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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, 28 July 2012
The Fulham Transworld Sessions 1974/75 – The Start of Something Special
Back when I started acquiring unofficial recordings of the band, the tracks detailed here represented the Holy Grail to new and seasoned bootleg enthusiasts alike.
At the time that these recordings entered into a limited circulation there was quite some controversy as to how they had been acquired. I first heard two tracks, namely ‘Wasted’ and ‘Strange Little Girl’ on what I believe to have been a recording of a Dutch radio broadcast.
These versions of the tracks, appeared on a link posted on the Burning Up Time Forum (thanks Eric2Vini), but now lost with the clampdown on Megaupload. They had undergone some degree of processing to clean up the sound. As such these are the best versions that I have heard to date. Other tracks are included on this recording, but I have left the download intact for the sake of the artwork that is included in the folder.
As songs, they are well constructed compositions (although I am no musician), but they do lack something of the signature sound that the band were to develop later in the same year (listen to ‘Princess of the Streets’ from the NOB gig of late ’75). Perhaps ‘Wasted’ has elements of what was on the musical horizon for the band, a sound that placed them well in position for ‘Year Zero’. Nevertheless, whilst this little collection may not trigger the ‘pogo reflex’, they are priceless to a Stranglers nerd like myself in that they allow an insight into the development of the band as they scaled the ladder within the London-based pub rock circuit. By the way, listen to the harmonica on 'Make You Mine' and tell me you can't hear Dr Feelgood!
Notable tracks here, as well as ‘Wasted’ are 'Charlie Boy' (written about our friend Garry Coward-Williams), ‘Strange Little Girl’ (always a personal favourite of mine) and ‘My Young Dreams’ which Jet resurrected in 1985.
I did suggest in the run up to last year’s Convention that a short set of these songs would have been the perfect accompaniment to Garry’s unique photographic and anecdotal presentation on the band in those formative years. Alas, it was not to be, I suppose as some of the material is unreleased, licencing would become a barrier to live performance. A shame though as I think that each of these songs deserve at least one more airing on the stage. Old warhorses like these deserve a good send off!
2-I Know It
3-Appreciate (Make You Mine)
demos recorded on a 8 tracks at Transworld Studios, Fulham, London, Autumn 1974.
5-Strange Little Girl (Take 1)
7-My Young Dreams
8-My Young Dreams (New Mix)
9-Strange Little Girl (Take 2)
10-Strange Little Girl (Take 3)
demos recorded on a 16 tracks at Transworld Studios, Fulham,London, October 1975.
12-Midnight Summer Dream
14-Strange Little Girl
rehearsals at Jet's house, 1982.
15-Shaking Like A Leaf
16-Punch & Judy
17-Down In A Sewer
rehearsals sessions for Aural Sculpture Tour 1985, England.
Artwork is included in the download folder.