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.
Saturday, 20 December 2014
The Brain of Farley Grange and Other Poems: A Collection of Humorous Verse for Children by Henry Lardings - A Shameless Book Plug
Apologies for this shameless plug of a book that has recently been brought to my attention. I was well acquainted with the author many years ago when he went by a different name. In fact we studied together in London as we tried to fathom the hidden secrets of blood spot distribution, scene of crime investigation techniques and semen detection. So keen we we in fact to harness this forensic knowledge that our studies were extended each evening, continuing in The Lyceum, The Anchor or The George (depending upon which side of the Thames we found our self on). With our studies successfully completed, thanks in a large part to the long hours extra 'study', we each took up careers that had sod all to do with the scientific detection of crime!
Now more than 20 years on he has produced a book of Children's verse which is really rather good. 'The Brain of Farley Grange and Other Poems: A Collection of Humorous Verse for Children' contains a couple of stories in verse and a handful of shorter poems. The title poem is subtitled 'A Cautionary Tale of Capitalism for Kids' and warns of the perils of greedy aspirations in a style reminiscent of Roald Dahl's 'Dirty Beasts'.
The book is available as a kindle ebook for the princely sum of 77 pence (of which a third of the profit will go to Médecins Sans Frontières) here:
The Brain of Farley Grange and Other Poems: A Collection of Humorous Verse for Children
Now, the demographic of people who visit this site tends towards the older end of the scale (aging punks basically) and have children or in some cases grandchildren, who I believe would very much appreciate the whimsical witterings of Henry Larding.
Sunday, 14 December 2014
I had completely forgotten about this show and the fact that I was there! (it's my ticket stub on the artwork). Looking back I always had it in my head that I saw 'early' PiL, as in pre-reformation, three times but it would appear to be four times. Three of those gigs were very memorable (Brixton Academy 1986, Kilburn National 1987 and a car crash of a gig at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1989). Maybe it was the venue, I never liked The Astoria, in contrast to the Academy and The National, and I wasn't particularly saddened when it was demolished to make way for the new cross-rail construction. Take a look at the set though and I would say that it should have been a good gig. Promoting the 'Happy?' album at the time, the set admittedly doesn't lay much emphasis on the late '70's and early '80's PiL, but nevertheless it features the best of 'Album' with a few surprises in there as well including Lydon's influential collaboration with Afrika Bambata 'World Destruction' and 'Holidays in the Sun' (who would have thought back in 1987 that the actual Pistols would play again!).
The sound quality on this one is quite good as well.
1. Save Me
6. Open & Revolving
7. Low Life
9. Rules & Regulations (cut)
11. Hard Times
12. Fat Chance Hotel
13. World Destruction
15. The Body
17. Public Image
18. Holidays In The Sun
19. This Is Not A Love Song (cut)
Here's a recent solo outing from Baz in which the expected Stranglers material is mixed up with some interesting covers of which Johnny Cash's tremendous 'The Man Comes Around' (a powerhouse description of Armageddon recorded towards the end of the great man's life) and John Hiatt's 'Perfectly Good Guitar' ("It breaks my heart to see those stars, smashing a perfectly good guitar") stand out for me.
The sound quality is not the greatest and the audience are quite noisy throughout (it would have tipped Hugh over the edge!), but it is an interesting gig for all that. Many thanks to yesican for the recording.
02. The Man Comes Around
03. Perfectly Good Guitar
04. Barbara (Shangri-La)
05. One Of Us
06. Long Black Veil
07. My Fickle Resolve (Abandoned)
08. Only Women Bleed
10. Walk On By
11. Nice 'N' Sleazy
12. Goodbye Toulouse
13. Bless You (Jock The Box - Abandoned)
14. Bless You
15. Spectre Of Love
16. Strange Little Girl
17. Golden Brown
18. Who Wants The World?
19. Always The Sun
20. Rockin' In The Free World
Sunday, 7 December 2014
Some time ago, I downloaded a quartet of of podcasts from the Rat's Lair archive. Looking today, with the demise of mamstore, the links appear to be dead, so here they are again for those that are interested. Recorded at the time of Suite XVI, this makes an interesting 30 minute or so snapshot of where the band were at in the immediate aftermath of Paul's departure.
A big thanks goes to MeAnIe for this one. Using my finely honed powers of deduction I figure that Susy (as in the name of the radio station) is derived from Sussex and Surrey, the station covering the Gatwick and Reigate area, some 20 minutes from my parents place. It is rather strange then that this recording reached me via Australia!
Here Hugh talks briefly about the co-headlining tour with Hazel O'Connor, ahead of last week's gig in Brighton.
Hugh and Hazel perform 'Hanging Around'
Robin 2 Bilston 25th November 2014
Still on the subject of The Slits, here's a later incarnation of the band recorded in 2009 in Southampton (many thanks to the original uploader).
03. New Town
06. Crew War
07. Love und Romance
08. Man Next Door
09. World Of Grownups
10. Cry Baby
11. Typical Girls
13. Heard It Through the Grapevine
14. Animal Space
15. Partner From Hell