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They've supported Kiss and Iron Maiden whilst both Status Quo and Black Sabbath have refused to have them as a support band for fear for being blown off the stage for more reasons than one.

Originally hailing from London's Shepherd's Bush, Stray remain one of the most hardest working touring bands and adored by many connoisseur classic rock fans who are not swayed by the fashion police who dictate what is cool.

Formed in 1966, Stray released a plethora of classic albums throughout the seventies and have never given up the chase. With the ever present and loveable rogue Del Bromham at the helm, Stray continue to astound audiences up and down the country and still make relevant music, with 2009s 'Valhalla' being highly critically acclaimed with songs that touched on strong subjects such as racism and the madness of war.

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Last year Stray were invited over to Japan by the owner of Captain Trip Records and fan Ken Matsutani for a two night stay at the Fever Club in Tokyo to be recorded for a live album.

Incidentally he did the same for cult stoner rockers Leaf Hound who also released their own 'Live In Japan' at the beginning of this year.

This live album sensibly clocks in around the fifty minute mark with ten of the best tracks recorded from their set. Mixing the old with the new, it's the newer material that really strikes the chord of heaviness in both sound and lyrically in the opening trio of 'Move A Mountain', 'Free At Last' and the superb 'Harry Farr'.

The three piece Stray are a powerful unit of heavy rocking blues and surprisingly this was only the fifth gig for new bassist Robbie Stewart-Matthews who is as solid as a bomb dropped from Enola Gay complimented by the explosive powerhorse drumming from Karl Randall.


Del Bromham is a man of wisdom and charm and puts his heart and soul into the poetic '1600 Pennsylvania Avenue'. Older material lets the band express themselves to the fullest, including the manic ride of 'Jericho' and the greatest song never written by Oasis in the anthem 'I Believe It'.

Then there's the funky 'Buying Time' and not forgetting the ten minute feedback frenzy of 'All In Your Mind', a song later covered by Iron Maiden. Just ask Steve Harris why this band are so good.

If you still haven't checked out what Stray are all about then this is a fine starting point. The converted will find that this is the best live album from the band's long career.

I believe it! Do you believe it?

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Mark Taylor recently spoke to Del Bromham about the 'Live In Japan 2013' album and you can watch that video interview right here.




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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