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Lifestyle Magazine Review 2005

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“Jurassic Rock is the best rock ‘n’ roll band in East Anglia”, or so the compere of the Clare World Music Festival said.  That’s not to say that Jurassic Rock is a one trick dinosaur.  Sure, they can rock-out with the best, but they are also good at ballads, blues and soul and even include a little opera in their act. 

It all started ten years ago when Tony Eaton and Paul Cooper were asked to sing at a school barbeque.  Having both sung in bands previously, they called upon past repertoires and one song turned into an hour-long set.  This was well received and it was agreed that it would be a shame to leave it there. 

During the early years the band went through many guises and personnel changes.  They were known variously as The Dadbeats, Banned for the Night and some even more unflattering names when they played the occasional (and very dodgy) gig at pubs and friends’ parties. 

Things started to take shape about eight years ago when Tony’s son, also Paul, left university and joined as the bass player and they settled on the name Jurassic Rock.  However, the Band didn’t finally gel until two years later when Bob Settle became the drummer.  The final part of the jigsaw fell into place in 2003 when Mike Watkin (ex BBC) joined the band as sound engineer and occasional rhythm guitarist.  Jurassic Rock now has the equipment, ability and experience to produce a professional show at any venue from fifty people to thousands. 

Jurassic Rock plays at all sorts of functions including dances, parties, weddings and concerts.  With a play-list that would permit five hours uninterrupted playing without repetition (if the band members only had the stamina), Jurassic Rock’s repertoire varies from White Stripes to George Gershwin and encompasses the likes of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, The Shadows, etc., etc. 

Jurassic Rock’s greatest compliment was paid to them inadvertently when someone congratulated Mike on the quality of the backing tracks.  Mike took great pride in explaining that there are no backing tracks, every note you hear is produced by the four band members on stage.

Although playing at a wide variety of functions, Jurassic Rock’s speciality is dinner dances, particularly weddings.  From their large repertoire they can play relaxing background music at a level that allows comfortable conversation during the meal.  They can then morph at a moments notice to the party volume at which they play their rock ‘n’ roll – the music that gets people of all ages and musical tastes dancing and enjoying themselves. 

The members of Jurassic Rock pride themselves on their professionalism, flexibility and providing whatever is required.  If you want them to just play live music, that’s fine, but they are equally happy to include full stage lighting, fog machine, recorded music before and in between live music sets, a radio microphone for the organisers to make announcements, etc. – all the way up to a providing an M.C. 

Jurassic Rock no longer sends out demo-disks as the variety of their music can’t be represented in a small sample.  Furthermore, anyone that hasn’t heard them can’t believe they will reproduce studio quality sound when playing live – which, of course, they do.  It is much better to hear them for yourself and they encourage visits to their studio where people can choose what they want to hear and can discuss at length their requirements and the arrangements for their function. 

Things have moved on considerably since Tony and Paul’s impromptu concert at the school barbeque.  Jurassic Rock is now one of the area’s foremost functions bands with a growing following and gig list.


East Anglia Music 2005

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The debate about bands that only play original music versus covers bands has been one that has raged for some considerable time.  There are those that say original music is the only way forward and it is what keeps music developing.  This may be true, but covers bands fall into a number of categories and they are not all to be dismissed so readily. 

In my opinion, it is important to make a distinction between tribute bands and those that seek to place their own interpretation on existing numbers.  Tribute bands make no effort to be original.  In fact, an original tribute band is a contradiction in terms as they obviously set out to be as much like their heroes as possible.  Such bands are often very clever at reproducing the look and sound of the originals and make it possible for a much larger number of people to see and hear the songs of the famous, even if they don’t have the opportunity (or money) to see the originals. 

However, there are some bands that set out to produce their own interpretation of existing material and this has its own artistic merit and validity.  Jurassic Rock, a band I had the pleasure of hearing at a fund raising event in support of Cancer Research UK in Colchester Town Hall at the weekend, are a case in point.  They play a lot of music from the ‘50s and ‘60s and retain the vibe of the original to create a really great atmosphere, but the interpretations are their own.  Tony Eaton, guitarist and singer, says that they achieve this in a number of ways.  When learning to play a song, they often do not refer to the original, but think of what the song means to them so that they come up with their own variation.  “Sometimes this doesn’t come easily”, says Tony, “So we will listen to a number of different interpretations and take something from each to come up with our own version”.  He continues, “Although we put our own slant on each song, we make a big effort to retain the original feel so that it is still recognisable”, adding, “Our interpretations tend to have a lot more “balls” than the original”.  He concludes, “After all, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley didn’t write their own songs, but no one has ever questioned their artistry”.  He has a point!


BBC Suffolk 2003

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The Annual Suffolk YFC Ball was held in an old aircraft hangar to the theme of Rock n Roll. A great band “Jurassic Rock” entertained 200 people and numerous t-birds and pink ladies enjoyed themselves at the huge BBQ and the bar did fairly well too!!