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.


Wednesday, 26 December 2018

PiL The Rainbow London 26th December 1978


40 years ago today and the second UK appearance (the previous being the night before at The Rainbow) for this angry young man's second outfit.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-rqNSKB4ce4


Monday, 10 December 2018

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Buzzcocks Living Room Providence R.I. 7th November 1989


At the very end of the '80's the rumour mill started to grind with whisperings of a Buzzcocks reunion. As I recall this was fuelled, at least in part, when Steve Diggle's Flag of Convenience transformed into Buzzcocks F.O.C. Anyway, in 1989 rumour became fact and I had my first chance to see them.

With no new material at that time, these first gigs were purely a celebration of the band's mighty back catalogue.... no issues with that! So this is a date from the US leg of that 'Telling Friends' tour from two sources, one audience and one soundboard (somewhat edited). What I have always considered to be a little unusual is the extent of the success that the band enjoyed Stateside given that they are just so British and so different to the bands that make it big in the US. The Clash conquered the States by honing their sound to a US radio friendly one. On the other hand, The Jam, arguably the biggest band in Britain at one time never really broke America and yet Buzzcocks were successful.


FLAC: https://we.tl/t-ZQ0JBbPhgP

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-tgWwLSNm8o

Friday, 7 December 2018

Buzzcocks Manchester Polytechnic 22nd May 1980


OK last one for today. Here the lads are back in their home town playing for BBC Radio 1 at the Polytechnic. This is the full set that was broadcast and may be the complete set for the gig, I don't know for sure. Notable in this is Pete's dedication of 'Strange Thing' to Ian Curtis who had hanged himself in the early hours of the previous Sunday.

This short set includes three tracks from a trio of singles released that year that went under the name of Parts 1-3. To my mind as brilliant as the hormone drenched, teen angst earlier singles are, these three releases (Parts 1-3) are about as good as Buzzcocks get, completely left field stuff, dark and experimental. Some of it should not work but it does. As constant touring wore the band down and the use of ever heavier drugs started to take their toll, the frustrations, tensions and paranoias colluded to produce some of the bands most creative and innovative music. In The Stranglers world similar internal and external pressures gave rise to 'The Raven' and 'The  Gospel According to the Meninblack'. Not immediately accessible to the fan base, especially the latter, these albums are now highly thought of and the same is true of the last released Buzzcocks material.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-JLNPKc7jBp

01. I Don’t Mind
02. Ever Fallen In Love
03. What Do I Get?
04. Strange Thing
05. Why She’s A Girl From The Chainstore
06. What Do You Know?
07. Autonomy

Buzzcocks The Longhorn Minneapolis 10th September 1979


Here are the band coming towards the end of their first US tour with a gig in Minneapolis and a nice sounding one it is too!

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-32SAN9vRE2

01. I Don’t Mind
02. What Do I Get?
03. Love You More
04. Harmony In My Head
05. Sixteen
06. Autonomy
07. Moving Away From The Pulsebeat
08. Nothing Left
09. Noise Annoys
10. Breakdown
11. Ever Fallen In Love
12. Promises
13. Everybody’s Happy Nowadays
14. Boredom
15. Oh Shit!

Buzzcocks Top Rank Suite Brighton 8th March 1978


A great soundboard gig from sunny Brighton (well maybe not in early March!). This is classic era Buzzcocks with a set mainly reflecting the 'Spiral Scratch' E.P. and the first albun 'Another Music in a Different Kitchen'. 'Noise Annoys' is introduced as a new song!

Brilliant stuff....... Enjoy!

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-zlzvQLZc7z

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-wivnU5rdOY

01. Breakdown
02. Fast Cars
03. I Don't Mind
04. Noise Annoys
05. Autonomy
06. Get On Our Own
07. Sixteen
08. Walking Distance
09. Boredom
10. Whatever Happened To?
11. Moving Away From The Pulsebeat
12. Fiction Romance
13. Love You More
14. Love Battery
15. Oh Shit!
16. What Do I Get?
17. Time's Up

Buzzcocks The Screen On The Green London 29th August 1976


Ok, so no apologies from me for this moment of indulgence, here's the first of a number of Buzzcocks gigs from over the years.

