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Stray Cats - Rumble in Brixton
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2004
At long last, the Stray Cats live album we've all been waiting for! "Rumble in Brixton" is the Stray Cats first 'offical' live album. It's been a long and confusing wait, especially since there are more than a dozen Cats' live albums that have appeared in stores over the past decade...

I've been a Stray Cats fan since 1980 when a friend played their first English import album for me. The next day I was off to Moby Disc for my own copy. In 1989 I was fortunate to be able to see the Stray Cats in person at the imtimate setting of the Ventura Theater with my then 10-year old son. It was the best live act I'd seen since watching the Stones in 1969! Like the Stones, the Cats sound as good live as they do on record -- maybe better.

Since then, I've purchased all their 'live' albums (mostly bootlegs), including the offical radio transcription disc of the King Biscuit Flower Hour show they did at the Ritz in New York in 1989 -- great show, but officially unreleased.

The first live Stray Cats video I saw was "Stray Cats Rock Tokyo" which I ordered, at some expense, from Japan. A wonderful rockin' live show and only released in the States for a few short months. I also have a laser disc of "Stray Cats Rock Paris" which, likewise, has never been issued on video or DVD, in the US. Another great show.

So I was very excited when I read on Brian Setzer's website that a DVD of the Cats' European Tour was going to be released simultaneously on CD and DVD in late 2004. I waited with bated breath until I finally arrived; "Rumble in Brixton" was every bit as great a show as I'd expeced! (It didn't hurt that it opened with my favorite Cats' song, either!) The Stray Cats are up for this concert and it's a great performance with from the band with songs from almost every album. I strongly urge buying both the CD and DVD as this show is going to get a lot of repeat viewings and listenings.

The Cats haven't lost a thing despite their 12 year lay-off! Slim Jim jams on the drums, while Lee Rocker whales on his bull bass, and Brian -- well, his guitar playing is as sharp as a knife on this new release! Setzer is the master of Rockabilly guitar -- hell, any guitar. In Japan, if he was a citizen, they'd designate him a Living Treasure!

How does Rumble in Brixton measure up to past Stray Cats live performances and CDS? Well, before writing this review, I spent over a week listening to every live CD and video of the Cats I have and can authoritatively state that "Rumble in Brixton" is their Best Live Release, ever. Period.

The sound is wonderful, and the Cats play their asses off! Brian, who only gets better as time passes, just shreds.

In addition, the Stray Cats play several 'new' Rockabilly standards that have never, to my knowledge, ever appeared on any Stray Cats CD or video before, including several Elvis numbers from his Sun Records years -- My Baby Left Me (sung surprisingly well by bass player, Lee Rocker) and Good Rockin' Tonight -- the old Roy Brown Jump Blues classic popularized by that Hillbilly Cat! They also do Eddie Cochran's Twenty-Flight Rock, which appeared on the Cat's great "Original Cool" album but never on any live Cats' CD, including the 'many' semi-offical Stray Cat live releases out of England, which Brian calls bootlegs on his website! News to me as I'd always thought they were 'authorized' releases due to their wide distribution through legitimate sources, like Tower Records and BestBuy!

I must have 20 versions or more of Rumble in Brighton but it's never sounded as great as it does on this release, likewise with the majority of the Cats' standards on this DVD. Ubangi Stomp has never sounded better! The majority of the songs here, as with most of their live sets, are off the Cats first four albums. Only one song each off of their last 2 albums reased in the early 90s.

All in all this Brixton concert is a fine retropsective on the Stray Cats career and about as fine a live presentation -- by any group! -- as you'll ever find. As a bonus, the Cats do a new original song, Mystery Train Keept A Rolling' -- a tribute to the Memphis/Sun Records origins of Rockabilly, proving the Cats are just as good in the studio as they ever were.

Now, a personal request: two songs I'd love to hear/buy on a Stray Cats live or studio CD, Buddy Holly's Rave On and Eddie's Skinny Jim!

