Dancing by the dunes

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Lindy hopping heaven

The yearly rockabilly jamboree saw two and a half thousand people from all four corners of the world gather together to share their passion for the early 50s music. From Friday to Monday there were a succession of DJs and live bands from around the country as well as from Europe, Russia and, of course, the US of A, playing the sort of music that inspired a young Elvis Presley.

This is the 18th year the event has taken place in Camber and the enthusiasm of promoter Jerry Chatabox is infectious. As Jerry put it “This is more than your uncle jiving at a wedding, this is the celebration of a lifestyle.” And that was certainly true of one elegantly attired couple who were married in Rye on Friday afternoon before heading to Camber for a rockabilly honeymoon.

Those wishing to deck themselves out in authentic 50s clothing were spoilt for choice from a market filled with stall after stall of fabulous frocks, bags and shoes and all manner of superbly tailored menswear. Fashionistas were treated to a vintage fashion revue featuring American model Bernie Dexter. A separate hall housed tables of original records from the era, a veritable vault of vinyl, with some discs changing hands for 100s of pounds. Throughout the weekend fifties aficionados were entertained by bands including the Tex Speed Combo, the Hitones from Russia, the Barnstompers from the Netherlands, Canadian Lew Phillips and veteran American singer Joe Clay.

Ready to drive and jive
Love me fender? Ready to drive and jive

There was a car cruise to the Jolly Fisherman in Greatstone on Saturday which saw an impressive collection of classic cars, roadsters and hotrods snake along the A259 in a parade of polished chrome and gleaming fenders. And then it was back to base for more bass-slapping rhythms and bopping tunes and to dance and swing till the wee small hours.

Rockabilly fans should visit the website: www.rockabillyrave.co.uk.