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Westonline 1st April 2012 

 

WestonLine 1 April 2012  

How’s this for pedigree?  Have you been a regular at MK Divided for a while – like for 23 or 24 years, by chance?  Back on one of those Sundays, at the British Rail Social Club next to the railway station, a family band was on.  It was a four piece, comprising Cliff and Paul Weston, their sister Sylvie, and the brother-in-law, Len.  Father Wal joined them on stage for their second, middle set of the night.  The name you may be struggling to recall was Sylvie and the Silver Dollar Band.  

That’s part of the pedigree of Cliff and Paul, and it shows in their relaxed interaction with the audience, in their repertoire, in their ability to slot in some older numbers when requested – that fit currently popular dances, naturally! – and in their consistently high musician’s skills. 

Messed Up In Memphis gave Cliff an opportunity to play himself in with a nice lead-guitar solo, followed by It Only Hurts When I Cry, Sunny In Seattle, Cabo San Lucas and Guitars And Cadillacs – which brought Lil out of retirement for one of her rare appearances on the dance floor – Buy Me A Rose (for Blue Night Cha), then Cliff was on pedal for Laid Back ‘N Low Key, then Whisky’s Gone for another of Cliff’s finger-lickin’ solos.  Cliff also mixed it up nicely with further pedal numbers, and a few on dobro.  The boys, back in the 80s with Sylvie (who gained a record contract with Playback records) spent a couple of years in the States, and worked with Merle Haggard, Becky Hobbs and The Forrester Sisters among others – all about the time Garth Brooks was a rising star, and when Cliff had a good head of hair – so Paul claims!  

The brothers have around 200 bookings a year confirmed, with lots of repeat bookings now they have established a solid, professional reputation.  They’ll also be seen this summer as half of Cowboy Up (the other half being Texas Tornados) at The Viking and the Norfolk Festival.  They also play some dates as a three-piece, with Kerri Jean helping to fulfil their commitments when Marie can’t, as she’s now hooked up with Rob Childs in Lass Vegas.   The numbers kept on coming, including Burn The Roadhouse Down (a Sister Kate and Cowboy Charleston split floor), People Are Crazy, Buffalo Tales, Woman (Heartbreak Express), Tequila Sunrise (Just A Kiss), Knee Deep, Action, Footloose, Loving All Night and Galway Girls.  It was another near full-house, solid night’s country music entertainment. 

 Little Ian

 

WestonLine 5 February 2012

Fresh from their first gig as half of Cowboy Up (with the Texas Tornados) at Eastbourne, the brothers Cliff and Paul rode to the rescue at MK Divided after Livewire cried off from their date, as Ainsley couldn’t make it out of Kent.  Cliff confirmed that their “super group” band with the Tornados was settling down nicely as a versatile blend of multi-instrumental talents, and they were looking forward to their next band booking at the Marconi Club in Chelmsford.  Rumour has it that Cowboy Up may be the Club’s booking for the 40th Anniversary celebrations at MK Divided, in April 2013.  Wow!

The brothers were up to scratch as we’ve come to expect from this professional duo, with their usual blend of humour and talent, and a nicely varied repertoire.  Heartbreak Express kicked of the first set, then Buffalo Tales brought out the partners.  A new number was Burn The Roadhouse Down – just a great song they both love – from Garth Brooks and Steve Warringer, for which they’re seeking a modern dance.  But for now Sister Kate and Cowboy Charleston both fit.

Whilst Paul took the lead on the majority of vocals, Cliff took over for Speak With Your Heart, playing dobro.  He smoothly moved between lead guitar and pedal steel as the numbers required, through Will You Go With Me, People Are Crazy - and Action, with a distinctive and skilled pedal steel treatment on that last number which caught the attention of an intent and appreciative audience.  Versatile Cliff was also on lead vocals – and dobro – for Speak With Your Heart. 

Both brothers have a technical inclination, too.  Cliff has 16 Sound Engineer bookings with Double H Promotions for events during the year and (as a fresh string to their bow) Paul will be accompanying – with the cameras!  Paul uses a roaming camera, and they install two remote-controlled camera too, filming and sound recording each act.  Back in Cliff’s studio, they then sound-synch the audio to the video, for a finished, polished DVD.  A number of headline acts on the country music scene have spotted the potential, as the brothers have had some big name enquiries. 

The Weston brothers kept the music a-coming after the raffle, with crowd and dancer pleasing numbers including Messed Up In Memphis, Told You So as a duet, Mexicale, Guitars And Cadillacs, and Tomorrow.  The enthusiastic applause as the evening closed underlined the professionalism and popularity of the brothers Weston.

Little Ian

WestonLine 11 September 2011   

 

Disaster!  What do you do when a guitar string breaks on Saturday night at Romford in Essex, you’ve given away your spares, and the shops are shut?  If your next date is the next night at MKDivided Country Music Club, it’s simple: tap Chairman John on the shoulder, and produces his Squier Stratocaster.  Sighs of relief all round for Cliff Weston – and brother Paul - of WestonLine.  An enthusiastic audience, including Tina and friends, who came up from London for this WestonLine gig, couldn’t tell the difference – Cliff plays the same guitar, only his is used a lot more!

