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

Friday, 16 December 2011

Buzzcocks 'Back to Front' in Manchester and London

For Buzzcocks fans something extraordinary is happening in May next year. Dubbed 'Back to Front', the concept is quite self explanatory. The current line-up will kick off the evening's proceedings , followed by a set that will see the 'classic' line up of Messrs Maher and Garvey join Steve and Pete on stage for the first time since the early reunion days. The night is scheduled to draw to a close with the appearance of Howard Devoto for a run through of the seminal Times Up single. Boredom? I don't think so! Whether such a gig herald's the final dissolution of the band who can say, but whatever happens the night is sure to be memorable.

I first heard of plans of this event straight from the horse's mouth (make that Mr Shelley). In Prague for a 3 day work meeting I bumped into Pete at the toaster one breakfast time in the hotel. It turned out that he was on holiday for the same period as well. A few days later, I was with colleagues at Prague airport awaiting the evening BA flight into Heathrow. It soon became apparent that delays to this flight were anticipated. Overtime as the passenger numbers remaining in the terminal thinned out as other flights departed on schedule. On one of my frequent visits to the departure board to check the status of the flight, I looked down to see Pete standing next to me. 'Hello again' said he, 'the planes delayed until 12.15.' 'Oh Shit' said I, before inwardly cringing at the though that he would be thinking that I was quoting song titles to him! We went our separate ways to bars at opposite ends of the terminal. Our paths crossed again later in the evening as the now massively delayed Heathrow bound passengers wandered aimlessly trying to kill time. Poor Pete, there was no escaping me now, so he engaged me in conversation for want of something better to do!

Once it became apparent that I knew my stuff with regards to Buzzcocks and Pete's post Buzzcocks work, conversation flowed quite easily. We talked of Heaven and the Sea, his short lived band Zip and even the Stranglers (the following day (or rather later the same day at this point) I was due to set out for Belgium and Holland for a trio of acoustic gigs). It was as a parting shot that Pete mentioned these two planned gigs that were then pencilled in for October of this year. He was very exited by the prospect I must say and rightly so. Like The Stranglers and The Damned, who amongst them would have contemplated the idea of such a gig 36 years on. Amazing stuff.

B'dum B'dum

1 comment:

  1. Have been incredibly lazy in posting comments and have no excuse except near senility. However, I bought my ticket to this extraordinary gig last week and cannot do owt but totally agree with the review. Ever since my mid teens in Manchester (1978 on) I have loved this band - despite getting a Moss Side kicking outside the Apollo in 1980. Saw them after my beloved York went up in the playoffs nearly 20 years agop now -could this be an omen. Remember my mate had Spiral Scratch original and wanted £20 for it just as they re-issued it for 49p as I remember