot sponges full of grappa over each others quiffs whilst taking it in turns to put ‘Brand New Cadillac’  by Vince Playboy and the Tailors on the jukebox. I wondered what this meant.The fact that it was the only record on the jukebox momentarily eluded me.

Peppe’s Band featuring Peppe. And his band.

The Priverno Godfather of Musica Folk makes an appearance

On one side of the table 3 young guys in their late 20’s, dressed head to toe in battered denim, black leather and one slightly misplaced bright pink balaclava. On the other side sat Priverno’s godfather of the folk guitar, the legendary Peppe De Marchis – something big was on the table. It was a stuffed mongoose. But they soon moved that to one side and got down to their negotiations.

Hey Mambo, Mambo Italiano

Combing my own quiff back over my head, then picking it up off the floor, replacing it  and adjusting it slightly to the left, I sat down next to them and harpooned them with my first hard hitting rockahoola question.


SMED;- So how’s it going dudes?

FABIO;- Mi dispiace, ma non ti conosco.

SMED:- Well exactly. . And who could disagree. But what about Eddie Cochran. A seminal influence or what?

GABRIELE;- Senti amico, sto cercando di prendere un caffè tranquillo con i miei amici.

SMED;- Yes of course. But tell me more about your music? Many people would say you’re Italians. What’s your take on that one?

GIANMARCO;- No, veramente, adesso smettila di romperci le scatole per cortesia

SMED;- Well, obviously, that’s easy for you to say. Now then, Bill Haley, true or false?

PEPPE;- Ok, adesso levati o finirà male.

Where’d I put that guitar?

SMED;-Can I ask you one final question? Have you ever heard top Leeds Rockabilly band Rockin Barry and the Barrytones doing ‘Have you seen me Cheeseplant?’

PEPPE;- Ok, ora basta. Adesso ti arrivano! 

So where exactly are they playing??

Nobody can be in any doubt that after that full and frank investigation into the influences, passions and momentarily  violent episodes of the Italian super group After Dark it’s now just a matter of turning up to their gigs.

After Dark will be rockabillying the Art Centre

Thursday 20th April: CICCIC Centre  Taunton 8pm -supported by Redfoot Rockabilly and Peppe’s band. Click here

Friday 21st April :Bar 27 Bridgwater 9pm supported by Peppe’s Band. Click here.

Saturday 22nd April :Bridgwater Arts Centre 8pm supported by Brian and Claudes Multinational Big Band, The Alima Janaan Belly Dancers, Peppe’s Band and A General Discussion about Twinning (that last ones NOT a band). Click here

Sunday 23rd April: Pebbles  Inn Watchet 8pm supported by Peppe’s Band. Click here

For more about twinning week click here

To hear (and see) After Dark click here

To try to work out where it all went wrong click here


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *