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Digital Subscriptions > Vintage Rock > Sep/Oct 2019 > STRAY CATS… ROCK LONDON TOWN

STRAY CATS… ROCK LONDON TOWN

Forty years on from their formation, New York’s Stray Cats have returned to the country that first fell in love with them

WORDS BY JOHN HOWARD PHOTOS BY NICK COBBAN

To describe the Stray Catsappearance at Londons Eventim Apollo as a concert would be an understatement. It was more of a gathering of the clans, an Event with a capital E, a glorious homecoming for a trio of New Yorkers who made it big first in Britain.

Almost unbelievably, considering their attack, enthusiasm and nimble stage movements, they’re not only marking their 40th anniversary, but also their first new recording in 26 years. This is clearly no ordinary gig. They not only sold out their initial concert in London, but added a second date the next day, which also attracted a capacity attendance.

And what an audience! There were grizzled old-timers who remembered rockabilly from the first time round in the 50s, there were sideburned Teds who picked up on the Cats in the late-70s when they were a refreshing contrast from the pop pap of the day, and there were many who could not have been born when Runaway Boys was featured on TV’s Top Of The Pops.

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About Vintage Rock

In this issue of Vintage Rock we enter the riotous world of Wanda Jackson. She's finally just hung up her touring boots this year aged 81, so we decided it was time to honour the Queen Of Rockabilly's tenure at the top from her incredible rise to glory as both a country and rockabilly star to her greatest ever performances – "It's been a wild ride!" Little Miss Dynamite goes out with a bang! We got the exclusive on Brenda Jackson's retirement too! In our candid interview Brenda remembers her spectacular career, from rubbing shoulders with Elvis to surviving the British Invasion intact. It's been 60 years since the storming debut album that positioned Cliff Richard as the UK's own Elvis – with The Drifters in support – we remember a raw classic. It's also been 60 years since rock'n'roll was hit with it's first major scandal. Inside we get to the bottom of the infamous 'Payola Scandal', the real rock'n'roll swindle in which the scene's major players had to face the music. From villains to heroes, we talk to Memphis Mafia man Jerry Schilling about his days with Elvis and the upcoming 'Elvis In Concert' tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, plus we speak to instrumental hero Johnny Farina, one half of duo Santo & Johnny, about their timeless hit 'Sleepwalk'. Bringing things up to date, we chat with Darrel Higham about his new album Bop Machine, we met Nick Lowe, who tells about his new project with masked marauders Los Straitjackets, and we review Stray Cats long-awaited return to the London stage – and what a night it was! Plenty more besides from fresh talent and rockin' weekenders to news, reviews and more!