There’s an Elephant in the room.  Nah not the fact that this second album from The Dirty Strangers has guest slots from some Rolling Stones and also a tune co-written by Keif Richards but the fact that Alan Clayton has always been a top Rock and Roll songwriter and churned out albeit infrequent albums but they’ve always been a bit bloody good, regardless of who’s playing on them.

Oh, and to be fair most of us did arrive at the party due to the association with a couple of six-string slingers who also have a penchant for churning out the odd decent album Keif and Ronnie or something like that.

Imagine you could pick up all the good and the great from the 60s, 70s and 80s Rock n Roll that ever stumbled around Carnaby Street or one of the dive bars in Soho and as you hoovered it all up (and remembered to take note or almost remember) then you put it to music well that’s the sound of the Dirty Strangers that is with some added thunderbird mouthwash for good measure and a sprinkling of super talented mates.

Alan Clayton is joined for the last time by this impressive line up consisting of the super talented Paul Fox, ‘Steady’ Ray King on Bass Guitar, Mark Harrison  Drums & Backing VOX, Scott Mulvey on Keys & Backing VOX, and the impressive Angie Brown on guest vocals.  Now seems like as good a time as any to give this bad boy a re-release and for me to give this album a leg up.

The keyboards swirl and then Clayton’s instantly recognisable drawl enters the fray.’The Biggest Mouth’ is a foot-stomping rock and roller.  Of course, it’s not original and it might even be dated with the production and arrangement but hell, it’s only Rock and Roll and I like it.


‘Party 4 2’ is exactly that, it’s a party for two dancing through your speakers.  Then a track was co-written by a certain Mr. Richards that Boogie Woogies into the ether has me wondering how 1993 missed this album first time around.  I blame the lame music press for only being interested in gazing at its collective shoes whilst wigging out on churned up long solos from Soundgarden or self-harming over Nirvana whilst over there Clayton and his muckers were kicking up a shitstorm in the name of a good time and supplying all the toons it would seem.

It wasn’t all twelve-bar parties you know they were rivalling anything the Quireboys might have had in the locker at the time as ‘High Heels And Hangovers’ is swinging from the chandeliers with style and when the time was right Clayton could slow things down like The Faces did like on the majestic ‘Only For You’ with its false starts and laid back finger work from Fox.  It also has some fine vocal arrangments and a killer delivery but the Ian Maclagan like touch on those keys is a game-changer and adds a tonne of class to proceedings.  superb song!


No time like after a masterclass in balladeering to smash it up with some good old Rock and Roll as ‘Special Girl’ has a whole bunch of attitude and swagger.  Songs like ‘Got To Know Her’ are easily as good as some of the better songs Ian Hunter was rocking up with his ‘Dirty Laundry’  and his Rant Band. Before we finish there’s always time for some acoustic pickings and ‘The Gamblers Song’ provides the service and had this been a Frankie Miller song or dare I say it Stones song it would have been a smash.  It could have broken out with the big drum fill but it doesn’t – its more restrained than that and that’s the difference in class you’ve either got it or you ain’t and on this occasion, The Dirty Strangers are dripping in class.

With time for a couple more Rockers before this party gets shut down it seems as good a time as any to pay this a visit.  If you are a dreamer always looking for that Rock and Roll fix then you can stop looking because I can point you in the right direction for a good time.  The Dirty Strangers ‘Burn The Bubble’ is a long lost classic with variety and class just waiting for you to come along and bring a bottle.

Buy ‘Burn The Bubble’ Here


Author: Dom Daley

Oh baby if all Rock and Roll band could serve up a good time as effortlessly as The Dirty Stranger the world would be a much nicer place and people would be a lot more chilled the fuck out.

Live from a boozer seems about right for these Artful Dodgers and inside their dirty mac, they come armed with some sawn-off Rock n Roll and yeah, I like it.  No change that I love it.  It’s like the best night out possible with the booze flowing and the stale cigarette smoke billowing from the corner of yer mouth it’s Rock and Roll Baby.  Helping out Alan with some impressive lung power is the excellent Angie Brown with some top vocals to accompany Alans crafty Cockney rasp and cheeky lyrics this is the recording of one hell of a belting night out.  It’s fourteen slabs of beer-soaked good times played by people who ooze class and Rock and Roll.


‘Hands Up’ gets the party started. and the good times just lap over you like a tidal wave of Sweet soul music. ‘Saturday Night’ kicks it on down the line and Ruts Paul Fox slings the guitar like a rabid dog. There’s even time for a blistering romp through ‘Something That I Said’. 

To be fail its a white knuckle ride on the Rock and Roll roller coaster where you think the band is flying by the seat of their well-worn pants but the truth is they can dish this up in their sleep such is the Rock n Roll blood coursing through their veins.  ‘Have To Do Better’ is a belter and Scotty Mulvey tinkles those ivories like a demon adding some wonderful colour to proceedings.

There’s even time to take it down a notch for all the lovers out there who want a slow dance as ‘Diamonds’ cuts a fine figure of a song. I don’t know how they only just found the tapes from ’88 maybe they were in the glove box of that Ford Cortina Alan used to get outta dodge after the show. Worth it just for them bashing out ‘Shepperd’s Bush City Limits’ I’m left scratching my head wondering why there aren’t more bands this good at cutting it loose like The Dirty Strangers.  Good on em and if they come to a town near you post lockdown and you want a pick me up and an evening full of top tunes then these are your band even if they do mention the ‘Rs. 

