Richard Strange gives an exploration of Lou Reed solo songs that are based on characters, including Walk on the Wild Side, Satellite of Love, Charley’s Girl, Caroline Says II, Oh Jim, Street Hassle and Sally Can’t Dance, with a world class band in this new set of shows.
Since his proto-punk band The Doctors of Madness first hit the headlines in 1975, the musician, actor, writer and adventurer Richard Strange has worked in every field of the performing arts. Richard has continued to write and record songs, release CDs, appear in films and onstage around the world, make videos, curate Live Art events, write a memoir, lecture, and play live concerts.
As a singer he participated in a number of concerts organised by the celebrated American Producer/Arranger Hal Willner, most notably “Stay Awake!” a programme of Walt Disney songs, which was performed at London’s Royal Festival Hall as part of Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown Festival, and also in New York. The shows featured Grace Jones, Nick Cave and Steve Buscemi, He also sang at Willner’s “Rogues Gallery”, an evening of Sea Shanties at London’s Barbican Theatre, in July, alongside Tim Robbins, Shane McGowan, Martha Wainwright, and Suzanne Vega.
As an actor, Strange has been seen in films as diverse as Batman, Mona Lisa, Robin Hood-Prince of Thieves, Gangs of New York and Harry Potter. He has made numerous TV appearances, including a number of episodes of Men Behaving Badly, and worked for 3 years with Robert Wilson on the Tom Waits musical play The Black Rider.
A new Doctors of Madness album, Dark Times, produced by award winning producer John Leckie, is set to be released in September 2019.
Lou Reed’s body of work, both with The Velvet Underground and as a solo artist, reflect an artist of uncompromising honesty. He wrote about the unsavoury reality he knew, in a manner that was willing to offend and disillusion. His lurid character studies of New York’s misfits and outcasts inspired the countercultural movements that followed.
His album Berlin (1973), for example, paints a portrait of divided world Reed saw; a vociferous exhortation to recognise those on the fringes who have been maligned and exploited. Rolling Stone found it “so patently offensive that one wishes to take some kind of physical vengeance” on its author. Despite the album’s commercial failure, however, Reed was defining himself as a purveyor of unpalatable truths; and saw his cult status grow in tandem with his commercial reputation. This duality is telling of the multi-faceted and intrepid artist he was.
Lou Reed simply said “I’m writing about real things. Real people. Real characters. You have to believe what I write about is true or you wouldn’t pay any attention at all. ” He also said, “I don’t like nostalgia unless it’s mine”
2019 UK Tour Dates:
Saturday 21st September – Hull Jubilee Church
Sunday 22nd September – Liverpool Zanzibar
- Monday 23rd September – Norwich Arts Centre
Tuesday 24th September – O2 Islington Academy
- Wednesday 25th September – Colchester Arts Centre
Thursday 26th September – O2 Academy2 Birmingham