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 20 April 2019

The Specials The Grove Oakville Canada 23rd August 1981

August 1981 saw The Specials providing support slots to The Police in what were to be the last few gigs of the original line up These would have been big gigs for the band since at that time, The Police were one of the biggest band’s in the world and being much taken to the hearts of American audiences this would have been a big one. History has been a little unkind to The Police (unlike their accountants), as purveyors of some form of reggae, they were far removed from the 2 Tone, they were however, highly supportive of those bands. Both The Specials and The Beat toured with the band. Moreover, Sting was quite often to be seen in a cut down Beat T-shirt.

Moving on to the music then. The band’s live set had changed significantly in 2 years of almost continuous touring. Throughout 1979 and 1980 the band delivered precision ska at a furious pace, but by the summer of 1981 much of the high tempo material had been replaced by the much more introspective material that was lifted off their follow-up ‘More Specials’ album, released in October of 1980. From the reworking of ‘Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think), a song originally a hit in the late 1940’s to the ode to the drudgery of global touring in ‘International Jet Set’. The material was much darker with songs such as ‘Why?’ an open letter to the far right in response to a near successful attempt on Lynval’s life and ‘The Boiler’, a harrowing collaboration with Rhoda Dakar of The Bodysnatchers that describes the horror of rape (the song was set to be banned by the BBC).

As I said, very different, but one of my favourite Specials live recording.



01. Concrete Jungle
02. Sock It To ‘Em JB
03. Rat Race
04. Why?
05. The Boiler
06. Friday Night, Saturday Morning
07. Chang Kai Shek
08. International Jet Set
09. Man At C&A
10. Nite Klub
11. Enjoy Yourself
12. Ghost Town
13. Man At C&A (Unknown Live Source)
14. Do Nothing  (Unknown Live Source)

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