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STRAY, Borderline, London
6 October 2010
thoroughly enjoying my first taste of an artist I knew of but had heard
little of Judie Tzuke last week, tonight it was another artist's turn,
Stray, who were holding an album launch party for their new album
Well I say
new but it came out last year and was the GRTR! 'Album Of
The Year'. It is getting a full release via those lovely folk at Angel
Air and thoroughly deserved as it is a damn fine hard rock album.
There was a decent sized crowd swelled by a few fellow GRTR! bods and
the set started at 8:30pm and lasted for two hours, only cut short by
the venue's curfew.
features one original member in guitarist Del Bromham, who has also
taken on the vocalist's role these past ten years or so.
The trio is
rounded out by bassist/backing vocalist Stuart Uren and drummer Karl
Randall (who looked like he had just left an 80's hair metal band!).
me much of the opening part of the set was from the 'Valhalla' album the
only music I was familiar with by the band, bar the odd song that used
to pop-up on radio or rock compilations back in the 80's and I am too
young to have witnessed their glory days of the 70's.
treated to many choice tunes of the new album including 'Move A
Mountain', the very catchy hard rocker '24/7', the funky 'Skin' and
'Free At Last'.
favourites of the album for me were also aired including 'Harry Farr'
and 'Ghostwriter', a song with a very strong melody and chorus.
fans had some treats towards the end of the set as the band's original
vocalist Steve Gadd (Del Bromham joked he looked like his manager now as
he was wearing a dark suit) and his replacement Pete Dyer both took to
the stage for a couple of songs.
Of the two
Pete Dyer has the better set of vocals and stage presence. Two of the
older songs stood out for me - the proggy feel of 'Jericho' and 'I
Believe It', another song with a strong melody and infectious chorus.
Bromham's guitar playing was a delight to behold and by the end of the
set he was getting feedback from all sorts of places including at one
stage hanging his guitar by its strap over the audience and controlling
the feedback notes through his guitar pedals.
honest, he's worth the entrance fee alone for his on stage patter which
is very entertaining be it a tribute to the late Sir Norman Wisdom via a
spot-on 'Mr Grimsdale' impression or various tales about previous gigs.
A highly enjoyable gig and take the chance to see them live as they are
always on the road. If you can't see them live do get the new album
'Valhalla' as it is a very strong hard rock album and worthy of all the
rave reviews it has been getting.
Photos by Noel Buckley
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