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, 12 July 2015

The Members and The Newtown Neurotics at The Square, Harlow 4th July 2015

And so it was a case of hot footing it (literally the case on such a sweltering day) from the 'About The Young Idea' exhibition in Central London to Harlow to continue the day's celebration of all things punk rock.

The Newtown Neurotics were to play The Square in Harlow for the last time as the venue is due to move from its present location. Over its 30 year history the venue and the band have had an association as close as Morecambe and Wise, this stage being almost a spiritual home for the band.

On this auspicious evening, The Neurotics were to be supported by non other than The Members whose 'Solitary Confinement' was given something of a political makeover to become 'Living With Unemployment' a staple of the Neurotics' set for ever. This was a chance to hear both renditions on the same night!

Now I love The Members and I am familiar with more than just 'Sound of the Suburbs' but it was with some trepidation that I watched their opening songs, as friends who had seen them post Nicky Tesco had come away disappointed. However, I needn't have worried as they were actually very good. In between songs frontman J.C. Carroll vied with The Neurotics as to which of the two bands suffered most at the hands of suburban living. He described the band's home town of Bagshot in Surrey as a place 'that made Harlow seem like Paris!'

Nigel Bennett and J.C. Carroll of The Members
The Square Harlow 4th July 2015

Playing as a three-piece their versions of Members' classics sounded pretty faithful to me.

'Offshore Banking Business'

'At A Chelsea Nightclub'

So The Members finished up and passed the baton onto one Steve Lamacq who in his 30 minute guest DJ slot could have been delving into my own record collection! Then, the Neurotics took to the stage under the watchful eye of the recently departed Colin Dredd.

Colin on the backdrop

Here's the set list and I'm sure that those with knowledge of the band will agree that its a corker and fully representative of the band's 10 year career. Really good so see songs in there from the 'Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks?' album.

The upshot of the night was that a planned one hour set mutated into a two hour celebration of the band and the venue. I sang myself hoarse, funny how these lyrics have never left me, bounded around arm in arm with Mr Lamacq and Mr Stockbroker to 'Living With Unemployment, before ending up on stage at the invitation of the band. What a great night!

'Wake Up' and 'The Mess' by The Newtown Neurotics

Steve Drewett and Attila The Stockbroker

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