From: Pete Gill
To: <>
Subject: Surprised and delighted. Nottingham August 1st 2003
Date sent: Mon, 4 Aug 2003

Several years ago, with the advent of the now ubiquitous CD format, a good
friend of mine gifted me his vinyl copies of first four original Dan Hicks
LP's and a copy of IHOB. I had heard the albums at various times over the
years and expressed my appreciation of them but sadly they were often
difficult to locate and purchase in this place far flung from sunny

The records resided in my collection and were enjoyed many times but
sadly, I had never seen the man and his band live before my very eyes and
ears. My surprise was palpable therefore when I read in my local paper
that Dan Hick and his Hot Licks were to visit Nottingham a week hence and
that he had new recordings available to enjoy! It was like finding a lost
relative, returned from the dead, almost unbelievable yet tinged with
trepidation. What would it be like after all those years? Different band
members from those that featured in the halcyon era? Mmmm I pondered but
there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity, even if I risked

I need not have worried. From the moment I stepped into the Rescue Rooms
in Nottingham and heard the laconic introduction of the man himself
(looking dapper and fitter than many of his contemporaries I might say)
the band rolled into action and I was transported. I flew back to the days
when I had more hair (Dan beats me on that score too) and high hopes of
the golden years to come. I didn't take notes so I cannot provide a
listing of the numbers played but I was heartened to hear many old
favourites from the early albums (Canned Music, I scare myself, Along came
a viper, The buzzard was my friend) as well as tracks from the recent Surf
Dog catalogue. There seemed to be a song for nearly every mood or emotion
and the band reeled through them with sublime professionalism and style.
Dan gave us hearty dollops of his laconic wit and much to my lady
companion's amusement, a very snappy dance routine at one point!

The previous weekend, I had compiled a cassette tape for my lady friend,
by way of introduction to Dan's music and though she had not heard his
songs before she warmed to the style and content quickly and was as
charmed and delighted by the evening as myself. Pleased to hear many of
the songs that I had assembled on tape for her.

The Rescue Rooms is a small venue but sadly, was not full that evening,
nevertheless what crowd there was seemed as pleased to see Dan and his
band I was and enjoyed the songs, repartee and performances. The new
Lickettes were georgous, the accompanying musicians quite superb (I am
amazed to learn that the english bass player was such a late addition to
the band). The crowd, which I now understand had a few travelling Dan
devotees in its number, shouted loudly for an encore at the close which
Dan graciously provided, seeming genuinely sad that the rest of the
evening was to be given over to a 'club night' featured in his words the
local 'nazi youth hordes'. Whether that was true or not, I did not stay to
discover, but my lady and myself made our way home on a pleasant
Nottingham evening made extra special by the appearance of the long 'lost'

I sincerely hope that Dan will return again before too long and that he
will consider putting Nottingham on his list of venues despite not having
a huge turnout on this occasion. The word will spread and I for one will
urge many more to take the chance with both hands to see Dan and his band
should they visit town again!

Best regards
Pete Gill