Catfish keeps toes tapping
HAVING been in the live music game for 60 years, there’s only one thing that upsets John ‘‘Catfish’’ Purser about modern-day young music enthusiasts. ‘‘Kids aren’t dancing like we used to. Now young people don’t dance, they just pump the air with their fists,’’ he says. ‘‘They idolise the people on the stage but they don’t get any exercise. It’s very sad. Young people would love to but they think it’s for the oldies. If you get on the dance floor and get with it, it opens doors.’’
Catfish, who was J O’K’s original drummer, says he’s keeping the dream alive by keeping toes tapping and oldies jiving at his regular gigs across the Coast.
‘‘Back in the day, they would all dance. People would never be in their seats. Then they would buy the record and take it home and dance again,’’ he says. ‘‘The oldies are still on the dance floor. We play for an hour and they dance for an hour. Then we have a 15-minute break and they are back on the floor for another 45-minutes. I don’t know where they get their energy.’’
Catfish and the Deejays’ consists of Catfish on drums, Rick Harris on lead guitar, Bob Hely on bass and Brian Austin on keyboard with the quartet sharing vocal duties.
‘‘Our main aim is to get people up and dancing, we are keeping rock’n’roll alive,’’ he says. ‘‘We mix up all the rock’n’roll songs and with four singers it never gets monotonous. I love every minute of it. It’s a lot of work but it keeps me healthy and happy. I have a great time with the band.’’
ROSE SADLEIR Catfish and the Deejays play their monthly gig at the Ashmore Tavern on Sunday from 3-6pm.
John ‘‘Catfish’’ Purser