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 13 June 2015

The Damned at The Roundhouse 6th June 2015

Waiting in the wings
Dave Vanian
The Roundhouse 6th June 2015
(Photo: Owen Carne)

Not a recording sadly, just some thoughts on the day and some YouTube footage from another triumphant gig by The Damned in that magnificent turning shed that is The Roundhouse. This was a family outing for us, and not at my instigation either, Rudi and Ramona actually expressed an interest in going to this one, 

Being as complete family unit (an increasing rarity these days as the children advance through their teenage years) we decided to make a day of it, parking up at East Finchley tube and taking the bus down to Hampstead for an extortionately priced breakfast. Pretty as Hampstead is, we are far more at home in old Camden Town, the next stop. Some stalls were perused, a mid afternoon drunken brawl outside the Wetherspoons on Camden Lock watched from a ringside vantage point and a couple of pints sunk in the Buck's Head whilst the children went their own way for 45 minutes or so.

Meeting up with friends from 5 we decided to gather in The Dublin Castle, a bit of a dive of a pub, but I'm not adverse to the odd dive. I wanted to show it to Ramona, who is quite into Madness. 

Then on into The Roundhouse and into the venue about midway through Johnny Moped's set. Basically..... they're not very good, but they played one of the two songs of theirs that I know, 'Hard Loving Man' (from the Roxy album). They're spirited mind!

'Ain't No Rock 'N' Roll Rookie'
Johnny Moped at The Roundhouse

'Ain't No Rock 'N' Roll Rookie' is due to be Moped's first single for 37 years!

Then come The Damned who deliver a set that is happily heavy in material from 'Machine Gun Etiquette', 'The Black Album' and 'Strawberries' from the '79 to '82 period, the peak period for the band. The '77 stuff is good, but that MC5 and Stooges stuff isn't really what The Damned mean to me.

Rather alarmingly Dave Vanian is now sporting a beard. What is it with beards at the moment, I mean I just don't get it, it's not as if Gillette have recently gone bankrupt!. Sitting in the window of The Buck's Head on the High Street people watching for an hour one could honestly believe that Camden had struck gold and precipitated a modern day gold rush, so numerous were the grizzled 'prospectors' that paraded past the pub!

Anyway back to The Damned. Here they are playing 'Antipope' and that 'New Rose'.

'Antipope' and 'New Rose'

And 'Smash It Up Parts 1 and 2'.

'Smash It Up Parts 1 and 2'

Prior to 'Smash It Up' the Captain announced the planned 40th anniversary gig at the Royal Albert Hall no less. Seems they'll let anyone in these days!

The evening did not pass without incident. Rudi managed stop someones head with his face near the front, resulting in a 20 minute period spent outside the main auditorium whilst first aiders checked him over for concussion. Later it a vain effort to catch a tube that was ready to depart (rather than wait a full three minutes for the next one!) I managed to get my foot trapped in the door. Luckily I had boots on, otherwise I think it could have resulted in quite a nasty injury. A couple of people on the platform screamed. Apparently I laughed. What an idiot!

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