Starting off with a legendary gig from the earliest days of punk in London Town;

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-r4pmSdVVCP

01. Breakdown 
02. Friends of Mine 
03. Times Up 
04. Orgasm Addict 
05. Peking Hooligan 
06. Lester Sands (Drop in the Ocean) 
07. Oh Shit! 
08. You Tear Me Up 
09. Love Battery 
10. I Can't Control Myself 
11. I Love You, You Big Dummy

It's Unthinkable!.... Pete Shelley Dies at 63


Last night as I sat on my own at home watching TV my phone pinged. It was a message from Gunta, it said 'Have you heard the sad news about Pete Shelley?' Such words could only point to one thing.... my attention to the documentary that I was watching evaporated instantly as I started to search credible news sites for confirmation of the facts. At the same time the traffic on my Facebook account spiked as many of my like minded friend's, 'Friends of Mine' you could say, reacted to the rumour that seemed to be rapidly solidifying into an awful fact.

..... and there it was, 'Breaking News' on the BBC website..... 'Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley dies at 63'.

'Oh Shit!' indeed. Of course we have been through this before, Joe Strummer, The Ramones and of course David Bowie. For me each of those rock 'n' roll deaths were rather different to this one. The passing of David Bowie was genuinely a huge thing that effected millions in a very personal way, myself included, but the news of Pete going is hitting me harder. I never met Joe, any of the original Ramones or David Bowie whereas I met Pete Shelley on a couple of occasions. The second occasion was in Budapest (if I remember correctly) in April 2011. I was there for a company meeting with other work colleagues. At breakfast in the hotel, I looked up from my cornflakes only to see Pete standing not 10 feet away patiently waiting for his toast to do a revolution in one of those awful hotel toasting machines, the ones that never toast evenly! Well, I was due to make some toast myself so I walked over and said hi, made some throwaway remark about toasting efficiency,  mentioned that I was a fan of the band and asked him what had brought him to Hungary. It was holiday and always conscious of invading the space of musicians, especially when 'off-duty' I said 'See you on tour' and returned to my seat as Pete threaded his way through the breakfast diners holding his pale/charred toast. I thought that was the end of it.

After two days of all day meetings it was time to make for the airport for a return flight to London. For whatever reason the British Airways flight was facing a delay which appeared to be increasing steadily as the evening turned into night. Frequent trips to the departure board were made to follow the progress of the flight. On one of these occasions, I was crowded around the screen when the delay increased by a further two hours on the turn of the page. 'Oh Shit!' I uttered and turned away only to find the diminutive Mr Shelley standing at my shoulder...... oh God he's gonna think I'm a mad fan who is quoting song titles deliberately within his earshot! 'Hello again' he said as I hurried back to the kiosk come bar. By now I was feeling rather sorry for myself, with the current delays we would not be touching down at Heathrow until the early hours of the morning at which point I needed to cross London to Sutton, At 5 the next morning  a group of us were to drive Dover as we were scheduled to see The Stranglers in the coming days on an acoustic tour of the Lowlands. No sleep for me then!

The hours wore on, the shops closed and successful flights fell off the departure board leaving a sorry looking BA flight in red as the only one still displayed. Airport delays + beer = frequent trips to the toilet and it was as I returned from yet another visit that I crossed the now deserted concourse just as Pete rounded the corner. We were the only two people in this huge space and he wandered over to me. He was with company that evening but he was quite happy to spend half an hour talking music. We discussed the band's current progress in the studio, Garth, Steve (I mentioned the withering looks Pete had become in the habit of giving him in his more excitable moments........ 'Oh that's just Steve' he said) and the original come back dates, my first time. We went on to discuss solo stuff, the short lived Zip and the excellent 'Heaven and the Sea'. All great stuff that lifted my mood no end. As we were about to head off in opposite directions he said that I might be interested in some dates that the band were planning for October that would bring the original, the 'classic' and current line ups together for a couple of nights that would celebrate Buzzcocks over their career. In the event, October was optimistic, but the dates went ahead as 'Front to Back in May 2012.

'Enjoy The Stranglers!' he said over his shoulder as he sauntered off.


Sunday, 25 November 2018

Remembering Edgar John Rayner Queen's Westminster Rifles (16th London Regiment)

Press report on the fate of Rifleman E. J. Rayner.

A couple of weeks ago I was handed a thin sheaf of papers by a friend who knows of my interest in Great War stories. In the recent past I have researched and posted information on soldiers who have either been buried or are commemorated in a family plot within the Old Cemetery in Bishops Stortford (Hertfordshire). I love the idea of trying to reclaim a name from a weathered headstone or memorial in order to place some context around how they came to be commemorated.