Now, here's hoping there's a new studio Stray Cats album in our future! How about it guys?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2005
I bought this after reading the reviewers here and was thrilled with the DVD. I get chills when the Cats go onstage, and when they burst into Rumble in Brighton, I know I'm in rockabilly heaven. The concert is outstanding,the performances are very energetic and tight, and the sound (5.1) is so clear and realistic, I feel like I'm there. Also, the video is almost as sharp as HD. The video editor makes you feel like part of the show because he doesn't cut so fast like so many other concert DVD editors. You actually get to see what's going on and the camera moves slowly without lots of hyperactive edits. Plenty of good stuff on the bonus features, including a new song, makes for a topnotch DVD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2004
This exceeded my expectations-which were already set high.
Excellent behind the scenes footage,tons of goodies from the early years.Can't ask for much more!A big THANK-YOU TO everyone involved with releasing this!!Brian,Lee+Slim Jim are really having a good time here--totally immersed in the energy they create------feeding off the crowds enthusiastic delight!
Most of the songs are very true to the original recordings(extended intros and solos hype the excitement)!!!
The sound is fantastic---Lee's bass playing will shake your walls(nice!!).If you buy any concert DVD this year--buy this one!Rockabilly at its finest,as only the Cats can do it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2005
This DVD is great, if you want to see Stray Cats in action playing all of there best songs such as "Rock This Town", "Stray Cat Strut", "Blast Off", and "18 Miles From Memphis" this DVD is for you. From Brixton Academy in London the Cats play one great set. Covering Elvis Presley to Eddie Cochran, they show that they still got it after 25 years, they even perform a Lee Rocker song! Including backstage footage and footage of the Cats recording their newest song "Mystery Train Kept A Rollin'" this DVD is a great buy. You will not regret this I guarantee it...
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2004
Feast your eyes and ears on this DVD you WILD STRAY CATS. I never thought I'd see it!! STRAY CATS BACK TOGETHER AFTER 25 YEARS.

Back in the early 80's, I had just lost my muscle car, my hair was dyed real blond, roots gone black, and pomped real high just like Setzer's. My Kitten had her hair piled high, wearing those black fishnets stockings, and a pink fuzzy sweeter pulled down around the shoulders. I owned about 10 pairs of brothel creepers. You CATS in Britain know just what I'm talkin' 'bout. My favorite white leather creepers fell apart about 5 years ago. They just disintegrated, right on the dance floor. (That's 'cause I'm still crazy.) If you look on the first couple of STRAY CATS' album covers, Setzer had a pair just like 'em. Man, did we idolize these CATS. And we were quite a sight to behold. I still have my black leather jacket with the STRAY CATS patch on the shoulder.

The last time I saw the CATS LIVE was sometime in the mid 80's. They played the HOLLYWOOD PALADIUM numerous times. STRAY CATS always burned the place to the ground. I mean it. It was something to see. One hollow-body Gretsch guitar, circa 1959 of course, a stand-up acoustic bass, a snare drum, a floor tom, a couple of cymbals, and a few dice for volume control. JUST ADD HAIR AND SHAKE IT AROUND. Unless you've seen STRAY CATS, I just can't describe to you the MONSTER ROCK N ROLL SOUND that would emanate from these little toys. And a saxophone, thrown in for good measure on a couple of tunes. UNBELIEVABLE!! MAN, I'M TEARING UP JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.

CHECK OUT THESE ROCKABILLY REBELS IN 2004. THEY STILL BURN THE PLACE DOWN. THESE CATS ARE STILL SLAPPIN' WOOD JUST LIKE THE GOOD OLD DAYS. THIS CONCERT IS SOOOO GOOD, I WAS EXHAUSTED JUST WATCHING IT. JUST THREE REAL GONE GUYS FULL OF NERVOUS ENERGY. Of course, I had to get up in my living room and boogie. I defy you not to.

The AUDIO is 5.1 and sounds great. The PICTURE is WIDESCREEN and looks amazing. THEY USED A FEW CAMERAS FOR THIS HISTORIC EVENT. It also has some nice EXTRAS, including a montage of the boys back in the day. The only thing missing is the sax and two of my favorite tunes; LOOK AT THAT CADILLAC and ELVIS ON VELVET. OTHERWISE, PURRFECT.

If you've never seen a STRAY CATS SHOW, I FEEL SORRY FOR YOU, TEDDY. ARE YOU READY? NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO SEE THE GREATEST ROCK N ROLL BAND IN THE WORLD!! THE DOUBLE CD IS GREAT TOO. IT HASN'T LEFT MY CAR SINCE IT CAME OUT. CHECK THE CD FOR THE TRACK LIST.

AND THE BEST PART OF THIS DVD CONCERT; THE BOYS ARE WEARIN' THEIR BROTHEL CREEPERS... BUT, I DIDN'T SEE ANY NEW INK.

GO, CAT, GO!!!

The reviewer below says, Brian Setzer is retiring. Man, say it isn't so. The world would be deprived of one of the COOLEST CATS to ever cut a side. MAN, IT WOULD BE LIKE LOSING SINATRA AGAIN or THE BIG E. Hell, Brian, I like your voice better than E's. I love the IGNITION LP and I was hoping for a new STRAY CATS recording. I love the new tune, MYSTERY TRAIN. Keep us posted, man. AND GOD BLESS YOU.

