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Half Moon, Herne Hill, London, 3 April 2010
At the end
of every year, the reviewers at GRTR! are asked to list their
favourite albums of the year. When the points were tallied up last
year, the album to make the number one spot was surprisingly Stray with
their Chris Tsangarides produced album 'Valhalla'. Not bad for a
band who originally reached their peaked back in the early seventies.
Bromham remains from the original line up but along with Stuart Uren on
bass and drummer Karl Randall, Stray have made one of the best albums of
their career with songs touching the subjects of war, freedom and racial
harmony. Del Bromham is a man's thinking man and has developed a
wisdom throughout the years that he shares with us on the songs from
show is in one of London's best kept secret music venues. Not many
attend this venue simply because it is not served by the London
Underground, but not many realise just how simple it is to come here.
the Zone 2 travel area ,down the road from Brixton, a short 5 minute
train ride from London Victoria and your right here on it's doorstep,
with plenty of time at the end of the night to get back in time for the
good reason to come to this bar is that its chefs make the best oven
baked thin crusted pizzas made this side of Venice. There wasn't
much left of the bands rider once my photographer Noel Buckley and
myself tore into the bands pizzas before the gig. A mouth watering
evening was in store.
started off on familiar territory with the title track of their second
album 'Houdini' before going into 'Come On Over', a track recently
covered by Lauren Harris, who decided to cover this song after hearing
it most of her childhood life after her father Steve of Iron Maiden fame
was such a big fan of the band.
It has to
be said that it was the new songs from 'Valhalla' that got the biggest
audience reaction. 'Skin' has a funky vibe to it which featured
shared vocals from Uren which has the line ''We are all flesh and blood,
just different skin.''.
more of man's insanity highlighted in '1600 Pennsylvania Avenue', home
of the White House. A song of protest about leaders decisions to
send young men off to war to fight in countries they've only seen on TV.
Last' has to be one of the heaviest Stray songs ever and is a great
little rocker too. Another war themed song 'Harry Farr' was the
last new number played tonight ended a trio of new songs that held the
It' is my favourite Stray song andIi never tire of singing along with
it's easy anthemic chorus. Ending the set with the ten minute
classic 'All In Your Mind' (Another Steve Harris fave, as Iron Maiden
would later cover this for a B-side.), this gave Bromham the
opporutunity to let rip and give his guitar some good feedback.
a Cliff Richard cover that was Stray-nized was the last encore, a track
that is being used in an American TV advert for GMC General Motors at
the moment could win the band a new generation of fans Stray really
should be bigger than they are. If you haven't discovered the band
yet, then do yourself a favour and check them out, because the best is
yet to come.
Set List : Houdini / Come On Over / Take It Easy / After The Storm /
Move A Mountain / Skin / Time Machine / Jericho / 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue / Free At Last / Harry Farr / I Believe It / Leave It Out /
Suicide / All In Your Mind ..encores..Hallelujah / Move It
Review by Mark Taylor
by Noel Buckley
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