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

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Ruts Cardiff University 16th December 1979

This is a great gig, and from my searches it appears to be quite rare. I assume that this recording is incomplete (over and above the fact that 'Babylon's Burning' is cut). At this late stage in their sadly short career, this would have been a headline gig.

From the sound of it the audience are quite hostile, very Welsh and not enamoured with the 'cockney' Ruts and the gig does not appear to be trouble free, it seems that there is a contingent of NF skinheads in on the night.... I may be wrong.

Malcolm on top form.... see what you think.

1. Savage Circle
2. I Ain't Sophisticated
3. SUS
4. H-Eyes
5. Criminal Mind
6. Something That I said
7. Dope For Guns
8. Jah War
9. Babylon's Burning


  1. Can never have too much Ruts, and, as you say, this one is indeed a rare one, never seen it before and can't wait! Thanks a million, Dave Sez.

  2. Any chance of reposting this one?

  3. I was at this gig. You're right about the skinhead presence & there was sporadic trouble. At one point Malcolm told someone in the audience that if he (the audience member) wants bother he'll try it "with ME pal" (big cheer for that). After that someone down front was annoying the bass player (pulling the bass lead mid song, I seem to remember) who downed his bass, leapt offstage & began battling whoever it was. Next thing I remember Malcolm saying to the audience "look... I'm not a violent person...." (more cheers). It's not on this recording but it could explain the interruption on Babylon's Burning. The taper is seemingly upfront judging by the quality of the tape & there's obviously been an interruption because BB gets restarted before the tape cuts out. Could be that's when the few bits I remember above partly took place with whoever the taper was having to get the hell out of the way to avoid the aggro. Good gig though, despite the far right attendance & occasional fight. For some reason I remember the support being Crass but I could be mixing up memories there.

  4. Thanks for your recollections of this gig. It certainly sounded like a show that was about to crack off (absolutely no pun intended!). I'll run your memories past Segs and Ruffy and see whether they have any recall of this particular gig.

  5. I remember it as a truly top night, crackling with tension, and with the band on top form. They encored with with an almost psychedelic version of In a Rut with Malcolm on guitar that seemed to go on for a long time. Can't remember the support but that may have been the Brains SA!

  6. There is a story on the web that this was at the Top Rank and they played the University earlier in the year.

  7. The Ruts did not play Cardiff University in December 79, that gig took place in Cardiff Top Rank. It was not part of a tour but a one off, they came to town with a large contingent of Londoners and it kicked off before the end of the show, which I don't think ever got restarted in the mayhem.
    The University gig was earlier in the year, it also ended in violence and many eople in Cardiff at the time believed that this was the Ruts getting payback. I asked Segs about the Top Rank December show when I met him last year and he remembered it as a stand out show because of the atmosphere