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 19 April 2015

Jake Burns And The Big Wheel The Studio Bristol 12th February 1984

Here's a transfer I did some years ago from an old cassette. It is the only gig recording of Jake's post SLF outfit 'The Big Wheel' that I have come across which first saw Jake and drummer Steve Grantley sharing the stage. Therefore, I think that this is quite a rare and interesting recording. All the more so in that the short support set features two songs written and recorded by Jake, Dolphin Taylor and Bruce Foxton back in 1983 whilst the dust from the recent implosion of SLF was still settling. Those songs are:

  • Shake It Off (Burns/Taylor)
  • Not What We Were (Pro Patria Mori) (Burns/ Ogilvie)

These two songs finally saw the light of day on the low key Castle Communications CD single release of 'Harp' in 1994.

Here's what Mr Burns had to say about them on the sleeve notes.

'11 years seems a long time to wait to release a record after you've recorded it, but that's how long ago the B-side to this single was made. You see, Dolph and myself were without a band at this point, although we did have some tunes. What we needed was a bass player to complete our unit. Bruce was at a loose end, and through a series of phone calls by and through mutual friends, we all ended up in a studio in April/May 1983. (Well, we actually all ended up in 'The Cat and Helicopter' or whatever the pub was called down the road from the studio, but eventually we ended up in the studio). It was a brief collaboration, too many other offers were on the table at the time and these took precedence over this particular project. So, no hard feelings and everyone went on their way.

However, fate has a strange way of intervening in your life and 11 years later here we all are in the same band, albeit a different band musically to the one we envisioned in 1983. That is the main point to make about these tracks, they are NOT Stiff Little Fingers songs. But, I know from talking to many of you on the road etc.... that there is a considerable interest in 'what might have been'. So, here they are... two demos that were never meant to see the light of day outside of record company offices or our private collections.

I hope that they are as interesting as you thought they 'might have been'. Remember it was a long time ago!

Jake Burns'


01. Warsaw
02. Shake It Off
03. In The Company Of Strangers
04. On Fortune Street
05. Capital Lives
06. Innocent Man
07. Pick It Up
08. Trapped Inside
09. Pro Patria Mori
10. Here Comes That Song Again
11. Race You To The Grave

Jake Burns And The Big Wheel played support to The Alarm at this gig.

And while I am at it here's a new link to the Janice Long Session that they did from 16th April 1986.


01. She Grew Up
02. Breathless
03. Trapped Inside
04. Belfast 14

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