Bristol-born delta rock ’n’ roll revivalists and good time guys will be bringing their foot-stompin, late-night hoedowns back to the city for two shoulder-to-shoulder April shows at two of Bristol’s best small venues: The Old Bookshop (8 April) and The Golden Lion (9 April). A knee-slapping blend of country cool rock ’n’ roll, with a southern sprinkle, the Bristol boys are getting ready to shake the house down with their feel-good jives and guitar licks.

With major inspiration coming from blues superstars Muddy Waters and Little Walter, as well as borrowing from British R&B, grunge and modern day blues artists; True Strays’ signature sound really just bubbles down to a good time and some serious dedication to writing a catchy tune. Forming through the implosion of a previous project, the core founding members of the band – Joe, Matt and James – regrouped, rebranded and launched the mighty force that is True Strays.

Having spent four years touring with Sam Green and the Midnight Heist and founding their own Smokin’ Juke Joint venue at Fieldview Festival, the boys are no strangers to bringing a room full of people into a Friday night frenzy. Whether they’re leading festival line dances or sparking late night revelry, True Strays bring 21st century rhythm and blues with anthemic choruses and a healthy measure of the heat of the swamp. We grabbed band member Joe for a quick natter about what we can expect from their Bristol shows this April…

True Strays

‘We can guarantee you’ll have a good time. Our main goal is to put on a show that makes you feel good, want to dance and sing along. There may be some late night shenanigans; we may turn the venues into a mass swing-ya-partner dance floor hooley – let’s see what happens!

‘We love the Bristol crowd. They are great, always getting involved and giving a lot of energy back. We’re looking forward to playing in The Old Bookshop; the venue is very cool and has a great atmosphere.

‘The Bristol scene is buzzing. It’s so diverse and there’s so much going on. The standard at open mic nights around the city is so high – there’s so much talent! And then you have acts like Idles who are currently making waves across the country. It really pushes you to make the best music you can and keep representing the best of the West!

There may be some late night shenanigans; we may turn the venues into a mass swing-ya-partner dance floor hooley – let’s see what happens

‘We’ve got a couple of exciting projects coming up this summer: We help organise Fieldview Festival, a great not-for-profit celebration of music and arts, and we curate a couple of stages there also. It’s such a great crowd – everyone is up for hearing new music and getting behind the bands. Alongside that we’re touring and have just been booked to play Green Man festival, Boomtown, Farmfest, Wonder Fields, Swingamajig. We can’t wait!’

TRUE STRAYS LIVE: 8 April – The Old Bookshop, 9 April – The Golden Lion // // words by Molly Chinner

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