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, 10 February 2012

The Clash Leicester De Montfort Hall 28th May 1977

Now I know that this recording is not hard to find on the net, but I wanted to put it up here anyway. The Clash are well documented live, even in their very early days. Listen to any of those '76 recordings and you'll hear a band that really were not particularly accomplished (with the exception of Joe, who had musical form). Very early on, they were much slower but as a result of heavy gigging, by the time this recording was made they were faster and tighter.

1. I’m So Bored With the USA
2. Hate and War
3. 48 Hours
4. Deny
5. Police and Thieves
6. Cheat
7. Capital Radio
8. What’s My Name
9. Protex Blue
10. Remote Control
11. Garageland
12. 1977

In The summer of the 1986 (far removed from the 'Summer of Hate'), I attended a Physics A level course at Sussex University in Falmer, near Brighton. I know what a nerd! Nothing further to mention on the course, but as it was over the weekend, my mate and I not relishing another evening on a deserted campus, took the train into Brighton, where on the Saturday night, a local band I loved were playing at the Zap Club on the front as part of a punk 10th anniversary celebration. The Four Guns I had seen quite a few times before in Brighton pubs and it's a real shame that the only boot I have of them is near unlistenable, otherwise I would put it up.

The Four Guns c. 1986

The band played a great set as I recall, but it was the aftershow entertainment that sticks in my mind. Again, in no hurry to get back to some grotty student accommodation, we stayed on in the club for a 'punk disco'. Now up to this point, my exposure to original UK punk was pretty limited, beyond The Stranglers and The Damned. Of course, I knew the bands that came out of that period and had chart success in the late '70's and early '80's, but apart from the hits, I was pretty ignorant of what each of these bands was doing in 1976 and 1977. There were big gaps in other words.That night, all the usual suspects were played and this meant that I was hearing a lot of 'new' material for the first time and what an eye opener it was..... Police and Thieves.... What Do I Get...... Identity..... Where Have All the Boot Boys Gone?..... Bored Teenagers etc etc.

Walking back to the University in the early hours of Sunday morning, I was plotting how and when I could get hold of as much of this stuff as possible and as quickly as possible. Luckily for me, Brighton was something of a record collectors Mecca, with numerous excellent record shops (Wax Factor, Vinyl Demand) and critically, the Brighton Centre record fair that used to take place every 6 months or so. So, over the next 18 months or so, the majority of the £33 a week I earned cleaning a local A&E department was channelled through these outlets.

It was that same weekend that Channel 4 I think it was screened a documentary, again marking that anniversary, that trawled the Granada vaults and collected footage broadcast by 'So It Goes' between 1976 and 1977. Watching this the following week, further reinforced what I had missed. Of that footage, it was the Clash footage from Manchester's Elizabethan Ballroom in November 1977 that really blew me away, the intensity of Strummer's performance was amazing and for that reason, 'What's My Name' from the first album remains to be one of my favourite Clash songs.

The Clash 'What's My Name'
Manchester November 1977

1 comment:

  1. Classic documentary that! Me and my mates wore out the VHS we taped it on.