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

Saturday, 23 August 2014

JJ Interview Wolverhampton Civic Hall 18th March 1987

As a complementary post to the Wolverhampton show itself, here is a short interview with JJ recorded backstage during the brass section's soundcheck with broadcaster and fan Chris Lowe. The interview was broadcast the same evening on his Signal Radio show from Stoke.


10 From '87 (3) Wolverhampton Civic Hall 18th March 1987

Now a second set from Wolverhampton, this time from the second leg of the 'Dreamtime' tour. A great set and the first time I heard them play '5 Minutes', then as now a favourite track.



01. No More Heroes
02. Was It You?/Down In The Sewer
03. Nice In Nice/Punch And Judy
04. Souls
05. Always The Sun
06. Strange Little Girl
07. Golden Brown
08. Northwinds
09. Big In America
10. Nice 'N' Sleazy
11. Who Wants The World?

01. Grip
02. Bring On The Nubiles
03. Shakin' Like A Leaf
04. Uptown
05. Tank
06. Spain
07. Five Minutes
08. Duchess
09. London Lady

10 From '87 (2) The Damned Draken Stockholm 21st January 1987

Roman Jugg
Draken Cinema, Stockholm
21st January 1987

Sorry for the repetition, but here's another from The Damned, only this time not incognito. In the introduction to this series of posts I said that British music was entering into a nose dive that it would not pull out of for several years. In such sonically challenged times at least The Damned were consistent. By the time of this early '87 recording The Damned were still riding high in what was the most commercially successful period of their career. Starting with the incredible 'Phantasmagoria' album of 1985, they troubled the charts consistently for the next two years, not least with their reworking of the 1968 Barry Ryan song 'Eloise' (their biggest hit, reaching a UK chart high of number 3).

At this time the line up was enjoying a rare period of stability (in Damned terms at least) and the band had transformed into a quartet of Regency dandies! Nevertheless, despite their outlandish appearance (nothing new for The Damned there), between 1985 and 1987 they produced some of their finest material.

With chart success came renewed television exposure starting with what was one of their finest moments, a rip-roaring version of 'Nasty' on The Young Ones'.

'Nasty' by The Damned
The Young Ones BBC TV 1984

Also of note was their stint on the classic Tube.

'Eloise' by The Damned
The Tube Channel 4 1986

Funnily enough, this week The Damned have again played in Stockholm, but here's a 27 year old vintage performance.

01. Sanctum Santorum
02. Wait For The Blackout
03. Psychomania
04. Anything
05. Shadow Of Love
06. In Dulce Decorum
07. Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
08. Is It A Dream
09. A Girl Goes Down
10. L.A. Woman
11. Smash It Up pt 1&2
12. Street Of Dreams
13. Eloise

01. Plan 9 Channel 7
02. Tonight
03. Lust For Life
04. Love Song
05. Backdoor Man
06. Neat Neat Neat
07. We Love You

Monday, 18 August 2014

Hugh And Jet Interview 18th August 1979

35 years on and here's a brief interview with Hugh and Jet, recorded and broadcast on the day of The Who gig at Wembley Stadium. Given Pete Townsend issues with the band in the previous couple of years, our drummer and guitarist are pretty complimentary about the old mods..... well by Stranglers standards at least!


Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Fitting Tribute

'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'

I don't know a lot about art and I know what I like. Last week I had the opportunity to spend some time with Ramona in London. We had tickets to the Tower Bridge exhibition, but what I really wanted to see was the commemorative installation at the Tower of London marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of The Great War. Entitled 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' it features 888,246 ceramic red poppies (in Britain the most evocative symbol of the conflict), the scale of the work and its settling is breath taking! If you are resident in the UK you really should make a point of seeing it at close quarters before 11th November.

The fact that it looks as though the Tower is oozing blood from its interior may have been unintentional (?) but is also fitting given it's gruesome thousand year history.

Ramona in front of some old castle

The Tower Bridge exhibition is worth a visit as well, briefly possessed by the spirit of Fred Dibnah I started welling up at the sight of steam engine machinery!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Wolverhampton Civic Hall 20th October 1999

Here's a gig from the Black Country, recorded on the 'Hits and Heroes' tour (thanks to Wegga for this one), Please note that there is a error in the track listing as uploaded and the correct set is as detailed below.

MP3 (as received):

01. Duchess
02. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
03. Who Wants The World
04. Coup De Grace
05. Uptown
06. Just Like Nothing On Earth
07. Golden Brown
08. Ice Queen
09. Princess Of The Street
10. The Raven
11. Genetix
12. Always The Sun
13. Goodbye Toulouse
14. Nuclear Device
15. Two Sunspots
16. Burning Up Time
17. Tank
18. Something Better Change
19. Down In The Sewer
20. Skin Deep
21. Thrown Away
22. Valley Of The Birds
23. Thrown Away
24. Hanging Around
25. No More Heroes

Thursday, 14 August 2014

10 From '87 Naz Nomad And The Nightmares Finsbury Park London 23rd August 1987 (Acid Daze)

The psychedelic beat combo, Naz Nomad & The Nightmares, were in fact a thinly veiled spin-off of The Damned. Songs collected on the soundtrack album of a fictitious horror B-movie entitled 'Give Daddy The Knife Cindy' were in the main covers by the '60's garage and psychedelic bands that had been an influence to members of The Damned. The album also features two original tracks, neither of which were played in this brief set.

The recording comes from the Acid Daze all day event in London's Finsbury Park in which Naz Nimad shared the bill alongside Doctor & The Medics, Ozric Tentacles, Voodoo Child, Gaye Bikers On Acid, Pop Will Eat Itself with the psychedelic real deal Hawkwind headlining.

This is the full set recording, which also includes the track 'Looking At You' itself a regular in The Damned's sets.


01. Nobody But Me
02. Action Woman
03. I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
04. Looking At You
05. I Can't Stand This Love, Goodbye
06. Riders On The Storm

I did get to see Naz a couple of times in the '80's, once at the Marquee and once at the 'Son of Acid Daze' at what was The Town & Country Club.

Interestingly, The Stranglers equivalents, The Purple Helmets, were doing something in a very similar vein at the same time, albeit playing R&B covers in favour of psychedelic songs.