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 adrianandrews1@sky.com.


Saturday, 31 January 2015

The Rezillos Durham Punk Festival 10th September 2011


With the March tour in mind here's a set from tour support The Rezillos recorded at the Durham Festival event in 2011.

FLAC: http://we.tl/1bW3joy7lK

01. Intro
02. Destination Venus
03. Flying Saucer Attack
04. Mystery Action
05. Getting Me Down
06. Out of This World
07. Cold Wars
08. Yesterday’s Tormentor
09. Top of the Pops
10. You're So Deep
11. 2000 A.D
12. (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures
13. River Deep Mountain High
14. I Can't Stand My Baby
15. Audience
16. Bad Guy Reaction
17. Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight

Fay Fife at the Durham Punk Festival 2011
(Photo: Mark Freeman)

JJ Burnel Interview On Radcliffe And Maconie BBC 6 Music 30th January 2015


The last post was a BBC Radio interview some 32 years distant in which Hugh plugged the forthcoming 'Feline' tour. So now lets bring things bang up to date with a promo interview for the 'March On' tour broadcast yesterday on Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie's BBC 6 Music radio show.

This in my opinion is far better promo that going onto BBC 1's 'Breakfast', whose presenters have a history of conducting appalling, poorly researched interviews. I know it has a wider audience, but quality over quantity wins out for me every time.



As for Radcliffe and Maconie, these blokes know their stuff, like Kid Jensen in the previous post, these two live for music. I mean blimey, part way through this interview Mark Radcliffe informs us that the first time he saw the band play was at the Squat in Manchester in September 1976, whilst Stuart Maconie came to the band late on 4th June 1977 at Wigan Casino!



Excellent listening.....

MP3: http://we.tl/X8OQiyw7rn

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Hugh Cornwell Interview BBC Radio 1 (Kid Jensen Show) 4th January 1983

'Look, would you mind cradling that trimphone, I'm trying to communicate here!'

Ok, here's a great interview from January 1983 in which Hugh discusses a range of topics with a Radio 1 rarity at the time, a DJ who actually had a genuine interest in music, David 'Kid' Jensen. In this 30 minute discussion, 'Feline' features heavily (Hugh puts the musical style down to the band's need to get back to meaningful communication in this age when people can only interact by phone. Christ, he must be beside himself in 2015!!).

Other topics on evening's agenda are:

  • Celia Gollin
  • The Black Documentary
  • Hugh's musical influences
  • Acting
  • The band's musical direction
  • Playing Ireland and
  • Chrissie Hynde

MP3: http://we.tl/eBoQtsSmnh

Manic Street Preachers Simon Mayo's Drivetime BBC Radio 2 15th September 2010


I know that there is quite a considerable cross over interest in the Manics among The Stranglers fan-base, so here is a short two song radio session from a few years back recorded in the month of the release of their ' Postcards From a Young Man' album.

FLAC: http://we.tl/iTZ8Si9mVf

01. Simon Mayo Interview Part 1
02. (It's Not War) Just The End Of Love
03. Simon Mayo Interview Part 2
04. All Or Nothing (Small Faces Cover)
05. Simon Mayo Interview Part 3

With a cover of 'All Or Nothing' it's also a fitting tribute to the recently departed Mac!

With thanks to the original Dime uploader.

Ian McLagan
1945-2014

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Buzzcocks The Brook Southampton 28th January 2009


And here's the headliners with those two sublime pop punk albums, 'Another Music In A Different Kitchen' and 'Love Bites'.........

NEW LINK

FLAC: https://we.tl/LprUTKz1C9

Artwork: http://we.tl/umaWUFqB7B

01. Fast Cars
02. No Reply
03. You Tear Me Up
04. Get On Our Own
05. Love Battery
06. Sixteen
07. I Don't Mind
08. Fiction Romance
09. Autonomy
10. I Need
11. Moving Away From The Pulsebeat
12. Real World
13. Ever Fallen In Love...?
14. Operators Manual
15. Nostalgia
16. Just Lust
17. Sixteen Again
18. Walking Distance
19. Love Is Lies
20. Nothing Left
21. E.S.P.
22. Late For The Train

01. Orgasm Addict
02. Whatever Happened To?
03. What Do I Get?
04. Oh Shit
05. Love You More
06. Noise Annoys
07. Promises
08. Lipstick
09. Harmony In My Head

The Lurkers The Brook Southampton 28th January 2009


Locating anniversary gigs in the collection for the month of January can be a tough task, it just isn't the best time to tour I suppose as would be punters nurse their wallets after the Christmas financial mugging!