The information passed on to me concerned two brothers, Edgar and Frank Rayner, sons of John and Elisabeth Rayner. The family resided in 1, Bartholomew Road, not two minutes from my front door. As I write this I am sitting in the Castle pub to be found at the bottom of Bartholomew Road, and 30 seconds from the Rayner family home during the Great War! It is an old pub and I cannot escape from the thought that it is a near certainty that at one time Frank and Edgar, being young lads in their early twenties, would have enjoyed a pint of ale within the walls of The Castle and as such we are occupying the same space albeit at a distance of a century.


The Rayner brothers as they appear on the Roll of Honour within Holy Trinity Church, Bishops Stortford.

I will deal with both brothers, but allow me to start with Edgar John Rayner. Edgar enlisted in 1914 with the 1/16th London Regiment, otherwise known as the Queen’s Westminster Rifles. At the outbreak of the war, the Regiment formed part of the 2nd London Division, but on the 10th February 1916 the battalion transferred to 169th (3rd London) Brigade within 56th (London) Division. It was as part of 169 Brigade that the Queen’s Westminsters and Edgar saw action in The Battle of The Somme.

By early September, the Battle of The Somme had been raging for over two months as the British Army fought desperately to drive the German front line back. In the first week of September, the 56th Division were located to the east of the Albert-Bapaume Road. Officially, the action in which Edgar lost his life is designated as a part of the Battle of Ginchy. The villages of Guillemont and Ginchy were critical to the Germans. The possession of these villages afforded the Germans observation of the British and French positions to the south. This area formed a salient occupied by the Allies into which the Germans poured artillery fire disrupting Anglo-French efforts to mount a coordinated assault later in the month.

Battalions of 169 Brigade, the 2nd London Rifles, the London Rifle Brigade (LRB) , the Queen Victoria Rifles (QVR) and Edgar’ own Queen’s Westminster’s Rifles (QWR) moved up into the line on 6th September 1916. The following night the QWRs took over the trenches occupied by the London Rifle Brigade in a position approximately 500 yards to the north east of Faviere Wood. At this point the Battalion took casualties (7 other ranks killed and 1 officer and 7 other ranks wounded). In the day preceding the planned attack on Leuze Wood more casualties were suffered with 3 other ranks killed and a further 10 wounded.

It was on the afternoon of the 9th September that the battalion were launched into the Brigade assault to the north and east of Leuze Wood (known to the soldiers as ‘Lousy Wood’). The QVR attacked to the north into Bouleaux Wood (perhaps unsurprisingly referred to at the time as ‘Bollocks Wood’!). The LRB launched themselves on the sunken road and the German trench on the south east side of Leuze Wood. Whilst the QVR had some success, the LRB assault faltered. With the Germans reported to remain in Leuze Wood, Edgar’s Battalion (QWR) were ordered to drive them out.



The order came at 7.30 on the evening of the 9th and the battalion were reported to have entered the wood at 11pm after having passed through a heavy barrage. Once in the wood they connected with the remains of the QVR Regiment who were in great need of assistance.

Edgar with ‘D’ Company entered the wood along its eastern edge (with ‘A’ Company reinforcing the QVR on the northern edge of the wood and ‘B’ and ‘C’ Companies in reserve).



At 1 am on the morning of 10th September orders were received from Brigade HQ that an enemy trench located on the south east side of the wood had to be taken by dawn. The situation for the Battalion was known to be difficult, the area was under incessant shelling, the night was extremely dark and the available trench maps were known to be inaccurate. To make matters worse telephone communication with HQ was down leaving runners as the only means of passing information (and this entailed a perilous journey for a hapless soldier of at least an hour for each leg of the journey!). This being the case, 7 am was given as the earliest opportunity for an attack.

In the morning’s attack, ‘D’ Company’s leading platoon was to swing to its left to attack the sunken trench on the north side of the Leuze-Combles Road with support from HQ bombers.

During the night preceding the attack the casualty tally amongst ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies of the QWR were heavy as the men waited for the zero hour of 7 am. A message from Brigade HQ reached the front line at 6.50 am that that the usual artillery barrage was arranged. The heavy mist that had descended across the line, reducing visibility to 80 yards, was favourable and yet the anticipated barrage never materialised due to a breakdown of communication between Brigade HQ and the artillery positions.

On cue, at 7 am the infantry left their trenches and advanced towards their objective almost to the point of completion when machine guns opened up on them from the objective trench as well as from nests on the sunken road to their north. The trench was held in strength such that the Company Commanders Captain Green and Captain Grizelle ordered the withdrawal of the remnants of their respective QWR Companies, now not more than 25 strong in each Company.

