Gig Of The Week: Astra
WHERE: The Scala, London
WHEN: Wednesday, April 14
San Diego chargers Astra play their first ever show outside of America, and it’s sponsored by Classic Rock Presents Prog.
The retro 70s band made a huge impact last year with their debut album The Weirding (released by Rise Above) and it certainly gave them a strong UK fan-base, as guitarist Brian Ellis reveals.
“We’ve got a lot of emails from Britain, and there certainly seems to be keen interest in us coming over. So, we’re really looking forward to the gig. I have to say, all of us are genuinely excited.”
Astra – Ellis, Richard Vaughan and Conor Riley (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Stuart Sclater (bass) and David Hurley (drums/percussion/flute) – are going to use the show to introduce fans in London to some new songs.
“We’ll put a few into the set, stuff we’ve been working on now for about a year. And, course, there will be a lot of familiar material from The Weirding. What we are gonna do is vary the set from the one we’ve been doing in America. In all, I suppose we’ll aim to play for about 80 minutes.”
Ellis, for one, is delighted that Astra are coming over in a headlining capacity, rather than supporting a higher-profile name at a bigger venue.
“That means we get to play for a lot longer, and also have the chance for a proper soundcheck, which is important.”
Supporting on the bill are Diagonal and Litmus, who are also signed to Rise Above.
“We’ve checked them both out, and they’re cool. It should make for a great night.”
Just to add even more lustre, the first 300 people through the door will receive an exclusive seven-inch single, featuring both Astra and Diagonal. And this is sure to become a collector’s item.
“We’ve both done Pink Floyd covers for it; two songs from The Wall. We’ve done Empty Spaces, while Diagonal have recorded Stop. I think fans will enjoy listening to what we’ve done. It certainly helps to make the whole thing more of an event.”
Find out more at www.myspace.com/astrasound