Nevertheless I have managed to dig one out from six years ago. On this night Buzzcocks rolled into Southampton as part of a themed tour in which they ran through not only 'Another Music In A Different Kitchen' but 'Also Love Bites', two stand out albums of the punk era. On the tour they were ably assisted in support by The Lurkers, fronted by Stranglers stalwart Arturo Bassick.

I saw them the following night at The Junction in Cambridge and very enjoyable it was too.

So, here is that Lurkers set for you.

FLAC: http://we.tl/7bOZGsawXv

01. I'm On Heat (False Start)
02. I'm On Heat
03. I Don't Need To Tell Her
04. Then I Kicked Her
05. Ready & Loaded
06. Come & Reminisce
07. Pills
08. Too Late To Change
09. Miss World
10. One Day
11. Freak Show
12. New Guitar In Town
13. Go Ahead Punk Make My Day
14. Ain't Got A Clue
15. Shadow
16. Lil’ Ole Wine Drinker Me

Buzzcocks' set and associated artwork will follow.

These sets first appeared on Dime, but have long been removed, so I would like to extend my thanks to the original taper for these great recordings!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

From The Jam El Ray Theater Los Angeles 26th January 2008


And the main attraction........

FLAC: http://we.tl/EIfQYdxn85

Artwork (box of both the Hugh and From The Jam sets): http://we.tl/JDiKvKrOE4

01. Intro
02. In The City
03. The Modern World
04. All Mod Cons
05. To Be Someone
06. It's Too Bad
07. Pretty Green
08. David Watts
09. In The Crowd
10. So Sad About Us
11. News Of The World
12. Little Boy Soldiers
13. Private Hell
14. Ghosts
15. Smithers-Jones

01. When Your're Young
02. Start
03. 'A' Bomb On Wardour Street
04. Strange Town
05. Eton Rifles
06. Going Underground
07. Crowd
08. Down In The Tube Station At Midnight
09. Band introductions
10. The Gift
11. A Town Called Malice
12. Crowd


Hugh Cornwell El Ray Theater Los Angeles 26th January 2008

Bruce: 'Hey Hugh whatcha' doin' in 2008?'

The associations between The Stranglers and The Jam are not particularly well known but they go back and awful long way. The first shared gig I'm aware of took place at Brunel University on 27th May 1976! On paper, the two bands had very little in common, The Stranglers sound doffed its cap to the '60's psychedelia typified by bands like The Doors whereas The Jam were unashamedly driven by their love of the amphetamine fuelled R&B of '60's mod culture (Small Faces, The Who et al.).

They were however united in their outsider status within the London-centric punk scene of 1977, despite the fact that the two bands were vanguards in the public's eye (if not the Pistols and The Clash blinded music weeklies) of that very same scene.

It did not help that Paul Weller had verbally challenged the overtly political Clash with his proclamation that The Jam would vote Tory. JJ Burnel escalated the intense band rivalry by twating Paul Simenon outside Dingwalls after The Stranglers had played with The Ramones up the road at the Roundhouse.

These were a couple of the reasons why the movers and shakers within the music press took against the two bands. Nevertheless, both bands went on to great success in the UK and in The Jam's case at least, music hacks were forced to eat their words as Paul Weller subsequently emerged as one of the finest song writers in the country and a genuine voice of a generation.

Leap onto the time machine to this day (almost!) in 2008 and Hugh was sharing a stage one again with two thirds of The Jam, under the name 'From The Jam' that reunited Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton'.

The From The Jam set will be posted next.


01. (Get a) Grip (on Yourself)
02. Leave Me Alone
03. Nice 'n' Sleazy
04. First Bus to Babylon
05. Peaches
06. Picked up by the Wind
07. Hanging Around
08. Hot Cat on a Tin Roof
09. Bearcage
10. Delightful Nightmare
11. Always the Sun
12. Nerves of Steel
13. Down in the Sewer
14. No More Heroes

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Siouxsie And The Banshees Le Zenith Paris 28th October 1991


Here's a pretty late stage Banshees recording from the European leg of the 'Superstition' tour. From the Le Zenith venue in Paris this was broadcast on the radio, hence the annoying voice overs between tracks. Why on earth continental radio DJs consistently feel the need to gob off between songs is beyond me. Just give us the music uninterrupted for God's sake!

If you can get beyond the running commentary the sound quality is excellent.

