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

Saturday 15 December 2012

20 From '79 (5) The Damned Whiskey A Go Go 8th May 1979

The Damned in 1979
Here's a gig that saw The Damned, regrouped and once again in the US. This is one of the most chaotic gigs I have ever heard. Captain is just dangerous in front of this audience (two nights before at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco fists flew after Sensible urinated on a member of the audience!)

'Love Song'
The Damned at The Old Waldorf San Francisco
6th July 1979

This is the time when I would most like to have seen The Damned. That's not to say that  wouldn't have been apprehensive about it! A mate of mine's first Damned gig was at The Corn Exchange in Cambridge in '79 and by all accounts (well his anyway) it was basically a big fight with occasional musical interludes!

Nevertheless, there is little doubt that with this year's 'Machine Gun Ettiquette' The Damned peaked, producing one of the finest albums in UK punk.

I am seeing The Damned tonight at The Roundhouse in the good company of The Dickies. I have no doubt that the gig will be great, but somehow not as raucous as this Los Angeles gig in '79.

01. Jet Boy Jet Girl
02. Teenage Dream
03. Stretcher Case
04. Ballroom Blitz
05. Rich Kids
06. Born To Kill
07. Looking At You
08. New Rose
09. Suicide
10. Noise Noise Noise
11. Problem Child
12. Help
13. Stab Yor Back
14. So Messed Up


  1. In thanks for so much good music, I've gone digging in the attic to give you a taste of the times. I was at the secret gig played by the Damned under the name The School Bullies on 12th March 1979 at the Bridgehouse, Canning Town, one of my earliest gigs (if it wasn't the Undertones at the Marquee). The atmosphere was intimidating - the gig started with twenty minutes of Sieg Heiling from what seemed to be everyone in the audience except me and my mate - but the tension was relieved by being mates with the Captain: I remember getting chased around his garden with him manically waving a whining model airplane engine nailed on a board that he used to cut chunks out of his mum's plants when we were too quick. The gig was great. Below are three gig photos and two MGE promo pics - wish I'd now coughed up for a fourth gig pic of Algy though. Good times, and here ya go, cheers Dave Sez.

  2. A minor correction - dodgy memory after more than thirty years! There were in fact two gigs as the School Bullies in the Bridgehouse in 1979: the Monday 12th March gig in the photos I upped above (look behind the Captain's head for confirmation of the Monday) and again on Friday 7th September with the Cockney Rejects as support (which explains the Sieg Heiling). I was at the second gig, not the first, as I realized today when I found two photos on the web that I remember buying from a gig photographer by post after the gig. Here they are:

    I'll see if I can dig out the originals ... I also remember the Captain's guitar strap read "Sod The Whale".

    Cheers, Dave Sez.

  3. What was the guitar he was playing?