(I just found out from the website Brian Setzer has tinnitus and some hearing loss in one ear. He is currently seeking medical advice. There is hope, even though he's talking about early retirement. There are hearing aids which Setzer playfully says, "Would be like playing with a finger stuck in one ear." For now, nothing is certain. )

IF SETZER GOES, BREAK OUT THE HANK WILLIAMS, EVERY CAT AND KITTEN FROM HERE TO MEMPHIS WILL BE CRYING IN THEIR BEER. HEY, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES, DADDY-O. THIS SHOW ROCK'D. I WISH I'D BEEN THERE. GOOD LUCK!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2005
I was a bit hesitant, at first, to buy this DVD because they are a rather aging band, but, you wouldn't know that if you watched and heard these guys jam on this DVD. They are incredible! I never really knew that Brian Setzer was such an expressive, energetic guitarist. Watching that guy molesting that fretboard and making that guitar sing (and scream) and jam was just amazing!

You can see that every review on Amazon is practically a five star review of approval for this DVD. You can not go wrong with buying this DVD. If you have even just a remote interest in the Stray Cats, then this DVD will blow your mind. Put this DVD on when you have your friends over for a get together. This is a great DVD to have on while you're partying. It is exciting as hell! And, check it out, even all the Amazon reviewers give this DVD a five star rating! That should tell you right there, that it is a must to own.

I love the "flashback' extra of "Stray Cat Strut". Brian was such a sexy guy! I'll bet he "bopped" alot of girls in those days. He was just so cool! And so were the other guys. I'd pay a hundred dollars a ticket to be at this show. No doubt about it!

The Stray Cats were definately a unique, and original sounding band for the eighties. Nobody else was out there in the eighties that sounded like them (except maybe The Kingbees), in fact, when I first heard "Rock this Town", I thought that The Kingbees just came out with their third album. I think that the "Stray Cat Strut" is one of the most fabulously written songs. To sing a song from the "point of view" of an alley cat, is just so well done. I think only Alice Cooper has done this first with "Gutter Cat vs. the Jets".

Many groups of the eighties had their own unique, original sound. Most turned out to be "One Hit Wonders". I believe that The Cars had the most hits for their unique sound. But, The Stray Cats had to have had a cult following for the die-hard nostalgic rocker. They definately represented the "Greaser image of the Fifties". And the "boys in the garage" working on and restoring classic cars. T-shirts, leather jackets, and tattoos.

Not too many groups can come on stage today and jam to the tunes that they did 25 years ago, and perform the music which represented the kind of music 25 years before THEIR time. I guess rockabilly is just timeless overall. Somebody may be doing it 25 years from now. Hell, it might even still be The Stray Cats. Brian Setzer and the boys don't look like they're going to retire anytime soon.

And what's more. Yes, if you love The Stray Cats, then check out The Kingbees one CD that has both of their first two albums from 1980 and 1981.

Oh, and how could I forget. Get the DVD of The Brian Setzer Orchestra: Live in Japan. This Big Band sound and Setzer's fabulous electric guitar live on stage with a very excited energetic band and audience, is just "feel good" rockin' entertainment!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2004
this dvd concert is way cool. Great sound, great picture and the guys look happy together. Awesome to see the guys writing their new tune together in the studio. Easter egg alert! Go to song selection and highlight (she's) sexy +17 then hit the left arrow button on your remote. A brick will light up on the menu wall, hit enter and you'll be treated to a cool rockin' surprise! This dvd is full of extras and with a nice booklet about the band. A definite buy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2005
This is a really exciting DVD. This 3 piece crank out an awesome noise and put their heart and soul into it making a great show for the viewer. The guys are in great form working together well lead by the fantastic playing of Brian Setzer most of the time. Brian Setzer Orchestras 'Live in Japan' is very good but if you're choosing between the two this is way in front. One of the most entertaining DVD's I've seen. BUY IT!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2004
On July 17th 2004 at the Brighton Academy celebrating there 25 year re-union back where they got there break,London.Stray Cats

tear it up from start to finish on this DVD.The Cats are smokin while the crowd is so energized you can feel it.From the opening track "Rumble in Brighton" to "She's sexy & 17" they don't miss a beat.I had forgotten the energy and the passion these guys play with.This is a must have for all Stray Cat fans

and for all those who like good ol rock and roll.If you never got a chance to see Stray Cats "LIVE" after watching this you'll feel you did,I promise-KCK
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2005
Great seeing the boys back together for some rockabilly rockin!!!

This DVD has lots of energy and I love the backstage extras AND old footage! Setzer is without any doubt one of the very BEST rockin guitarist todate, mixing styles on the fly like Picaso mixed colors!
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