IF you’re going to be in a tribute band, it helps if you love the music of the band or artist being tributed.

That’s certainly the case with The Setzer Villains, who bring their brand of rock’n’roll mayhem in the style of Stray Cats’ frontman Brian Setzer to the Old Ship at Upwey next Friday, April 27.

The Villains, who have only been going a few months, are already earning a reputation for their gritty and authentic versions of some of Setzer’s tunes, both from his Stray Cats days and his work with his orchestra, which is no mean feat for a three-piece.

“He’s been a guitar-playing hero of mine for a long, long time,” Villains’ frontman Phil Walker tells me.

“We’ve got a really gritty sound which gets people up and jiving,” adds Phil, who brandishes a cherry red Gretsch guitar complete with wangy bar, just like his hero Setzer.

“We’ve played a few rock’n’roll bars in Bournemouth and gone down well so we’re looking forward to a gig on our home patch,” says Phil, who is based in Weymouth along with stand-up slap bass ace Carl Barnes, while drummer Jon Rose lives in Blandford.

Hmmm, the idea of being a drummer in a Stray Cats tribute band certainly appeals to me, as a ropey old tub-thumper of many decades. Not only is there minimal gear to lump about – just a snare drum and cymbal – I get to marry Britt Ekland, which is no bad thing either.

The band also rip through a fantastic catalogue of seminal rock’n’roll classics from such artists as Eddie Cochrane, Little Richard, Gene Vincent and the like, so you know the Old Ship’s gonna be rockin’ next Friday.

Admission is £3 on the door and there’ll be some bangin’ choons knocked out by the Rude Not To DJs.

If you go to the online version of this page at dorsetecho.co. uk/leisure/music/livemusicandclubs, there’s a great clip of The Setzer Villains in action.

Moving on, they may have only just chucked the last of the dazed and bemused revellers into a taxi or council refuse truck to go home after Easter Sunday’s Hippy Fest, but those hard-working souls at the Lazy Lizard are going to do it all again.

Yep, the year seems to be flying by like an out-of-control jumbo jet and already it’s an early heads-up for the Lizard’s Spring Break, which is taking place on Sunday, May 6, at the bar on Weymouth seafront.

Bands already confirmed are the Stereoironics, Cheap Shots, Surfin’ Birds, Speedway Snails, Thomas and the Mock-Ups and Till There Was Uke in the upstairs bar.

Meanwhile in the delightfully-named bottom bar (stop sniggering at the back there), Tom Caulfield, Lauren Bannon, Mr Bucket, The Casinos and Chloe and Tom will be doing their collective things from 3pm. The whole thing carries on into the large hours of the bank holiday Monday, May 7.

Now then, I remember the last time I went to Germany, back in the pre-unification days of the early 1980s.

“Occupation?” the stone-faced border guard asked me.

“No, just visiting,” I replied. I can still recall his hearty chuckle and sparkling eyes as he hauled me off to the interview room.

No such treatment awaits The Dolmen though, as the Celtic rockers are currently top of the charts at the German website celtic-rock.de with their track Drink With The Devil, ahead of such notables as The Levellers, Flogging Molly and the fabulously monickered Krusty Moors.

Go to the website and vote for scurvy knaves to keep them there a bit longer, go on, they’ll love you for it.

‘Till next time, pop pickers..