A Brigadier appeared at 12.30 on the afternoon of the 10th and ordered one last effort to take the German held trench. For this attempt ‘A’ Company of the 2nd London Rifles were temporarily placed under QWR command along with two Stokes Mortar sections. Bombing commenced at 3pm in the afternoon. The 2nd London Rifles with artillery support made their objective with the assault to be followed on by QWR HQ Bombers, ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies. The assault however failed in the face of unsubdued enemy rifle fire from the objective and the soldiers of 169 Brigade were forced to retire.

The fighting over the night of 9th and 10th September resulted in a heavy casualty toll on the 1/16th London Regiment; officers, 4 killed, 5 wounded; other ranks, 52 killed, 166 wounded and 80 missing. Edgar Rayner was one of those ‘other ranks’.

The action which cost 24 year old Edgar John Rayner of 1 Bartholomew Road, Bishops Stortford his life, was like was so often the case in the tragedy of the Western Front, beset with problems that ruled out success from the offing.

The men involved in the fighting undoubtedly fought with great courage but at great cost . The QWRs bagged three military medals for Gallant Conduct in the battle. However, in closing I would like to quote the Commanding Officer’s concluding words on the fighting as recorded in the Battalions official War Diary. They are telling and in many ways tally with our current perceptions on the conduct of the war.

‘From start to finish we had, as it turned out, no chance.

Ordered to attack from a wood we had never been in before on a black, dark night and on to a position we were unable to properly locate, and then owing to the breakdown in communication, launched in the morning to attack without the military barrage. And again after some 14 hours exceedingly heavy shelling being sent to it again to bomb up a trench, which as a trench, hardly existed, with hardly any trained bombers to lead the attack, it is no wonder that both the attacks failed, especially as we know, as we learnt later the strength of the sunken road trench from which the enemy were able to bring so heavy a cross machine gun fire on both our attacks’.

Edgar is commemorated in France on the Thiepval memorial to ‘The Missing of the Somme’ (Pier and Face 13.C). He is also remembered (along with his brother Frank) on the memorial in front of Holy Trinity Church on South Street, Bishops Stortford. His name also appears on the Roll of Honour held within the Church (See above).



The memorial in front of Holy Trinity Church, Bishops Stortford.


 

Many thanks to Glyn Warwick for the photograph of Edgar!

Magazine 100 Club London 24th January 1978


Here's a short, but early Magazine set from the band's first tour at London's 100 Club. Thanks to the sharer for the boot!

MP3 (as received): https://we.tl/t-RV8XLxytnK

01. Shot By Both Sides
02. Touch And Go
03. Burst
04. Real Life
05. The Light Pours Out Of Me
06. Goldfinger
07. Motorcade
08. My Mind Ain’t So Open


Saturday, 24 November 2018

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Camden Centre London 20th November 2011 - The Remainder



FLAC files
JJ and Baz: https://we.tl/t-BECA10CG27
Electric Set: https://we.tl/t-LyYi99vuzn
Artwork: https://we.tl/t-rsNPz3KKsW

Remembered for a variety of reasons!

A huge argument when Gunta was barred entry to the quiz (my team came second I think... could be wrong) and had to wander around Kings Cross in the early hours for a couple of hours. What a wise bouncer on the night!

Next day I was hung over and we talked and reconciled.... and then started drinking all over again. The upshot was that we missed the JJ and Baz set completely but made it for the evening set.

Memory of the weekend? Mully charging down Euston Road in search of Big Al H, who just happened to have fallen asleep in McDonalds!

Monday, 12 November 2018

At the Going Down of the Sun.....

At 11 am yesterday morning cannon and fireworks  sounded to start the annual Remembrance Sunday two minute silence. This year was the same as always, but at the same time a little different, for it will see the culmination of the centennial commemorations of 'The War to End All Wars'.

It was several years ago that the last veterans of that conflict shuffled of the parade ground and so this is now the last big one, or perhaps  the big one oh oh commemoration.



Personally I have been fascinated by the Great War since I was at school, as I was lucky enough to do the 20th Century O Level syllabus that focused on conflict, That set me up for a lifelong interest in history. This is in contrast with Gunta's experience. She had to study The Factory Act and the terms of Gladstone and Disraeli. These subjects ultimately disraelied her interest in history (poor pun I know!).

