Here's another one from the lads. First time playing in Rome and the first gig the band played after the kristallnacht in Nice two weeks earlier. A good solid set and some great pictures from the soundcheck on what appeared to be a beautiful afternoon in The Eternal City.
1. Shah Shah A Go Go
3. Toiler On The Sea
5. Hanging Around
6. Baroque Bordello
7. Waiting For The Meninblack
8. Down In The Sewer
9. Who Wants The World?
10. Thrown Away
11. I Feel Like A Wog
13. Nuclear Device
15. Hallow to Our Men
16. The Raven
Barry Cain accompanied the band to Rome after breaking the story of the Nice riot and band incarceration to the UK press. His account of the trip is to be told in his forthcoming book 'Tell Me When' (2013 publication), the sequel to the excellent '77 Sulphate Strip', which was one of the rarest books that I have read.... a Stranglers friendly account of the UK punk scene as seen by a music journo!!
"FRIENDS, ROMANS, Countrymen - Lend us your ears." A creditable Cornwellian preface to The Stranglers' first gig since their not -so -Nice within these walls residency.
An unlikely setting - a far 'from verdant park in the middle of the babbling metropolis overlooked by a towering Castilla where popes of old sought refuge from irate parishioners by nipping along an underground pass connected to the Vatican nearby.
By 10 pm, -the park is overflowing with 8,000 roaring radis raring to root, toot and generally get down to the band whose pasta exploits have made them a household word In every prison in Europe.
The Stranglers have reached a spaghetti junction in their career. Unaided by airplay their last few singles have plopped in and rippled out again. Their credentials as first division rock maestros have taken a battering from the press and cryptic observers of the "scene".
But under the stars in cornetto land they proved once more - after a shakey start - that live they not only still cut it they disembody it, skewer it and burn It over red hot coals.
The set on the night contained numbers from most of the previous albums - 'Hanging Around' and 'Down In The Sewer" the TV theme personified, '.Tank', 'Duchess', 'Genetix', 'Raven' - you name it.
Plus the single 'Who Wants The World' which shocked everyone associated with the band when it never made the 10, and two new songs from the next album 'Meninblack' - 'Thrown Away' and 'Hail To Our Men a long, languid lament which at times sounds like a theme from a Fellini movie and an interstellar Lord's Prayer. Get the drift?
Previous alfresco Stranglers' gigs have been dismal affairs. They found it difficult to breeze with the sleaze amongst the birds, bees and smell of burning grass. But in the cold light of day in Rome they slaughtered the Eyties who in the end refused to leave after the stipulated one encore. They bombarded the stage with cans of Peroni beer and empty Chianti bottles until the band returned with a barechested Jean causing a few macaroni madonnas to actually scream. If a spell in the nick does this I hope they get solitary next time ...