Archive for the ‘Stray Cats’ Category

Stray Cats Newcastle Mayfair 1980 & Sunderland Poly 1981

Stray Cats Newcastle Mayfair 1980 & Sunderland Poly 1981
straycats80tixThe Stray Cats were an American rockabilly band formed in 1979 by ace guitarist and vocalist Brian Setzer, double bassist Lee Rocker, and drummer Slim Jim Phantom. The group came through just after punk and new wave and relocated to London, hitting the charts in 1980 with “Runaway Boys” and again in 1981 with “Rock This Town” and “Stray Cat Strut”. Marie and I went to see them at the Mayfair on their first UK tour, just after “Runaway Boys” was released. They were just starting to make a name for themselves and the ballroom was pretty empty, as I recall. They pulled out an amazing high energy performance, Brian Setzer being particularly impressive. Stray Cats were a breath of fresh air at the time, a welcome diversion from punk and new wave, and very different from anything else around. straycats81tix You could, of course, see the rock’n’roll and rockabilly influences; Brian Setzer becoming a cross between Eddie Cochran, Carl Perkins, and Gene Vincent on stage. By the time I saw them again at Sunderland Poly Wearmouth Hall, less than one year later, the place was packed, and lots of rockin’ and rollin’ went down that night. Great gigs by a great band.
The Stray Cats reunite now and then for live performances, and Brian Setzer is now part of his 1990s swing-revival band The Brian Setzer Orchestra, and a pretty amazing guitarist.