Meeting up with an old school friend a few months ago we discussed another old mutual friend who had expressed surprise about my posts on social media relating to my involvement in WW2 remembrance activities, Association meetings, wreath laying and the like. This surprise stems from the fact that' as a vocal individual at school at times when our armed forces were engaged, I questioned the whys and the wherefores. I had nothing but disdain for conflict and war. In that respect nothing has really changed, but perhaps the passing of 35 years has left me a little more rounded (physically more rounded without doubt!) with my views.

I have never been really interested in military strategy, battle plans and the big picture generally.  However, the testimony of soldiers describing their personal experiences of war totally absorb me. The thoughts and opinions of ordinary men, plucked from farms and factories, committed to paper is what it is all about for me. The books of Lynn McDonald that featured hundreds of interviews with veterans that described the WW1 experience just gripped me.

For me, as for many others, there is no glory in war, that is a concept long dismissed. Lutyen's Cenotaph in Whitehall remembers 'The Glorious Dead'.... Since it's unveiling in 1920 attitudes towards the Great War have shifted. Post World War 2, many veterans opened up on the realities of the 1914-1918 calamity that has lead to a huge change in our understanding of that war and the concept of glory.

As I write this on 12th November 2018, 100 years and one day after the Armistice I am considering what remembrance means. In the last three weeks I have travelled through  Sussex, Essex and Hertfordshire and I have been thrilled to see the remarkable efforts that towns and villages have made to remember the sacrifices that were made at a local level. Tommy silhouettes, wire Tommies, and a perfusion of poppies... painted, stitched, crocheted, fired, forged..... you name it, it is breathtaking!!

So where is this all leading to.... well to return to the idea of what is Remembrance, to me it means trying to reclaim names from weathered memorials and place some context as to how they came to be commemorated in stone. Watch this space.


Friday, 9 November 2018

Devo Moore Theatre Seattle 8th November 2009


Inspired by a drawing done my Mo this afternnon a perused my Devo recordings and decided to post this one from Seattle. The following night's performance in which the band performed the 'Freedom of Choice' album can be found here.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-d33W7GHl8Q

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-A1gYmbdaAy



Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo)
By
Ramona Andrews

Monday, 5 November 2018

Head On The Lino


This weekend I put idle hands to work and created some additional lino prints on different card to the usual cream art card that I generally use. Some prints have been done on grey/green and gun metal (grey) card which I think looks quite effective, even if I say so myself.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HeadOnTheLino?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Manchester Academy 3rd November 2007


Meant to post this yesterday as an anniversary gig, but what'd 24 hours here and there! With an ear currently for '76/'77 era material here is Rattus and The Academy for you.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-Knr4xH9b1V

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-jdZqws92gv

01. Audience
02. No More Heroes
03. Ugly
04. Bring On The Nubile
05. Dead Ringer
06. Sometimes
07. Dagenham Dave
08. Goodbye Toulouse
09. Hanging Around
10. 5 Minutes
11. Bitching
12. Burning Up Time
13. I Feel Like A Wog
14. Straighten Out
15. Something Better Change
16. London Lady
17. Peaches
18. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
19. Go Buddy Go

01. Audience
02. Spectre Of Love
03. Unbroken
04. I Hate You
05. Relentless
06. Duchess


Saturday, 3 November 2018

The Nashville Room London 10th December 1976


Every so often when it comes to live recordings of The Stranglers I get taken by surprise. I thought that I had a fairly good understanding of what was out there, especially in terms of the early live stuff, but it seems that this partial set from a very significant gig in the band's history has been in fans collection for some time. This version I am told surfaced on a French web site.

At the close of 1976, with the ink still wet on their newly signed United Artists contract (concluded four days before this gig) the band played the Nashville in West Kensington, a venue pivotal in the development of the punk scene as well as the pub rock scene that preceded it. On the night the services of Vic Maile and the Island mobile studio were secured as the band hoped to emulate the success of Dr Feelgood's 'Stupidity' album (a surprise No. 1 live album for the Canvey four-piece). In the event, the band were not happy with the results and did not believe that it was a good enough reflection of their live sound, so with the exception of one track 'Peasant in the Big Shitty' which featured in the free single given away with initial copies of 'Rattus' the performance of that night had yet to see the light of day.

The recording is listed on EMI's vault database, so one day it is hoped it will get the release that it deserves since whether the four musicians loved it at the time or not, the fact that such a professionally recorded gig exists from a time prior to any releases is hugely exiting!

