It’s been a long time since British heavyweights STRAY last time issued a studio album – "Valhalla" appeared way back in 2008, and there was only a concert set put out afterwards, "Live In Japan 2013" – yet they’re working on a set of new songs now, aiming for 2021 release. Meanwhile, October 23rd is when another live record will see the light of day. “Roll Up! Roll Up!” comprises ten cuts laid down at “The 100 Club” in London on November29th, 2019 – but there’s an interesting story behind it.
As the band’s leader Del Brohmam states, “this album almost never happened”! In his words, originally the band were due to appear at “The Borderline,” another major venue in London. Unfortunately, the venue closed in August 2019; however the agency who booked STRAY honored the show and eventually transferred it to “The 100 Club” in Oxford Street. STRAY had played “The Borderline” for the past couple of years and it had sold out on each occasion, so nobody wanted to completely cancel the concert. It was going to feature two sets. The first set showcasing songs from Del’s solo repertoire and the second set a selection of songs from the many STRAY albums over the years. Due to the time constraints, though, Bromham decided to merge everything into one long set as he didn’t see the point in coming off of the stage only to go back on again.
“Regarding the actual recording and the live album itself,” says Del, “it was really down to the detective work and organization of Monstrous Child Management and, in particular, Paul Newcomb. One would have to ask the specific details from Paul himself, but somehow he found out that someone in the audience had a very good portable recording machine and had recorded the whole set. It appears the intention was to release a bootleg in some form. However, Paul managed to contact the person and an agreement was made to hand over the recordings to the management. The recording as such was pretty good but was in need of some professional know-how to make it suitable for a release. Paul contacted a top man in his field, producer and engineer Andy Pierce. who took the files away and mastered them.
“The 100 Club” was packed on the night and we were delighted to discover people who had once again traveled from all over to see the band. There were fans that had flown in specially from Dubai, France, Italy, Germany, ScandInavia, USA and Canada – quite amazing! It was becoming apparent that the popularity of STRAY was once again on the rise, but our now busy touring schedule was unexpectedly cut short do to the Coronavirus during March 2020. The band have been using this enforced time-off to record a new studio album, as yet untitled, but we hope to have it ready for release hopefully early 2021. Therefore, as there were going to be no more live shows for the time being until the virus has subsided, the opportunity to release the live set seemed appropriate to fill the gap.
STRAY actually played for well over an hour and a half, so there are still some songs left in the can. Who knows maybe they will surface too sometime?”
1. Let’s Get The Show Started
3. Come On Over
5. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
6. Double Six
7. I Believe It
9. After The Storm
10. All In Your Mind