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, 7 May 2012

Vive Le Rock Presents.... 'Vive Le Punk 'N' Roll At The Garage, Islington 6th May 2012

For those of you who who have not yet come across 'Vive Le Rock' it is a quarterly music magazine that features bands right across the alternative music spectrum. Many of the bands that the magazine features are still out there gigging and recording new music, but as the mainstream music press no longer see fit to devote any column inches to them, something like VLR becomes increasingly important. The magazine's contribution to the alternative scene is not confined to the written word, VLR has been behind many exhibitions and gigs, such as the one hosted last night at the Garage in Highbury and Islington, North London.

The flyer promised a night of punk and rockabilly interspersed with burlesque and cabaret. We arrived a little later than planned, luckily just in time to see 999 take the stage (the main reason that Gunta and I were here I might add).

999 offered up the expected high energy rush through their set, featuring old, expected classics ('Feelin' Alright With The Crew', 'Homicide', 'Nasty Nasty' etc) with a smattering of newer material, such as 'Really Like You' (from 1997's 'Takeover') and Pablo's 'Last Breath' (from 2007's 'Death In Soho').

Nick Cash, 999
The Garage, London 6th May 2012

Nick Cash & Guy Days, 999
The Garage, London 6th May 2012

'Lil' Red Riding Hood'
The Garage, London 6th May 2012

35 years down the line, 999 still do it for me and I hope to get to see them a bit more frequently this year than I have been able to in the last couple. I was really hoping to be able to take our son, Rudi, along but on this occasion a strict over 18s door policy was in operation.

In those 35 years, 999 have seen and done a great deal. There is also a wealth of punk history (Kilburn & The High Roads, The Clash in their nascent form, not to mention the Lurkers) in there as well as close associations with The Stranglers (label mates, support on the 1978 European tour etc). Arturo Bassik, an early fan, appears in the video of 'Grip' and his post-Lurkers band, Pinpoint supported the band in 1978 at the Red Cow.

Yesterday was incidentally Nick's birthday... belated best wishes to you if you read these lines!!

Next on was a fire-eating burlesque performer who goes by the name of Roxy Velvet. Fire-eating doesn't really float my boat, but I thought it worth at least one photo!

Roxy Velvet doing her thing

Next up was Roddy Radiation playing with The Skabilly Rebels. An old friend of Gunta's from her Coventry days (the late H) was sometime ago in the band. I noted that a guy called Mac is in the band who I remember from his time in The Neurotics and his own band Travis Cut in the late 80's and mid-90's respectively.

Roddy played a mixture of his own material and some of the Specials songs that he wrote. It may be me, but he was again quite disparaging of his other band.... he really does seem to have a love hate relationship with them.

Roddy Radiation (& The Skabilly Rebels)
The Garage, London 6th May 2012

Gunta (and Roddy)

Roddy Radiation & The Skabilly Rebels
Rat Race & Bonediggin'
The Garage, London 6th May 2012

All in all a great night. There's no review of The Grit as we had to leave in order to get back for the kids... maybe next time.

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