It has always been strange to me that unlike The Pistols and The Clash, where early gigs are relatively abundant it is not really the case for The Stranglers for whom good quality material from the '76/'77 period is quite rare.

Thanks to the original uploader!



FLAC: https://we.tl/t-Y4fQqZuxPe

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-mK88bFIyw6

01. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
02. Goodbye Toulouse
03. Ugly
04. London Lady
05. Down in the Sewer
06. Something Better Change
07. Go Buddy Go

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Arts Centre Aberystwyth Arts Centre 17th October 2008



10 years to the night, the Stranglers entertain the folk of Aberystwyth on the Forty-two Forty tour. Hello to Doug if you are looking in!

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-mXy65jhkCE

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-5VPzsMwtHk

01. Intro
02. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
03. Five Minutes
04. Peaches
05. Nice 'N' Sleazy
06. Spectre Of Love
07. Skin Deep
08. No Mercy
09. Always The Sun
10. Strange Little Girl
11. Golden Brown
12. The Raven
13. Thrown Away
14. Walk On By
15. Hanging Around
16. Straighten Out
17. Big Thing Coming
18. All Day And All Of The Night
19. Duchess
20. Tank

01. Crowd
02. Nuclear Device
03. Something Better Change
04. No More Heroes


Dave twiddling the knobs in Welsh Wales

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Killing Joke Manchester Academy University of Manchester 6th October 2003



Killing Joke touring the 'Killing Joke' album on this day in 2003.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-v5RAMYUZWS

01. Communion
02. Requiem
03. Total Invasion
04. Wardance
05. Blood On Your Hands
06. Change
07. Seeing Red
08. The Fall Of Because
09. Tension
10. The Death And Resurrection Show
11. Kings And Queens
12. Loose Cannon
13. Empire Song
14. The Wait
15. Asteroid

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Soft Cell Hammersmith Palais 10th January 1984


Bollocks to the detractors I am posting this with no apologies. Last weekend I took my daughter to see Soft Cell's last hurrah at the horrendous pleasure dome, otherwise known as the O2 Arena. I have a bit of a history with Soft Cell going back to the first appearances of the band on Top of the Pops with 'Tainted Love'. Later in '83  and '84, they released two of my favourite albums of the 1980's, namely 'The Art of Falling Apart' and 'This Last Night in Sodom'. This was at the same time that I was listening to 'Feline' and (albeit slightly later) 'Aural Sculpture' and whilst at that time we were attuning to the more mellow Meninblack, those Soft Cell albums offered an intensity that really wasn't much in evidence at the time. As the band spiraled towards their implosion in a morass of drug fueled paranoia their music shifted from radio friendly poppy bedsit melodramas to full blown primal scream songs of desperation and despair. All good stuff to the ears of a mid-Sussex school boy!

Anyday, give me 'The Art of Falling Apart', 'Baby Doll' or 'Martin' over 'Punch & Judy', 'Mad Hatter' or 'No Mercy'. Love them as I do, at that time I wanted something with more potential to raise the blood pressure. Sadly, these days there is a tendency to look upon Soft Cell as early '80's big chart acts on a par with The Human League, ABC and Ultravox, but there was so much more to them than that.

So, despite the expense I was very happy to see Soft Cell one more time at their last ever gig. All respect to Marc and Dave!

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-iPI7GA38uk

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-cuYHjvJG8S

01. Mr Self Destruct
02. Soul Inside
03. Down In The Subway
04. Torch
05. L'Esqualita
06. Loving You Hating Me
07. Youth
08. Where Was Your Heart (When You Needed It Most)
09. Best Way To Kill
10. Baby Doll
11. Martin
12. The Art Of Falling Apart
13. Hey Joe
14. Purple Haze

01. Memorabilia
02. Heat
03. Bedsitter
04. Ghost Rider


Saturday, 22 September 2018

Loopallu Festival Ullapool 22nd September 2006


Here's an anniversary gig from north of the border when the band played the Loopallu Festival in Ullapool which was then in its second year.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-cNX4KXN1lY

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-hwmh7WBJDq

01. 5 Minutes
02. Norfolk Coast
03. Spectre of Love
04. Nice n Sleazy
05. Death & Night & Blood
06. Peaches
07. Always the Sun
08. Golden Brown
09. I Hate You
10. Walk On By
11. Relentless
12. Threatened
13. Never to Look Back
14. All Day & All of the Night
15. Thrown Away
16. Duchess
17. London Lady
18. No More Heroes

Thursday, 13 September 2018