The news of Strangeways reunion with American singer Terry Brock leaked when the announcement of Firefest 2010 festival line-up was launched with the inclusion of the band in the “Native Sons”/”Walk in the Fire” line-up on the bill. This came as a big surprise to many, since probably very few people would have hoped to see Brock crossing the ocean again and even less could think of a brand new Strangeways recording with the singer together with guitarist Ian J. Stewart, new bassist Warren Jolly, drummer Jim Drummond and keyboard player Dave “Munch” Moore.
Still the Strangeways reunion is now reality and the newly recorded studio album “Perfect World” will be released on Frontiers Records on October 15th in Europe and October 26th in the US.
Turning back the clock in 1986, Strangeways released their self titled debut for Bonaire/Arista Records. “Strangeways” received rave reviews, particularly from the british press which saw the potential for the band to break on to the US market. By the time the album hit the shops, original singer Tony Liddell had already been replaced by Brock who was persuaded to join the band by the album’s producer Kevin Elson (Journey, Europe etc.). Strangeways toured intensely supporting Europe, Bryan Adams and Meat Loaf but it was the following year’s “Native Sons” album that chiselled in stone the name of the band, who produced a full-blown melodic rock masterpiece, hailed by Kerrang! magazine as “the greatest and most preciously perfect AOR album of all time”.
In 1989, even if ‘Native Sons’ didn’t sell as well as the critical acclaim gathered, Strangeways recorded a third album titled ‘Walk In The Fire’. The band wanted to have a more personal approach, less leaning to the Journey sound of the previous record. The result was truly superb, a big step further compared to “Native Sons”. Still today songs as “Love Lies Dying”, “Every Time You Cry” or “Where Are They Now” are considered by the fans some of the most beautiful songs ever in british AOR style.
Strangeways were finally starting to see rewards from touring, particularly in Germany but after Brock flew to the US to secretly audition with Deep Purple to replace Ian Gillan, he never returned to the UK and left the band. Three more very different Strangeways albums followed with Ian Stewart at the microphone: “And The Horse” (1995), “Any Day Now” (1997) and “Gravitational Pull” (2000). All of them saw Strangeways exploring a more atmospheric and rootsy style which had nothing to do with the previous three albums.
Terry Brock in the meanwhile started a solo career which produced two acclaimed releases (“Back to Eden” and the very recent “Diamond Blue”) and collaborated with The Sign, Seventh Key and Giant.
“There was no real plan for Terry and I to work together again, it just kinda happened” says Ian Stewart. “With the Firefest gig offer and Frontiers showing interest in another Strangeways album it all just seemed to fall together naturally. The relationship with Terry is probably better than it’s ever been, which I think is down to the fact that we’re both older and dare I say wiser”.
“Perfect World” takes from where “Walk In the Fire” left off, with the band finding an even more mature musical identity, an amazing sense of spacious melodies and of course the magic voice of Terry Brock which connects the music with the classic Melodic Rock sound of “Native Sons” and “Walk in the Fire”.
“I honestly couldn’t really describe the “new” sound as such, it’s just honest melodic heart and soul rock music, good tunes played with attitude and feeling” concludes Ian Stewart.
Don’t miss their performance at Firefest 2010 hoping it will be the first of a long streak of dates.
The songs “Perfect World” and “Borderlines” can exclusively be listened to in full by streaming on the Frontiers Web Radio from September 1st. Tune in at: www.frontiers.it/webradio
Terry Brock – vocals
Ian J. Stewart – guitars
Warren Jolly – bass
Jim Drummond – drums
David “Munch” Moore – keyboards