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

Hammersmith Odeon 31st March 1987

Before talking of the gig, I must say this. As a direct consequence of this gig, as an impressionable 18 year old I was lead down a fasion cul-de-sac by Mr Cornwell. On the basis that I thought that anything that the Stranglers chose to wear was by default cool, I swapped 10 hole docs for black deck shoes throughout the spring and summer of 1987. My feet as a consequence stank for 6 months before said footwear were consigned to the bin and the docs were reinstated! Fortunately, this slavish obsession with what the band were wearing subsided before 1990, so it is with joy that I never went for the jogging bottom look. Thanks Hugh!

Anyway, diversion aside, this was one of a great trio of gigs. I was there on the night of the 30th and unfortunately, to the best of my knowledge, no recording of the 30th exists (but I would be more than happy to be proved wrong on that point!). The shows on either side however were captured for posterity.

I don't know why, but on the night I was on the balcony, front row. In a break from tradition, the Waltz In Black intro tape was dropped and instead the band came on to 'Mars' (from the wonderful 'Planets Suite'). It was a good choice, but no substitute for The Waltz!

Having always favoured standing, I was on my feet from the point at which the band took the stage. This was the reason for my first warning from the bouncers. I think that the firm used by the Odeon at the time was Show Sec. Back then, London venues had a dreadful reputation concerning the conduct of bouncers at gigs and clubs. Few rules and constraints were placed on security staff that controlled the execution of their responsibilities. In the late '80's, in London, there were cases of gig-goes dying as a result of maltreatment in the hands of venue security personnel. These tragic events resulted in the introduction of stringent regulation of show security personnel and as a consequence, the relationship between audience and bouncer is nowadays much improved.

A second warning around the Sleazy point of the gig came when a nice chap told me 'If you don't sit down I'll break your fuckin' neck!'.... I sat down for a bit. But it was imposible to stay seated for the encore, Nuclear Device, Duchess, London Lady and Jesus Christ.... 5 MINUTES (for me the most raucous song that they did and forever a great favourite). The bouncers conceded defeat and resigned themselves to a fight on the way home instead.

That was my third Stranglers gig (money constraints meant that touring with bands was not an option and gigs to this point had been on a one gig per tour basis). The problem was that after the dates in early '87, future dates were to prove to be few and far between until the 10 tour of 1990. Such is life I suppose.

  1. Intro
  2. No More Heroes
  3. Was It You?
  4. Down In The Sewer
  5. Nice In Nice
  6. Punch And Judy
  7. Souls
  8. Always The Sun
  9. Strange Little Girl
  10. Golden Brown
  11. Northwinds
  12. Big In America

  1. Nice "N" Sleazy
  2. Who Wants The World
  3. Bring On The Nubiles
  4. Shakin' Like A Leaf
  5. Uptown
  6. Grip
  7. Tank
  8. Toiler On The Sea
  9. Spain
  10. Nuclear Device
  11. Five Minutes
  12. Duchess
  13. London Lady

No comments:

Post a Comment