Rockabilly fans are in for a treat in August when Slim Jim Phantom, the long, lean and lanky drummer from 80s rock'n'roll revivalists 'Stray Cats' comes to the UK for three tribute shows to the band that made him famous. The 'Stray Cats' came to fame in 1980 with the Top 10 hit Runaway Boys and a striking image built around tattoos and enormous quiffs. With subsequent hits Rock This Town and Stray Cat Strut, they spearheaded a rockabilly revival that saw other artists such as Shakin' Stevens, Matchbox and the Polecats fill the UK charts with an updated version of 1950s rock'n'roll.

New York

Phantom (real name McDonnell) was just 19-years-old when he formed the 'Stray Cats' with his school friends vocalist and guitarist Brian Setzer and double bass player Lee Rocker in Long Island, New York. With a sound dominated by Rocker's double bass and Phantom's stripped-down drum kit, the trio were influenced by 1950s rockers Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran but played mostly original songs penned by Setzer.

Finding little interest in their retro Music in America, the 'Stray Cats' moved to London in the summer of 1980 and quickly created a music industry buzz with high energy shows in small clubs. Signed by Arista Records and teamed with producer Dave Edmunds, the band enjoyed their first hit with Runaway Boys that December.

After a series of UK hits throughout 1981, the 'Stray Cats' reissued their biggest British hit, Rock This Town, in America, where it reached the Top 10 in 1982. Their follow-up American hits included Stray Cat Strut and (She's) Sexy and 17 while their album Built For Speed (a compilation of songs from two UK albums) went double platinum.

Toy Boy

In 1983, Phantom hit the headlines when, aged 23, he married actress Britt Ekland who was 41. The difference in their ages led to the coining of the phrase 'toy boy.' From the mid-80s, Setzer pursued a solo career, most successfully with his Rock'n'roll Orchestra, which mixed rockabilly with big band swing. Phantom and Rocker formed a less prominent trio, Phantom, Rocker & Slick with David Bowie's guitarist Earl Slick. Phantom also made guest appearances with rock'n'roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis. The 'Stray Cats' have periodically reformed, however, for tours and albums, including 1992's Choo Choo Hot Fish and the live set Rumble In Brixton, in 2004.

For his August concerts at London's Jazz Cafe (13th), Liverpool's O2 Academy (19th) and Birmingham's O2 Academy (20th), Phantom will be backed by young Liverpudlian rock'n'roll trio Furious and promises to play a full set of 'Stray Cats' songs including Rock This Town, Runaway Boys and Rumble In Brighton.