Tag Archives: Gary Stringer

Andy Taylor at the 100 Club: Worth the Wait!

By Dee Cooke

Andy Taylor’s first solo gig in 30 years. Talk about a highly anticipated evening! The show, at London’s 100 Club on 27 November, was sold out. Did it live up to this anticipation? 

Spoiler: yes, it did.

Andy and his band certainly kept us waiting. They didn’t arrive on stage until more than two hours after the doors to the venue had opened. Once the show got going, it was worth the wait.  The well-balanced and wide-ranging setlist featured a mixture of old solo material from 1987’s Thunder album, tracks from his upcoming solo album, along with few Power Station tunes, topped by a smattering of semi-covers of songs by artists Andy has been involved with (Reef, Robert Palmer, etc.)…

…and not forgetting some very surprising and welcome Duran Duran songs!  Mid-set, the audience were taken aback in the absolute best of ways when Andy and co launched into a triumphant medley of ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’ and ‘Wild Boys’.  That was a very special moment, as it wasn’t expected at all.

The 100 Club, which I hadn’t been to previously, is a very well-designed small venue, and even if you’re at the back it still feels like the front as everyone in the audience is so close to the stage.  This gave the show a real intimacy – it was just like watching a local band in the back room of a pub, except that it was Andy freaking Taylor and we were all getting to see him perform right up close! 

Reef’s Gary Stringer, who features on some of the songs on the new album and so was onstage for vocal duties, is of course fantastic, but it was really lovely also to see Andy singing lead on so many of the songs.  I’m a huge fan of the Thunder album and so it was those tracks that moved me the most – my absolute highlight was ‘Tremblin’’, a beautifully slowed-down version of the song that was just Andy on stage by himself.  There was some discussion after the show once the band’s copies of the setlist had been procured, as the planned setlist seemed to indicate that Andy had originally also intended to incorporate ‘Save A Prayer’ into this track.  However, for me, the performance of ‘Tremblin’’ absolutely stood by itself, and I don’t think it would have necessarily been improved by the incorporation of the Duran track – it was beautiful as it was.

To my surprise, the band didn’t play an awful lot of tracks off the new album – I had been expecting that the new material would comprise a good 50% or more of the set, but as it happened, there were only one or two new songs in addition to the already-released ‘Love Or Liberation’. What we did hear, however, was more varied than I expected – it seems there’s some mellower stuff on the album to complement the banging hard rock!

It was a fantastic show overall – engaging from start to finish.  I, like many others, had travelled to London especially for the gig, and it was so worth the journey!  I just hope we don’t have to wait another 30 years for Andy to perform his solo stuff again…

Love or Liberation

I am a music fan. Despite my love and adoration for Duran Duran and other new wave artists of the 1980’s, I still love me some down and dirty guitar. I loudly proclaimed myself as a Duranie during my middle school years, but by college—which for me started in Fall of 1988 and continued until May of 1993—I was listening to anything from AC/DC to Def Leppard, Van Halen to yes, even Poison. The hair bands, the metal, and even classic rock would be on my stereo one minute, and in the next, my devotion for Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, Tears for Fears would show as “Gold” or “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” or even “Rio” would begin. I didn’t see why I couldn’t like it all, and I did. The music coming out of my car stereo (I spent a lot of hours commuting to school and work during college) was eclectic, if nothing else.

Life goes on

It is easy to jump in with both feet when Andy Taylor announces a new album. I don’t feel as though I’m disavowing Duran Duran by supporting Andy, by the way. This is an opportunity to be excited by something new! I’m not worried that his music won’t sound like Duran Duran’s. In fact, I sure as hell hope it doesn’t. We’ve waited a long time for Andy to release new music. Surely he won’t create a carbon copy of a band and life he’s already left behind twice.

I know that for some people, Duran Duran is the end-all. It is the one band they follow, it is the one group they care about. It doesn’t matter what a band member does once they leave the group. Many still cannot make peace with why Andy left. Others couldn’t wait for him to get out the door fast enough, and that Dom more than fills his shoes. Then there’sTeam Warren. They insist the band’s best days are behind them, and no one else will measure up. The guitarist debate is one that will never end. Regardless, they are all moving forward on their own. Andy is doing his own thing, as is Warren and even Dom. New music is always a good thing.

On Planet Rock Radio

Andy’s newest tune from his new album debuts today on Planet Rock Radio. Titled, “Love or Liberation”, Gary Stringer is on vocals with Andy (assumably!) on guitar. Those hoping for Andy’s vocals on the album will not be disappointed. According to his pal and collaborator Gary Stringer, “he sings some on his own and we sing some together”. He also says that the album is “ace”!

I haven’t heard the new sing or album yet. The track title “Love or Liberation” is intriguing, and lends itself to all sorts of reflection. I have no idea what Andy may mean by the title. Thoughts of loving something too much so that you’re tightly bound, come to mind.

Later this month, Andy will perform in front of a sold-out crowd at London’s 100 Club. I wish I were going to be there. Since teleporting hasn’t worked out, we have a couple of brave souls willing to write and report for Daily Duranie. Cannot wait to hear the good news from them. In the meantime, I’ll keep on the lookout for Andy’s latest!

-R