Buy it here: iTunes


Author: Dom Daley

Christened as ‘A Long Weekend Of Empty Bottles’, Tyla and his Dogs announced a short run of dates celebrating the 30th anniversary of ‘A Graveyard Of Empty Bottles’ recently. Dates in York and Birmingham to be special shows previewing acoustic and electric shows that will form part of the following two nights of celebration in London.

Classed by some as the best acoustic album ever released (me included), ‘A Graveyard Of Empty Bottles’ is a timeless snapshot of the classic Dogs D’amour line up at their peak. Recorded in December 1988 over a 10 day period, the album captures the essence of a band riding on the tail end of a whirlwind year and the comedown that followed a sold out, end of the year Astoria show.

The 8 song collection of ‘soft songs for hard people’ has recently been re- recorded by the current Dogs D’amour line up, and while I initially gave it a wide birth, I have to say the new version does bring something fresh to a bunch of songs I always felt should not be tampered with. In fact, I liked it enough in the lead up to this gig, that I only went and purchased the vinyl for the collection.


Joining the band on this little adventure are London’s finest rock ‘n’ roll reprobates The Dirty Strangers. Still led by loveable rogue Alan Clayton, a man with more Rolling Stones connections than Mick Jagger’s heart surgeon. In fact Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards both played on their debut album back in 1987, they even roped in The Damned’s Brian James and Joe Brown along the way too.

The four-piece band play no-frills, dirty rock ‘n’ roll, just the way it should be played. The singer, dressed in a stripy top and pork pie hat, a telecaster slung over his lanky frame, leads his band through a selection of bar-room boogie rock ‘n’ roll. The raw and unadulterated twelve-bar boogie of ‘Bad Girls’, with its “woo-hoo’s” hollering and some tinkling of the ivories sounds great and the low slung rock ‘n’ roll of ‘Are You Satisfied?’ goes down a charm. The singer and bassist share a mic for vocals on several songs in full Jagger & Richards style. And it doesn’t get more rock ‘n’ roll than ‘Gold Cortina’ does it? Full of cheeky cockney charm and rock ‘n’ roll swagger, The Dirty Strangers were the perfect band to open proceedings tonight. Great stuff indeed.


The Fulford Arms is classed as a hometown show for Tyla and The Dogs these days. It’s intimate, it’s packed and it’s hot… very hot. The band is playing two sets tonight, one acoustic and one electric, the anticipation is high and the atmosphere is electric.

“Who gave him a mic?” says Tyla, as drummer Simon starts with the piss-taking before the singer has even picked up his acoustic guitar. The joking continues for most of the night. With the band perched on barstools they launch straight into ‘Comfort Of The Devil’ followed by the fantastic ‘I Think It’s Love Again’. With the full band treatment these versions of ‘Graveyard..’ tracks are heavier and slower, but still contain those great infectious melodies. The latter particularly benefits from the updated treatment, it’s the little nuances in the arrangements, like where the band hold the note in the chorus just that little bit longer. It sounds ace.

This band have been a unit for a good few years now, live and in the studio, and it shows. The camaraderie and ability is second to none. Tyla plays acoustic, to his right guitarist Gaz rips on a telecaster and to his left the ever cool, vampiric Matty James, all dressed in black, doesn’t even break into a sweat on bass. The guys watch their leader for cues, they play off each other to perfection.

I’ve heard a few of these songs live before, but never all of them together, what a treat to behold! ‘Saviour’ is transformed from heartfelt balladry to a more bluesy, rock ‘n’ roll groover with added tinkling of the ivories and ‘Angel’ is still the sing a long hit single that never was.

The version of ‘Bullet Proof Poet’ they pull off tonight is simply stunning. An extended, tripped out version with Gaz ripping a killer solo. A song to get lost in, it’s over in minutes, yet somehow, it feels like we’ve been lost in it for hours.

Tyla takes over on bass duties and Matty brings out the blues harp for a mesmerising, sweat-soaked blues workout. I think it was called ‘Stealin’ From The Devil’? Correct me if I’m wrong.

A couple of killer tunes from last year’s excellent return to form ‘In Vino Veritas’ album (namely ‘I Don’t Love Anyone’ and ‘Bottle Of Red’) round off set one nicely. As Gaz suggests we all go outside to cool down while the guys prepare the stage for round 2.


Tyla’s bottle of red is on its last legs already as he straps on that iconic road worn Gretsch and strikes out the opening chords to ‘Billy Two Rivers’, the first of a small greatest hits set. Songs to sing a long to and songs to drink to, songs that soundtrack our youth and transition into adulthood. It’s nice to see some younger dudes and dudettes in attendance, many who weren’t even born when Tyla first hit the stages with these tunes.

Classic follows classic, ‘Last Bandit’ is as amazing as ever, ‘Firework Girl enthralls and induces goosebumps and ‘How Come It Never Rains’ is the ultimate drunk and sweaty sing along it was meant to be.

By the time we get to ‘I Don’t Want You To Go’ Tyla is visibly struggling in the heat, (as we all are) and finishes the last few songs perched on an amp. The red wine has all but gone and he looks ready for a nap. But he ain’t quite done yet. ‘Satellite Kid’ rounds off the hottest, sweatiest gig of the year so far as we all sing a long and smile for the final time this evening.


I feel very lucky to have witnessed this band in this venue multiple times. Every gig has been different, from various album celebrations to just good, old fashioned hits shows. Sometimes I’ve been drunk, sometimes I’ve been sober, but every time it has been a blast. Like a fine red wine Tyla’s Dogs D’amour get better each time I see them, I never take it for granted and I will always come back for more. At the end of the day, it’s one of my favourite songwriters singing some of my favourite songs in my local watering hole. It doesn’t get much better than that.


Author: Ben Hughes

Photos courtesy of Neil Vary Gig Photography