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Stray Cats: Live At Rockpalast

Runaway boys’ live audiovisual output collated in Mitteleuropa.

New York rockabilly trio the Stray Cats dressed like punks, posed like rock stars and played blues and R&B like it was 1956.

Somehow, they get away with it at these two German shows recorded in 1981 and ’83, largely because they play with total commitment and inhabit the 50s role as if they mean it.

Their fistful of hits – among which the expected Stray Cat Strut and Runaway Boys still sound fresh today – combine with a ton of rock’n’roll covers to convincing effect, captured in unexpectedly high quality on these recordings. That said, you don’t really need two whole DVDs and two bonus audio CDs of Stray Cats material to get the message: the songs were both simple and convincing, and don’t require repetition. What’s more, they’re still sporadically active, 35 years later: see them if you can.