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

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!



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

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