Stray Cats ‘Rumble In Brighton’ – Errr London actually

Posted On 06 Jul 2019 at 4:30 pm

The Stray Cats live in Hammersmith 27.06.19 (pic Mark Kelly)


The Stray Cats are currently touring to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of their formation. I well remember first becoming aware of the band on the release of ‘Runaway Boys’ in 1980. Although the roots of the record were firmly in the 1950’s, compared to the New Romantic records that permeated the airwaves, ‘Runaway Boys’ sounded fresh, vital and exciting.

The memory of that almost forty year old record meant that I was very much looking forward to seeing the Stray Cats perform tonight at the (Eventim) Hammersmith Apollo or as the rest of us will fondly remember it as Hammersmith Odeon (1962–1992). However, before they take the stage we have a surprise support act: The Selecter!

The Selecter live in Hammersmith 27.06.19 (pic Mark Kelly)

Pauline Black and band take the stage to a rapturous reception, although there is some boo-ing, doubtless from some of the more hardcore teds, of whom there are quite a few. The Selecter are also celebrating their fortieth anniversary this year, so their appearance tonight is quite fitting.

A relatively short but energetic set ensues. Opening with ‘Three Minute Hero’ and including oldies ‘Missing Words’, ‘James Bond’, ‘On My Radio’ and ‘Too Much Pressure’. ‘Train To Skaville’ has hints of Afrika Bambaataa and newer song ‘Frontline’ from 2017’s ‘Daylight’ album is certainly relevant for these times.

The Selecter setlist reads:
‘Three Minute Hero’
‘Celebrate The Bullet’
‘Missing Words’
‘Train To Skaville’ (The Ethiopians cover)
‘James Bond Theme’ (Monty Norman cover)
‘On My Radio’
‘Too Much Pressure’ / ‘Pressure Drop’

Tonight’s venue (pic Mark Kelly)

When the Stray Cats take the stage they look frighteningly young for men in their late fifties and early sixties! ‘Runaway Boys’ is dispatched early in the set – second song in. Whilst waiting for the band to come onstage, I was talking to a gentleman who didn’t think that Brian Setzer was “all that” as a guitarist. Well I can confirm without reservation that his playing was utterly awesome! This was particularly demonstrated in the cover of Dick Dale’s ‘Misirlou’. Also on ‘Fishnet Stockings’ Setzer quotes the guitar solo from ‘Rock Around The Clock’.

It is quite a crowd-pleasing set including ‘Stray Cat Strut’, ‘My One Desire’, ‘Rock This Town’ and ‘Rumble In Brighton’ as the final encore. The set has seemingly passed in an instant – all 21 songs of it! My Granddad told me that in the 1970’s there was a popular phrase: “It’s only rock ‘n’ roll”. Well, this was rock ‘n’ roll all right, but there was definitely no ‘only’ about it!!!

The Stray Cats setlist reads:
‘Cat Fight (Over a Dog Like Me)’
‘Runaway Boys’
‘Double Talkin’ Baby’ (Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps cover)
‘Three Time’s a Charm’
‘Stray Cat Strut’
‘Mean Pickin’ Mama’
‘Gene & Eddie’
‘Cry Baby’
‘I Won’t Stand In Your Way’
‘Guitar Improvisation’ / ‘Misirlou’
‘When Nothing’s Going Right’
‘(She’s) Sexy + 17’
‘Bring It Back Again’
‘My One Desire’ (Dorsey Burnette cover)
‘Blast Off’
‘Lust n Love’
‘Fishnet Stockings’
‘Rock This Town’
‘Rock It Off’
‘Built For Speed’
‘Rumble In Brighton’

Further information on the Stray Cats can be found HERE and The Selecter can be found HERE.

Tour flyer

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