Album Review: The Dirty Strangers – “Crime And A Woman”
Rising to prominence among the late ’80s Britrock scene alongside bands like The Crybabys and The Dogs D’Amour, The Dirty Strangers are one of those groups who occasionally re-emerge on to the music scene every few years to remind us that they’re still about and, yup, still pretty good thanks.
This is the Strangers’ fourth album, their debut having come out way back in 1988 sounding like some righteous cross between the Stones’ brand of straight up rock ‘n’ roll (not surprising given that frontman Alan Clayton’s day job is working as Keith Richards’ minder) and prime time Sham 69’s enjoyably down-to-earth laddishness. Nearly 30 years on and Crime And A Woman is proof that they’ve definitely still got the chops to hold their own.
From the Squeeze style chirpiness of Running Slow to the cheeky nudge-wink Steve Marriott/Frankie Millerisms of Short & Sweet, and the enjoyably knockabout one-two of In & Out and South Of The River, with even a few curveballs such as the Cockney country strumming of One Good Reason and the Hammond-led mid-paced ode to sleeping rough that is Cold Night, there’s plenty to recommend here. The production’s a bit scuzzy in places, but somehow that works with the slightly shambolic charm of this album, as evidenced by the surprisingly tender acoustic and piano-led lullaby Setting Son which closes the album. All in all, there’s plenty to recommend here.
Another good addition to the Dirty Strangers' back catalogue, Crime And A Woman is an enjoyable half hour of likeably knockabout rock 'n' roll with plenty of West London geezer charm to keep you smiling throughout. Definitely well worth a listen.