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

Monday, 28 May 2012

Buzzcocks Back To Front Brixton 26th May 2012

Saturday night was a hot one and as such my legs had their first outing of the year. Shorted and booted, Gunta and I made our way down to Brixton to meet Owen. In doing so, we discovered a beautiful pub rather off the beaten track where I valiantly fought off heat induced dehydration by necking a couple of pre-gig pints!

A sun-drenched Academy

As this was due to be something of a musical marathon, the band in their latest incarnation were due to take the stage at 8 pm... and so we moved on towards the still wonderful Brixton Academy.

Now, I love Buzzcocks to pieces and I think that their new music has been of a very high quality. I would rate 1993's 'Trade Test Transmission' as one of the greatest 'comeback' albums in my collection... and there are a few of those! However, in light of what was promised later in the evening, the first set was a little flat. In that, I mean no disrespect, but expectations of the evening were understandably heightened!

The compere for the evening was Zig Zag's Kris Needs who introduced the 'classic' quartet of Shelley, Diggle, Maher and Garvey.

Gunta Loving the 'Cocks
Brixton Academy 26th May 2012

See for yourselves, but whether it was the iconic material or mass hysteria, there was a transformation. These four have not played together since 1989/90... can't remember exactly, but something just clicked. John Maher's drumming was razor sharp as was Steve Garvey's bass playing.

'Why She's A Girl From The Chain Store'
Brixton Academy 26th May 2012

'Mad Mad Judy' and 'Everybody's Happy Nowadays'
Brixton Academy 26th May 2012

This second set was stunning, sharp and precise, always a Buzzcocks trademark.... Steve Diggle did over exite himself at times though (!?).

Last up and we were going back, back in time to 'Spiral Scratch'. Pete's unique guitar reappeared and Howard duly emerged from the wings at a sprint and launched into 'Breakdown'.

Brixton Academy 26th May 2012

'Spiral Scratch' was excellent, but quite what Howard's interplay with who I can only assume was supposed to be an old fashioned optician is anyone's guess!!

Ever fallen in love?... yeah all over again!

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