This could be best described as a 'keeping your hand in' gig for the band. For many fans, it presented a great excuse for a weekend away in the bracing winter Peak District hills in the company of the Stranglers. For this event, a group of us travelled up from London and Hertfordshire for what promised to be a unique gig.
To a dyed in the wool urban dweller such as myself, Buxton is bloody remote, nestled in the Derbyshire hills, the town is small and this is reflected in their Opera House. A beautifully plush venue which made a very pleasant change from the increasingly uniform corporate city venues that the band usually play.
After a generous pre-gig pre-med, Paul Cooklin and I felt that in keeping with venue, we should perhaps switch to gin and tonic once inside. So, it was with a G & T in hand that we were escorted to our seats by a very elderly and very sweet 'usherette' who to her credit did not seem unduly alarmed that her charges for the night were something of a far cry from the usual Puccini admirers that used the venue.
In this instance, being seated at a Stranglers gig did not seem to be such a problem, this being a one-off under such unusual circumstances.
In the row, Paul Cooklin, Adrian & Gunta
Buxton Opera House 16th February 2008
Quite clearly I have my suspicions regarding the photographer... must have been his dodgy shorts in such a cold February!As I recall from the reviews that appeared in the following days on the Forum, for many in attendance, this gig was a lacklustre plod through a greatest hits set. I certainly do not recall in in those terms, the band were on form and the whole weekend was a real treat on a social, musical and dare I say it a cultural level.
It was also the occasion of one of the best responses to stage invader that I have ever seen. OK, so maybe Baz struck it lucky with the timing, but he came out with such a pearl, that the bass player struggled to hold it together to play for several minutes. Listen out during 'Duchess'!
Full artwork is here: