Aural Sculptors - The Stranglers Live 1976 to the Present

Welcome to Aural Sculptors, a blog aimed at bringing the music of The Stranglers to as wide an audience as possible. Whilst all of the various members of the band that have passed through the ranks since 1974 are accomplished studio musicians, it is on stage where the band have for me had their biggest impact.

As a collector of their live recordings for many years I want to share some of the better quality material with other fans. By selecting the higher quality recordings I hope to present The Stranglers in the best possible light for the benefit of those less familiar with their material than the hardcore fan.

Needless to say, this site will steer well clear of any officially released material. As well as live gigs, I will post demos, radio interviews and anything else that I feel may be of interest.

In addition, occasionally I will post material by other bands, related or otherwise, that mean a lot to me.

Your comments and/or contributions are most welcome. Please email me at

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Models John Peel Session 4th July 1977

There's something for you that is very short but sweet. The models took one part of the punk ethic to heart..... make your mark and don't overstay your welcome. They made but one single, 'Freeze' in 1977, but what a single it was.

Here's the Peel session they did for Uncle John in July of that year.

Of the line up two of these guys went on to greater success with the 'Kings Of The Wild Frontier' incarnation of The Ants.

Cliff Fox (Guitar, Lead Vocals)
Marco (Lead Guitar)
Mick Allen (Bass, Vocals)
Terry Day (Drums)


01. Man Of The Year
02. Censorship
03. Brainwash
04. Freeze

Various Stranglers Related Interviews - by Malcolm Wyatt

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from a guy called Malcom Wyatt, a freelance blogger with a healthy interest in The Stranglers. Looking at his site there are a number of interviews conducted over the last couple of years with individual band members as well as that Hugh bloke.

They can be found here. (starts with Hugh - other links are at the bottom of the article)

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ruts DC Sonic Ballroom Cologne 29th September 2015

I'm very happy to get my grubby little paws on this one. A recording of the band on the European leg of their current tour is always gonna be a treat, but this goes one step further in that it showcases new material that will be included on their new album, most notably 'Surprise' and 'Psychic Attack', songs which have had their first blooding on this tour. Setting aside the trademark dub reggae for a while, the new album returns to rock and promises to be a worthy successor to 1981's dark masterpiece 'Animal Now'.

Many thanks to the original taper for recording and sharing!

The link to the Pledge campaign can be found here.



01. Surprise
02. Whatever We Do
03. Mighty Soldier
04. Backbiter
05. It Was Cold
06. No Time To Kill
07. Mirror Smashed
08. Dangerous Minds
09. Secondhand Child
10. Sus
11. West One (Shine On Me)
12. Psychic Attack
13  Love In Vain/Police & Thieves
14. Jah War
15. Different View
16. Staring At The Rude Boys
17. Babylon's Burning
18. Brand New Cadillac
19. In A Rut
20. Society

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Newtown Neurotics Rebellion Festival Blackpool 8th August 2015

Here's The Neurotics at this year's Rebellion Festival at The Winter Gardens, Blackpool. Many thanks to the original taper!!



01. The Mess
02. Get Up And Fight
03. Mindless Violence
04. Keep The Faith
05. Newtown People
06. Does Anybody Know Where The March Is?
07. When The Oil Runs Out
08. Kick Out The Tories
09. Living With Unemployment

Le Bataclan 25th March 2010

Clearly, this post does not require much of an introduction. Today Le Bataclan, a venue with a long history of entertaining the Parisian population, stands scarred after the events of Friday night.

The Stranglers also have a long history with the venue with their most recent visit being this one from 5 years ago. This was a double celebration. The second Wonky Bus tour had rolled into town and the gig marked Baz Warne's birthday.

 JJ Burnel
Le Bataclan 25th March 2010

 Baz accepts his birthday greetings

Le Bataclan in happier times
25th March 2015



01. Intro
02. Time To Die
03. Go Buddy Go
04. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
05. Curfew
06. Happy Birthday Baz!
07. Norfolk Coast
08. Skin Deep
09. Always The Sun
10. Strange Little Girl
11. Golden Brown
12. Walk On By
13. Retro Rockets
14. Toiler On The Sea
15. Nice 'N' Sleazy

01. Peaches
02. Lost Control
03. Spectre Of Love
04. Nuclear Device
05. Duchess
06. Down In The Sewer
07. Encore Break
08. 5 Minutes
09. Something Better Change
10. No More Heroes

Monday, 26 October 2015

Ruts DC The Fleece Bristol 24th October 2015

A couple of years ago I saw Ruts DC in Bristol and was blown away by the band but also the venue. So, on this tour as the Bristol date was scheduled for a Saturday night this was a great opportunity to get away for a short city break for a chance to see something more of the city.

