THE DIRTY Strangers were born in the mid-1980s – and they’re still going strong at the Exchange Arts Centre in Keighley.

The band, which plays the Russell Street venue on Friday, July 21, is led by singer, prime motivator and chief songwriter Alan Clayton.

In Shepherd’s Bush, one of West London’s most cosmopolitan boroughs, the band set out with a mission.

They wanted to carry a torch for rootsy rock ‘n’ roll as invented by Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Chuck Berry, laced with a little bit of Otis Redding soul and a side order of punk attitude.

Clayton has remained at the band’s heart and soul ever since, working with a long of famous names.

In the early days of The Dirty Strangers, Alan recruited sometime Chuck Berry sideman “Scotty” Mulvey to play keyboards - he is still in the Dirty Strangers -- and the late guitarist Paul Fox from seminal punk outfit The Ruts.

The Dirty Strangers’ debut album was released in 1987 with a guest appearance from the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood and soulful vocals by Angie Brown who later fronted dance legends Bizarre Inc and Motiv8.

Away from The Dirty Strangers, Clayton played alongside 60s and 70s counter-culture icon John Sinclair, again performed with Stones musicians, and worked with musicians from renowned groups including Dogs d’Amour, the Jim Jones Revue and Lords of the New Church.

In 2016 Clayton revived the Dirty Strangers, with a slightly different line-up, releasing fourth studio album Crime And A Woman.

The album was released to widespread acclaim and gathered the band national press coverage, the 13 songs swinging from full headlong rock ‘n’ roll to heartfelt blues.

The other was named after chance remark from Clayton’s son: “Dad, how come all your songs are about either crime or a woman?”

Speaking about the latest album, Clayton said the songs were all linked in a “film noir” kind of way, following the central character through a short period in his life as he plans one last big job and gathers a gang.

Clayton said: “This is the first album have made where Scotty and I are the lead players and it’s all about us rather than who we could get into help us or do a star turn.

“Scotty is an excellent piano player and he and I are both big Otis Redding fans, so we love that big soulful sound that he gets out of the Hammond organ.”

The Dirty Strangers will be joined at the Exchange by The Last Great Dreamers, The Fargo Railroad Co and Matty James Cassidy.

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