A View From The Stage – Andy Strickland (The Loft, The Caretaker Race)

by | Apr 9, 2023

A View From The Stage

We love music, we love the people who love music and naturally we love the people that make music.

So what about those people that make music? What sort of people are they? They like music as well, right? What were they into as kids? Was it the same sort of music we were into? What are they listening to now? What songs did they wish they had written?

We wanted to discover the “music fan” inside these artists…

In this Edition – Andy Strickland (The Loft, The Caretaker Race)

Mention the Loft in indie circles and you are likely met with eyes turning misty at reminiscence of a band who promised so much, began to deliver, and then somehow managed to self-implode. Being in a band isn’t easy at the best of times, and tensions – creative and personal – are bound to arise from time to time in the best of circumstances. A transit van crammed with young people, instruments and equipment criss-crossing the country is the vehicular equivalent to the pressure cooker that blows its lid when the Christmas pudding is cooked. (Or maybe that was just in my house…) It’s a miracle so many bands actually make it to getting signed.

The Loft did manage to get signed, by none other than Alan McGee and Creation. And when it went pear-shaped, founding member Andy Strickland made the most of his time by forming the Caretaker Race, writing for the alternative music press and moonlighting with the Chesterfields following their own guitarist’s departure to the Blue Aeroplanes.

Both the Loft and the Caretaker Race left behind a legacy of fine independent pop music, with the former reconvening every once in a while for reunion gigs. Indeed, there was one very recently, which prompted us to ask Andy for his View from the Stage.

Where did you grow up?

On the Isle of Wight – before Wet Leg were born

What posters did you have on your bedroom wall as a teenager?

I shared a bedroom with my sister so posters of David Cassidy and Elvis (Presley). I might have snuck a Quo poster up at some point

What was the first record you bought?

Sparks ‘Kimono My House’.

What moment made you want to become a singer, artist and musician?

Just watching bands on TOTP. It looked like a magical world and I had no idea how it worked

How much did you get paid for your first gig?

I suspect nothing at all.

Do you have a particularly memorable gig which you performed at?

The Loft splitting up onstage at the Hammersmith Palais in front of 3000 people in 1985 has stuck in the memory a tad.

Who would you most like to perform with onstage?

George Harrison.

What’s the best venue you have played at?

I like playing at Bristol Louisiana. Glastonbury Festival was pretty exciting in 1987. JT Soar in Nottingham is great – lovely people.

What song would you have liked to have written? (Not your own)

‘Shot By Both Sides’ Magazine

If you weren’t a singer / artist / musician, what would you have been?

I still work part time for the NHS.

What are you listening to at the moment? Any recommendations?

Lots of Paul McCartney, Joe Gibbs dub albums, Lloyd Cole, 70s UK punk.

What are you up to at the moment?

We were rehearsing for the first Loft gig in many years – Hackney Moth Club on 4 March. We decided to play again while we’re all still here. It’s always a delight to play with Pete, Bill and Dave – it’s a very exclusive club. Next is Glas-Goes Pop on 28th July 

Also, I’m a full time member/writer in The Chesterfields.

Thank you Andy 

You can find Andy on Twitter here and on Instagram here

You May Also Like…