The brother’s first set kicked off with Cabo San Lucas, Halfway To Paradise (with the Scholefield chorus lead by Chipmunk Anna joining in at Paul’s suggestion), AJ’s Laid Back n’ Low Key, Rolling With The Flow, and more, familiar numbers.  Guitars And Cadillacs tempted sprightly Lil down onto the floor, where she took her rightful place in the front line alongside Bev and Big Ian, naturally!  Periodically Cliff switched to dobro, as on Carrie Underwood’s Told You So, and took a few breathers sitting down at the pedal steel, too.

 

Cliff’s news included an advance notice: look out for the Texas Tornados late January weekend at Eastbourne.  Here’s why: the first appearance of Cowboy Up on stage, a new five-piece band, comprising three Texas Tornados and two WestonLiners (Paul W. on drums, no less).  The plan is to take it forward to venues like the Viking and selected other large gigs.  The boy’s second set included Rhyme Or Reason, The Eagles’ Tequila Sunrise for Just A Kiss, JT’s Walk With Me, Colin Raye’s Speak With Your Heart, played specially for 38-weeks pregnant Gemma, BC’s People Are Crazy, and Kenny Rogers’ Buy Me A Rose for Blue Night Cha.

Blue “Super Bald” tee shirts made their appearance for Set 3 with the numbers continuing thick and fast: Mexico, Get Lucky With You, No More Cloudy Days, She Believes, King Of The Road, Route 66, Just For Grins and Seven Nights To Rock.  The duo are now well-established, with almost all of next year already fully booked, apart from their own closed-off holidays, and Cliff’s Double H Promotions commitments for Ray and Eileen, as sound engineer par excellence.  And the guitar finally made its way back to Chairman John’s grateful hands – is it easier to play now, John, after its professional workout?

 

WestonLine 4 July 2010

The 4th July saw WestonLine visiting us (Cliff living within walking distance in Bletchley and brother Paul coming down from Walsall), with their own lighting, steel guitar, lead guitar, pedal and dobro, and a variety of backing tracks avoiding any “sameness” from their music. Some of their tracks are from Glenn, dating from the Calico days, and some Cliff’s own; his currently building his own studio.  Paul started as a drummer and, until now, Cliff has only sung harmony on three songs whilst playing keyboards, so WestonLine marked a challenge for him - but he needn’t have worried. They’d only done 30 gigs over three months, but the response from the MK regulars was enthusiastic.  They include country music as played by The Corndogs (they were together for around seven years), and have Maria Lee joining them when booked as a trio.

Their three sets included regular numbers, from Dwight’s Guitars And Cadillacs, Rae’s Don’t Tell Me You’re No In Love, G Jones’ Always Get Lucky With You, Turner’s Why Don’t We Just Dance, and Haggard’s It’s Not Love for the partners – good country!  Halfway To Paradise and Route 66 were fitted in nicely, too.

Little Ian

 

Westonline 23 December 2012

Loops upon loops of coloured garlands criss-crossing the ceiling, “Season Greetings” above the till at the bar, a decorated tree at each side of the stage, a cracker for everyone as they came through the door, and a pack of nibbles beside a candle on every table – could only mean one thing: the Christmas event in the MK Divided calendar.  And to bring the year’s events to a rousing close, none other than the  Westonline brothers to put on a hugely popular show.

Well done to Trish and John and their hardy helpers for creating the ambience for a great evening.

Disappearing Taillights started the first set with a split floor, Sunny In Seattle was another split, then Cliff’s guitar dialled in a nice intro to Messed Up In Memphis.  The dancers were joined by teacher Karen, recovering from her argument with her car.  An Alan Jackson ballad (Borderline) preceded Guitars And Cadillacs, which brought our champion rockers, Alec and Maureen, onto the top end of the floor.  There was a nice sprinkling of ballads throughout the boys’ programme, and they helped build the 90+ near-capacity celebration atmosphere.

When Cliff and Paul get a three-piece booking, Debbie of Livewire fame will be joining the boys, and has being joining in with guitar and vocals on some of their autumn bookings. She’s still on-stage as Livewire with Ainsley.  Cliff, Paul and the Texas Tornados managed to fit in a handful of gigs together as Up Country, and they’re looking forward to more festivals together in 2013.

The boys kept the tempo moving along, with Knee Deep sung in reggae style, so Cliff claimed; Memphis Tennessee featured a some great guitar; and She’s Walking Away, Cliff’s “song of the decade”.

The grand Christmas raffle kept Chairman John busy – over 30 prizes won on the night – and there were cake slices for everyone, too.  Apart from his pedal steel work (he gets some really haunting notes on that) Cliff was on dobro for Heaven In My Woman’s Eyes, then we had Merry Christmas Everyone for Ribbon Of Highway, then White Christmas (this time, in Michael Buble style), then a singalong version of Mr Jones’ Delilah with the dancers taking One Step Forward, Two steps Back.  The rousing evening closed with Sweet Caroline, to sustained applause from a happy and satisfied club membership fired up for Christmas.

 

 Little Ian