The Rockats are a British rockabilly revival band originally from Essex but currently based in New York. They are recognised as one of the pioneering neo-rockabilly groups of the 1980s.
Levi & the Rockats were founded in 1977 by Levi Dexter, a Teddy Boy from Southend on Sea. His main influences included Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Elvis Presley, musicians popular among the 1960s British rocker subculture. In December 1979 Levi & the Rockats disbanded and the Rockats continued under that name. Levi Dexter went solo and is still performing rockabilly music and was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall Of Fame.
In the 1980s the Rockats opened for groups like Kiss, Iggy Pop, The Clash, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Thin Lizzy, and The Pretenders. After Levi Dexter left the band, it was re-formed with Dibbs Preston on vocals. This band is notable as one of the first rockabilly groups to incorporate punk rock and new wave influences to appeal to both punks and Teds, influencing later groups like Brian Setzer's Stray Cats and Dave Alvin's The Blasters, while retaining the raw authenticity of pre-British invasion Rock and roll.
The Rockats toured the UK, Japan and US. They also appeared on Andy Warhol's TV show in 1979 and were interviewed by Deborah Harry. Their most successful single was "Make that Move" which charted on the MTV charts in 1984, shortly after the band was signed on with RCA records.
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