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

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Ruts DC 100 Club 22nd December 2012 (Remembering Joe)

Ruts DC
(l-r Ruffy, Segs, Molara (out of shot) & Leigh Heggarty)
100 Club, London
22nd December 2012
If as mentioned earlier, I was looking forward to The Damned and The Dickies date, I was beside myself about this one! As posted earlier (here), I have had difficulty in getting to see Ruts DC live since seeing them for the first time last year supporting Alabama 3. The curse surrounding Ruts DC almost struck again, but I'll come onto that later.
Marking 10 years to the day, the sadly premature passing of Joe Strummer, this two day event was pulled together by the Strummerville charity. Working during the day, meant that we got to the venue quite late, in time to see Rebel Truce (a very tight Clash tribute band) work their way through the first album. Whilst they were very good, both Gunta and I were rather distracted because we had left the kids for the evening and our son from home was reporting that his sister was unwell. Her temperature and risen quite alarmingly and here we were an hour away from home listening to 'Protex Blue'! There was discussion about throwing in the towel and heading back pronto up the M11, but the situation was monitored with frequent calls back to base.
It was unfortunate then that throughout the Ruts DC set, we were clock-watching to a large extent. Nevertheless, ailing family aside for one moment, this was without doubt my gig of the year! After all of the trials encountered to see them again, they if anything exceeded my expectations which for anyone who reads the ramblings that I put up here will be understood to be very high.
They opened with 'Whatever We Do' before moving on to some of the new material from the forthcoming 'Rhythm Collision 2' album, including the wonderful 'Mighty Soldier'.
'Mighty Soldier'
Ruts DC
From there they took us on with 'One Step Forward', again from the new album before dishing up the first Ruts offering of the evening in the form of 'Back Biter'. Marvellous!
'One Step Forward'
Ruts DC
'Back Biter'
Ruts DC
An early highlight of the gig was a new song (which I am reliably informed will also appear on the new album) called 'Smiling Culture' a song concerning the continuing instances of black people dying whilst in police custody. The title is a reference to '80s reggae star Smiley Culture who suffered a fatal knife wound to the heart during a police raid in March 2011. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the name of the guy who wrote the song, but he was to join then on stage to toast. The incorporation of The Ruts 'SUS' into the song was inspired and amply demonstrated that Ruts DC have so much more to offer.
I suppose too, given the event, an eye was cast in the direction of nostalgia but with 'The Crack' and 'Animal Now' to draw material from I wasn't about to complain!
And so it was that classics like 'It Was Cold', 'Jah War' and 'Staring At The Rude Boys' were delivered in near perfect form! Now, given the aforementioned situation with our daughter back at the ranch, come midnight we had to make tracks, but I can honestly say that it was the slowest progress towards a venue exit that we have ever made, so gutted were we to miss the end..... but we did get 'West One' as the parting song.
If I were a religious individual I would like to think that Ruts DC tonight set Joe's leg machine-gunning and Malcolm and Paul's toes-a-tappin' for sure.
So, onwards to Spring. Islington tickets are in hand and the logistics of a German trip are under review...... and..... and.... this time nothing bar a recalculation of a Mayan Armageddon is gonna pull me away before the end!
Ruts DC
(l-r Ruffy, Segs, Molara & Leigh Heggarty)
P.S. Apologies once again for the quality of the photos/video. I will invest in the new year in something more up to the job.
Ruts D.C dates so far in 2013
8th Newport 200 club
9th Bristol The Fleece
14th Derby The Hairy Dog
15th Leeds Brudunell Social Club
16th Stockton-On-Tees The Geogian Theatre
17th Dundee The Reading Rooms
27th Liverpool Eric’s
28th Preston 53 degrees
29th Birmingham Hare & Hounds album launch
30th London Islington Academy
10th Berlin
11th Hamburg 
12th Bremen
13th Munich
25th Southampton The Brook
26th Minehead  The Great British Alternative Festival

18th The Bearded theory festival
24th Inverness (Ruffy has private gig with the Duplicates)
7th Newcastle festival

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