It’s over two decades since The Commitments first hit our screens and became an unexpected (and enduring) hit. One of the stars of the film was a sixteen-year-old Irish lad by the name of Andrew Strong.
Son of renowned musician Rob Strong, Andrew had been performing since he came out the womb: but this was the role that gave his career a rocket-start. He has continued to perform, record and write music and we are lucky enough to have him performing in Adelaide at The Gov in March next year.
Glam spoke to Andrew last week about life, music and his up-coming tour.
In the last twenty years, Andrew has churned out an impressive amount of work and has garnered a particularly strong following in Scandinavia, charting consistently and working with singers such as Jette Torp. He has even performed at a Norwegian royal wedding! We wondered where this connection came from.
The Scandinavians have always had a soft spot for me. The first time I played there was in 1992 when I was touring with Elton John: we performed in Sweden and then in Denmark. And a kind of love-affair just blossomed from that.
Along with his main outfit, The Boneyard Boys, which he formed with Brent Larsen Petersen, Strong continues to dip into the soul music that was at the heart of film that launched him into fame.
He puts much of the longevity of The Commitments down to the music.
I don’t think the film would have been as successful without the soundtrack and I don’t think the soundtrack would have been as successful without the film.
But this journeyman musician is not content to rest on his laurels, performing Mustang Sally in the same way year after year.
Oh absolutely! He says, If you saw me performing those songs now, the way I do them with my band, it’s a different ball-game altogether. I was sixteen when I recorded that stuff and I was still developing as a singer and as a man. And that’s one of the main reasons I’ve decided to do this tour of Australia: to show how I now do these songs in a more rock-soul way. It’s more high-energy. There has to be a fresh approach for me. I don’t want to just do everything note-for-note like the original recording.
This genre of music is heavily reliant on strong instrumental work a full sound. So who has Strong got working with him on this tour?
Well I did a tour of Australia in 2006, and I used an Australian band…and they’re ALL from Adelaide! And that’s who I’ll be using again when I tour Australia. I’ve been working with these guys for eleven years now. They’re all your homeboys! All great guys and wonderful to work with.
The repertoire for the March tour although predominantly “Commitments” numbers, will have some other treats tucked in there as well.
It is what it says on the tin: we will be doing lots of numbers from the soundtrack, but there will be songs from some of my solo albums. So it will be a bit of a mix, and maybe a couple of other little surprises thrown in! And especially for Adelaide we will be doing an AC/DC number.
Andrew Strong’s tour kicks off in Australia in Tweed Heads on March 9th and he plays The Gov in Adelaide on March 22nd.
Tickets available here.
Check out Andrew Strong’s website here.