FLAC: http://we.tl/RvOYMhEitj

Artwork: http://we.tl/FgrMEhIuBJ

01 The Last Beat Of My Heart
02 Dazzle
02 Cry
03 The Killing Jar
04 Melt
05 Kiss Them For Me
06 Peek A Boo
07 Painted Bird
08 Fear (Of The Unknown)
09 El Dia De Los Muertos

The Damned Utopia Studio Demos 1979


Here's a short but seet demo collection from that well loved bunch of miscreants The Damned. Recorded at Utopia Studios (which was sited in London's Primrose Hill I  believe) at around the time of Machine Gun Etiquette, this is a rare foray into the world of dub by a pank not known for their reggae sensibilities!

This first appeared on the Noise Addition blog site in 2010, but the link fell to megaupload!

MP3 (as received): http://we.tl/NWWrWs5HUM

01. Creatures (Plan 9 Channel 7 Dub)
02. Suicide Dub
03. Noise Noise NoiseDub
04. Love Song
05. Suicide
06. Noise Noise Noise

Came Down On A Monday, Somewhere In The Midlands NEW LINK Leicester University 23rd January 1982


..... Actually it was a Saturday, 33 years ago. A reactivated link can be found here!


Sunday, 11 January 2015

NEW LINK - Battersea Park 16th September 1978


Request fulfilled.


Reactivated links can be found here.

The Undertones For Stortfest 2015!!


Happy days, The Undertones will be playing in our kid's school playing fields in May, less than 10 minutes from my front door. £64 for a family weekend ticket. 'Family Entertainment' indeed!

https://www.facebook.com/stortfest

http://www.stortfordmusicfestival.org.uk/

Sortfest would be an excellent gig for a Baz and JJ gig in 2016.......

Talkin' About A Resolution - 100 Club Punk Festival


As ideas go it was a good 'un. First week in January, punters are back at work and feeling the pain of post-Christmas blues. The pubs and clubs are quiet now so what do we want...... a punk festival. A punk festival in one of the most famous music venues in the world, Oxford Street's 100 Club.

Saved recently from closure the 100 Club famously hosted the Punk Festival in September 1976 that stepped the London punk scene up to another gear. Of course I was far too young to see that one and the fact that I was at the second 100 Club Punk Festival 20 tears later (Buzzcocks and Alternative TV) isn't much of a boast! But I did see my first London gig here (Peter & The Test Tube Babies and The Long Tall Texans) in 1985 and watched the brilliant Dayton, Ohio outfit Toxic Reasons whilst standing next to one John Peel!

7th January 2015

I had tickets for two nights, the first being 999. An early start was needed as Arturo Bassick was doing a double stint with both The Lurkers and 999. Sandwiched in between was the somewhat unhinged Ed Tudor Pole.

The Lurkers, now an established three piece, delivered their usual high energy set with all of the expected 'hits' present and correct, 'I'm On Heat', 'Pills', 'Ain't Got A Clue' and the rather uncomfortable 'Just Thirteen'. Arturo informed the audience that original Lurkers drummer, Esso,  had that very day undergone heart surgery and was now in recovery. The song 'Go Sane' was dedicated to him. A highlight was the opening track from the Fried Brains album 'Come And Reminisce (If You Think You're Old Enough)'. The English Ramones? Well I don't know, but always  a guarantee of a good show!

'Ain't Got A Clue' and 'I'm On Heat'
The Lurkers
100 Club London 7th January 2015

Ed Tudor Pole was up next, former front man of Tenpole Tudor, it is fair to say that Mr Tudor Pole is a genuine English eccentric. For one man with a guitar he can make a lot of noise in a vein that I suppose you could call folk-punk. The Pistols references were there, the expected 'Who killed Bambi' as well as a brief 'Friggin' in the Rigging'! But some of the material was more unusual in songs like 'Beryl' and then there was the sublime 'You're Not A Punk'.... early on what I thought was heckling was actually a call for this song.

Excellent stuff!

'Friggin' In The Rigging' and 'Beryl'
Ed Tudor Pole
100 Club London 7th January 2015

'You're Not A Punk'
Fulford Arms, York
2014
So onto tonight's headliners...... 999. I have often posted on 999 being a big fan myself. Always great to see but sadly all too often dismissed as a band who jumped on the punk bandwagon (The Stranglers were similarly accused). However, like The Stranglers, the members of 999 laid the foundation stones for what became the London punk scene of '77. Nick Cash (then known as Keith Lucas) played with Kilburn and The Highroads, whose last gig at the Walthamstow Assembly Rooms on 17th June 1976 also featured The Stranglers and the Sex Pistols on the bill. Drummer Pablo Labritain was an old school friend of one John Mellor and played in a very early incarnation of The Clash.

