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MARK TAYLOR'S BIG CITY NIGHTS
STRAY: 'LIVE IN JAPAN 2013'
PLUS EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH DEL BROMHAM
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?
Mark Taylor recently spoke to Del Bromham about the 'Live In Japan 2013' album and you can watch that video interview right here.