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

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Weston Super Mare Hutton Moor Leisure Centre 3rd June 2006

"Ladies and Gentlemen.... and Then There Were Four"

And so we come to the next chapter and the gig that was for me the biggest event in the band's career since the departure of Hugh nearly 16 years earlier. Without any forewarning, the band reverted back to a four-piece and the first that anyone outside of the bands inner circle knew about it was Baz Warne's opening line of the Weston gig. Like in 1990, the departure of Paul Roberts sparked rumour and counter rumour as to the whys and the wherefore of the decision. Unlike in 1990, with the internet, the discussion was all very much more public and all of the 'Who's better, who's best' resurfaced to the benefit of no-one.

For my part, I greeted the news with a great deal of exitement, especially on hearing this recording. The band that I ran away from a decade or more ago were back. Not the same as before, but much more akin to earlier days, with vocals once again shared. The dynamic of the band as a four piece was what mattered most.

In my head a light switch was activated and it was back to where I left off... the gigs, the social life and the avid gathering of the live recordings. Of course, not everyone felt the same, but for a great many of us this marked another new start and a definate shifting up of a gear.

  1. Waltzinblack
  2. The Raven
  3. Big Thing Coming
  4. All Day And All Of The Night
  5. Peaches
  6. Long Black Veil
  7. Death And Night And Blood
  8. Toiler On The Sea
  9. Golden Brown
  10. Never To Look Back
  11. Goodbye Toulouse
  12. Something Outa Nothing
  13. Walk On By
  14. I’ve Been Wild
  15. Lost Control
  16. Duchess
  17. Burning Up Time
  18. London Lady
  19. Dagenham Dave
  20. No More Heroes
  21. The Meninblack
Full artwork here (and in pfd format in the download file):

With the understanding that the band had reinvented themselves again, I wanted to see the result as soon as possible. The band were due to play the Guilfest on 16th July and this presented the perfect opportunity. It was also the opportunity to meet up with some very old friends. Paul Cooklin and I had last been in touch 17 years previously, but hooked up again in Guildford on that day.

In the blistering heat I watched the band with a big, stupid grin across my face. One minute into '5 Minutes' and it was clear to me that The Stranglers were once again a potent musical force. The frustrations of the last 16 years were washed away and the obsession was back! 

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