The band's set has remained pretty consistent for a number of years now and tonight they opened with the usual  'Black Flowers For The Bride' from the fairly obscure 'You, Us, It' album of the early '90's. That the album came and went without a get deal of notice is a real shame since in my opinion 'You, Us, It' is to 999 what 'Norfolk Coast' is to The Stranglers, that is a return to form after several years in the doldrums. The rest of the set is comprised of material from the '77 to '81 period with a couple of numbers from more recent albums, Guy's 'Really Like You' ('Takeover' (1997)) and 'Last Breath' from the 'new' album ('Death In Soho' (2007)). But the backbone of the set is still made up of those early singles tracks, 'Feelin' Alright With The Crew'. 'Emergency' and of course the anthemic 'Homicide'. Crash, bang, wallop and the hour long set comes to the end with the urgent roar of 'I'm Alive', 999's first single on the independent Labritain records.... take that EMI! All in all 999 delivered another evening of amphetamine fueled R&B that left the ears ringing and the pulse racing. Sadly not being in London anymore the offer of a beer with the band after the gig had to be declined in order to get back to Hertfordshire. 


'Hit Me'
999
100 Club London 7th January 2015

'My Street Stinks'
999
100 Club London 7th January 2015


8th January 2015

The Gov'nors
100 Club London 8th January 2015

Now, I knew about this one in advance of knowing about the whole Resolution week and the thought of it got me through those first traumatic days back in the office! This time around, Gunta and I arrived a bit later so did not get to see The Duel in the end. So with only a 15 minute wait, Ruts DC took to the stage in front of a keen audience of a reasonable size (such a contrast from the last time they played at the 100 Club at the 'Remembering Joe' gig in December 2012. On that occasion the venue pretty much cleared by the time they came on!). 

For recent dates, vocalist Molara has been absent which inevitably changes the way they play, But I needn't have worried myself overly as these three had everything under control. Standing at the end of the stage (the 100 Club stage is long and thin) gave me an excellent vantage point from where to watch Ruffy doing his stuff. In doing so I have come to the conclusion that he is my favourite drummer to watch (sorry Clem Burke, you have lost you're crown!). I always liked the idea of being a drummer, but a complete absence of a sense of rhythm put paid to that idea (it didn't do me any favours when I tried the bass either!).

The set was delivered with precision with even a bit of PiL's 'Public Image woven in there for good measure. Of course there were the dedications to Foxy and Malcolm, clearly these absent friends are never far away from their thoughts whenever Segs and Ruffy are on stage.

A real highlight of the evening was the introduction of a new song into the set. 'Second Hand Child' is  a haunting song about child abuse (which Ruffy confirmed was indeed written from an anti-perspective!). The song had previously been aired acoustically but had now been worked up to an electric version. Prior to performing the song Segs admitted that this was the part of the gig he was dreading (poor old Segs, he's never one to be overconfident about how the band are perceived! From a songwriter's point of view however I can understand that to launch your latest brainchild out to a virgin audience must be very nerve-wracking, no matter how good your track record may be). So far I have only listened to it a couple of times, but it sounds just fine to me. There is something in Leigh's guitar riff that reminds me of something else, but that something is sitting just outside my conscious mind taunting me*. Dare I say it there's also a hint of The Police's 'Invisible Sun' in there too.


'Second Hand Child'
Ruts DC
100 Club London 8th January 2015


I said to Leigh the previous night that I would love to see the band produce another rock album, perhaps a progression on the 'Animal Now' album...... only not so depressing. 'Second Hand Child' seems to fit that bill very well indeed.

* I think I have The Mob's 'No Doves Fly Here' in mind.

'West One (Shine On Me)'
Ruts DC
100 Club London 8th January 2015

If tonight's performance is a benchmark for the band in 2015, it will be a great year!!

(Thanks to Big Andy for the footage).

Friday, 2 January 2015

Hammersmith Odeon 15th February 1983


Here's a request fulfilled for NoMoreHugh from the night when the Hammersmith Odeon seats took a hit!

FLAC: http://we.tl/Tday7yFUbC

Artwork: http://we.tl/kUUJbW2XpR

01 Nuclear Device
02 Toiler on the Sea
03 Jet Winding Up the Bouncers
04 Ships That Pass in the Night
05 Its A Small World
06 Just Like Nothing on Earth
07 No More Heroes
08 Who Wants The World
09 Never Say Goodbye
10 Baroque Bordello
11 Golden Brown

01 Princess Of The Streets
02 Midnight Summer Dream
03 European Female
04 Tramp
05 The Raven
06 Duchess
07 London Lady
08 Nubiles (Cocktail version)
09 Down In The Sewer