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Hertfordshire

Colin Fenn, DJ, journalist, Wed 21st Dec 11            It's great to see an act who really seem to enjoy performing their music.The teasingly-named Scallywags, from Hitchin, might comprise just two guys but they make one helluva powerful sound.Kevin Maher (vocals, guitar, harmonica, tambourine, hat) and Guy Clark (keyboards) brought some Christmas cheer to the cosy Green Dragon pub and the regulars were soon singing along to the diverse music on offer.Kevin is one big bundle of energy and he transfers that excitement, fun and intensity to his audiences. Kev told me the Scallys like performing theme tunes so it came as no surprise when they started with "Half The World Away", the Oasis song featured in the BBC comedy 'The Royle Family'.It's a great song but Kevin and Guy made it even more interesting by adding in bits of "All The Young Dudes" and the Beatles' "Octopus's Garden".This duo offer tremendous diversity as the next three songs demonstrated: The Killers' rocker "Mr Brightside", Billy Joel's story-in-song "Piano Man" and Bob Dylan's classic ballad "Like A Rollin' Stone".The guys presented their own smooth interpretation of the Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" (a song new to their act) before offering some much-loved themes: "Sesame Street" (I kid you not), the theme from 'Cheers' and "Bad Guys" from the musical 'Bugsy Malone'.The choice of unusual songs give the Scallywags a sense of danger. You can never be sure what's coming next.Who would have expected to hear Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby One More Time" or Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" sung by a bloke and then follow it a few minutes later with the Beatles' complex classic "All You Need Is Love" and Irish favourites like "Dirty Old Town", "The Irish Rover" and "Fairytale Of New York" on which Kevin manages both the Shane and Kirsty parts!Throughout the three sets Kev sang his heart out while Guy demonstrated his immense keyboard skills. It's no surprise to learn that he was trained classically and has worked with choirs.Highlight of the night (for me) was their subtle, yet awesome performance of Chris Farlowe's pop smash "Handbags And Gladrags".The Scallywags have played together for two years. If you want a great night out check out their gig list. ...

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Groups in Hertfordshire

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