Saturday, 5 September 2009

Occassional Bootleg Series No. 8 - Brian Setzer '86.

Stray Cats – Lonely Cat
Recorded Live Ta Capitol Theatre ,Passaic NJ, 20th April 1986

Tracklist: Haunted River / Rumble In Brighton / Bobby's Back / Maria / Stray Cat Strut / Breath Of Life / Chains Around Your Heart / The Knife Feels Like Justice / Rock This Town / Radiation Ranch / Tear It Up

When the Stray Cats split in 1984 Brian Setzer had a brief flirtation as a serious American rocker in the vein of Springsteen and Mellancamp. He undertook a major US tour in 1986 to promote his first solo project The Knife Feels Like Justice. Die hard rockabilly fans were aghast at the modern sound of the album, but I really liked most of it. I was more appalled by the hair!!

This bootleg was recorded at a date in Possaic, New Jersey and where Setzer showcases a handful of tracks from The Knife together with a few Stray Cats classics. The band features Setzer on vocals and lead guitar, Tommy Byrnes on second guitar, Chuck Level on keyboards, David Prater on drums and Kenny Aaronsen on the dreaded electric bass.

Highlights of the album songs are the title track, Bobby’s Back and Maria, which was always my favourite. The soundboard quality is excellent and it allows us to enjoy Brian’s guitar which is as wonderful as ever. The trio are adult orientated rock whereas another from the album, Radiation Rock is guitar fest with echoes of rock, punk and rockabilly.

The album cover says that all songs were written by Setzer. Well if he wrote Tear It Up, I wrote Blue Suede Shows. Anyhoot, this version goes like the clappers and his guitar is on fire. The quartet of Cats numbers are great with the extended intro to Rock This Town starting in a slow before turning into the nitro-burning rockabilly classic we all know and love.

The clips below show a couple of performances from the ’86 US tour.

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