This was my fourth gig in four days and I was feeling my age, so this being the penultimate gig of the UK I was expecting to meet some world weary musicians at the sound check, but Segs and Ruffy were nothing of the sort as we retired to the pub next to the venue for a pint and a chat, The Seven Stars pub has its own special place in the dark side of Bristol's history. This 18th century inn was a base for The Association for the Abolition of the Slave Trade and one of its founding members, Thomas Clarkson. From his associations with the pub and its landlord, who shunned any association with the trade that gave Bristol its wealth, Clarkson was able to disrupt the process whereby the masters of the slavers recruited hands to work the boats and thus damage the trade.

How apt that I was here talking to two blokes who themselves, through their music put up a stand against inequality and racism.

This pub visit also saw a happy reunion after an interval of 30 so years of the band with Mitt Gamon, a very hirsute gentleman who played harmonica on the Rhythm Collision Vol. 1 album.

Having missed the band at their Jazz Cafe date, this was my first chance to catch the tour support, the UK Feds, a nice group of lads from Birmingham who came highly recommended by my son Rudi (who took my ticket for the London show). They were tight as a drum and had the shiniest guitars I have ever seen, the guitarist spent 30 minutes polishing during the soundcheck!

Ruts DC took to the stage opening with a new song 'Surprise', the first of a trio of new offerings. The mix of songs selected for the set is great in that it offers something from every stage of the band's career. Mitt Gamon was invited onto the stage to supplement 'Whatever We Do' and 'Jah War'. At the soundcheck I asked him why it was necessary to transport a harmonica in such a large brief case. He replied 'Well, you never know which key you will be asked to play in so I've got 36 in here!'

'Psychic Attack' and 'Whatever We Do'
The Fleece Bristol
24th October 2015

'In A Rut' rounded off a perfect set  that brightened a very wet Bristol day.

Good luck with the dates down under!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

A Meeting With An Old Soldier Of The 11th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers - October 2015

I have now spent a couple of years researching the military history of Jim Heath, my late maternal Grandfather with special emphasis on his time spent in North West Europe in 1944 to 1945.

The evolving history is documented here:

However, in brief, he landed with the 59th (Staffordshire) Division (5th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment) as a follow-up Division after D-Day on 25th June. Fierce fighting for the pivotal city of Caen and engagements in the area to the south east of Caen decimated the 59th to such an extent that the Division was disbanded and he was transferred to the 49th (West Riding) Division with whom he became a Royal Scots Fusilier of the 11th Battalion. With the 11th R.S.F. he fought across France, Belgium and Holland where wounds received in a notorious place known as The Island (a flooded landscape situated between the Upper and Lower Rhine that separates Nijmegen and Arnhem) ended his active service. Nevertheless, his medical reclassification from A1 to B6 meant that he was still fit for a non-front line posting overseas and he rejoined the RSF in Germany as part of the British Army of Liberation. As part of 12 D.P.A.C.S. (Displaced Persons Assembly Centre) he ended his Army service as an administrator at Bergen-Belsen camp.

My research through the Polar Bear Association  (49th (West Riding) Division) lead me to one Ken West, a hale and hearty 93 year old veteran from Leicester. Last weekend, I had the honour of spending a few hours in conversation with this gentleman to discuss various Polar Bear related topics.

Fusilier West served in D Company but returned to A Company after recovering from wounds received in Normandy. Not fancying the lot of a Rifleman again he pushed his specialism and rejoined the Battalion as a signaller. So it was that their time in the same D Company did not overlap. Nevertheless, another coincidence came to light in the course of the conversation. My Grandfather enlisted with the North Staffordshire Regiment as did Ken’s brother Ernest. For the visit I happened to have with me his order to proceed to Litchfield Infantry Training Centre. He was required to be there on 15th January 1940, the very same day that Ernest was to report too. So, it just may have been the case that Jim and Ernest were acquainted, albeit briefly.

This meeting with Ken West was highly significant for me, as some twenty years after my Grandfather’s death I had the opportunity to talk with a man who shared the same day to day experiences, the terrifying as well as the mundane, in exactly the same places at the same time. I can honestly say that when I started out on this project I never had this in my mind as a possibility.

This was certainly a photo opportunity and Ken was happy to oblige. For the occasion, his blazer and Polar Bear Association tie were retrieved from the wardrobe so that he was with 'his bling'.

Me and Fusilier Ken West 14638023
(note the red 'bling', none other than the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur!)

We shook hands as we parted company and Ken gave Gunta a kiss with the words 'Now you can say you've not only kissed an old soldier, but a French Knight!'

I would like to thank Ken for his time (as well as his son Steve) and also to Gunta who ferried me to Leicester and back.