Saturday, October 07, 2006

Stretford Reunites Tonight at Longbranch Inn

The vintage Nineties Austin Brit-pop-punk stalwarts of Stretford return to the stage at the Longbranch Inn this evening for a special reunion gig with fellow travelers Richard Head and the Friendly Truckers.

Stretford is the name of the Manchester suburb where bandleader Carl Normal grew up. He wrote some great pop tunes, like "Zerox Love," "It's Over Now" and "I Used to Know," to name a few. If you come across a copy of their 1996 Unclean LP, Crossing the Line, snatch it up.

I think Stretford got together in 1990 and I know they broke up in 2000. I probably saw them more than any other Austin band in the Nineties. Aside from the many bills Cheezus, Noodle and the Peenbeets shared with them, they were always one of my go-to acts for nights when I just needed to get out, drink some beer and not think about shit for a few hours.

As Stretford gradually built up a small-but-loyal following, everyone would crowd around the stage at their shows, singing along on the choruses as trumpeter/court jester Bill Jeffries worked the room into a frenzy. I'm sure a similar scene will be replicated tonight. It'll be kind of like going home again, only I won't be able to drink as much.

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