At 11 am yesterday morning cannon and fireworks sounded to start the annual Remembrance Sunday two minute silence. This year was the same as always, but at the same time a little different, for it will see the culmination of the centennial commemorations of 'The War to End All Wars'.
It was several years ago that the last veterans of that conflict shuffled of the parade ground and so this is now the last big one, or perhaps the big one oh oh commemoration.
Personally I have been fascinated by the Great War since I was at school, as I was lucky enough to do the 20th Century O Level syllabus that focused on conflict, That set me up for a lifelong interest in history. This is in contrast with Gunta's experience. She had to study The Factory Act and the terms of Gladstone and Disraeli. These subjects ultimately disraelied her interest in history (poor pun I know!).
Meeting up with an old school friend a few months ago we discussed another old mutual friend who had expressed surprise about my posts on social media relating to my involvement in WW2 remembrance activities, Association meetings, wreath laying and the like. This surprise stems from the fact that' as a vocal individual at school at times when our armed forces were engaged, I questioned the whys and the wherefores. I had nothing but disdain for conflict and war. In that respect nothing has really changed, but perhaps the passing of 35 years has left me a little more rounded (physically more rounded without doubt!) with my views.
I have never been really interested in military strategy, battle plans and the big picture generally. However, the testimony of soldiers describing their personal experiences of war totally absorb me. The thoughts and opinions of ordinary men, plucked from farms and factories, committed to paper is what it is all about for me. The books of Lynn McDonald that featured hundreds of interviews with veterans that described the WW1 experience just gripped me.
For me, as for many others, there is no glory in war, that is a concept long dismissed. Lutyen's Cenotaph in Whitehall remembers 'The Glorious Dead'.... Since it's unveiling in 1920 attitudes towards the Great War have shifted. Post World War 2, many veterans opened up on the realities of the 1914-1918 calamity that has lead to a huge change in our understanding of that war and the concept of glory.
As I write this on 12th November 2018, 100 years and one day after the Armistice I am considering what remembrance means. In the last three weeks I have travelled through Sussex, Essex and Hertfordshire and I have been thrilled to see the remarkable efforts that towns and villages have made to remember the sacrifices that were made at a local level. Tommy silhouettes, wire Tommies, and a perfusion of poppies... painted, stitched, crocheted, fired, forged..... you name it, it is breathtaking!!
So where is this all leading to.... well to return to the idea of what is Remembrance, to me it means trying to reclaim names from weathered memorials and place some context as to how they came to be commemorated in stone. Watch this space.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, 12 November 2018
Saturday, 10 November 2018
Friday, 9 November 2018
Inspired by a drawing done my Mo this afternnon a perused my Devo recordings and decided to post this one from Seattle. The following night's performance in which the band performed the 'Freedom of Choice' album can be found here.
Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo)
Wednesday, 7 November 2018
Monday, 5 November 2018
This weekend I put idle hands to work and created some additional lino prints on different card to the usual cream art card that I generally use. Some prints have been done on grey/green and gun metal (grey) card which I think looks quite effective, even if I say so myself.
Sunday, 4 November 2018
Meant to post this yesterday as an anniversary gig, but what'd 24 hours here and there! With an ear currently for '76/'77 era material here is Rattus and The Academy for you.
02. No More Heroes
04. Bring On The Nubile
05. Dead Ringer
07. Dagenham Dave
08. Goodbye Toulouse
09. Hanging Around
10. 5 Minutes
12. Burning Up Time
13. I Feel Like A Wog
14. Straighten Out
15. Something Better Change
16. London Lady
18. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
19. Go Buddy Go
02. Spectre Of Love
04. I Hate You
Saturday, 3 November 2018
Every so often when it comes to live recordings of The Stranglers I get taken by surprise. I thought that I had a fairly good understanding of what was out there, especially in terms of the early live stuff, but it seems that this partial set from a very significant gig in the band's history has been in fans collection for some time. This version I am told surfaced on a French web site.
At the close of 1976, with the ink still wet on their newly signed United Artists contract (concluded four days before this gig) the band played the Nashville in West Kensington, a venue pivotal in the development of the punk scene as well as the pub rock scene that preceded it. On the night the services of Vic Maile and the Island mobile studio were secured as the band hoped to emulate the success of Dr Feelgood's 'Stupidity' album (a surprise No. 1 live album for the Canvey four-piece). In the event, the band were not happy with the results and did not believe that it was a good enough reflection of their live sound, so with the exception of one track 'Peasant in the Big Shitty' which featured in the free single given away with initial copies of 'Rattus' the performance of that night had yet to see the light of day.
The recording is listed on EMI's vault database, so one day it is hoped it will get the release that it deserves since whether the four musicians loved it at the time or not, the fact that such a professionally recorded gig exists from a time prior to any releases is hugely exiting!
It has always been strange to me that unlike The Pistols and The Clash, where early gigs are relatively abundant it is not really the case for The Stranglers for whom good quality material from the '76/'77 period is quite rare.
Thanks to the original uploader!
01. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
02. Goodbye Toulouse
04. London Lady
05. Down in the Sewer
06. Something Better Change
07. Go Buddy Go