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 Selecter Minneapolis 8th May 1980

The Selecter were the second reason why the two colours of 2 Tone were firmly nailed to the Coventry mast. Indeed, their first song, the instrumental 'The Selecter' provided the flip to The Special A.K.A.'s 'Gangsters'. Splitting the first release on the fledgling label between the two local bands perhaps unwittingly (that is of course if Jerry Dammers did anything unwittingly) created the notion of a scene right from the off.

The initial hand printed pressing of 'Gangsters' b/w 'The Selecter'

The male musicians in the band were veterans of various soul bands that would play the Coventry club circuit whilst Pauline Black, originally from Romford in East London had studied at Lanchester Polytechnic (The Lanch, a building with strong connections to 2 Tone in its own right) and was working in Coventry as a radiologist at the point of the band's inception. In Pauline, 2 Tone gained female focus in what was originally a male dominated scene (at least until the Bodysnatchers turned up!)

They had some great songs, Three Minute Hero', 'Missing Words' etc which then, as now, were delivered with an incredible energy. The set below reflects the first album 'Too Much Pressure' which was followed in February 1981 by the darker 'Celebrate The Bullet', but the public appeared to just want more of the same and the album bombed commercially. The fact that the release of the title track as a single coincided with an assassination attempt that US President, Ronald Reagan, narrowly survived did nothing to boost album sales. The Selecter fell apart not too long afterwards.

Pauline continued to record and play with a variety of musicians under The Selecter banner throughout the 1990's. However, in 2010, a second original member, vocalist Arthur “Gaps” Hendrickson rejoined on a permanent basis which gave the band a new impetus. Since his return The Selecter have gone from strength to strength both on stage (playing large venues worldwide) and in the studio.

Pauline and Gaps today.


01. Out On The Streets
02. Time Hard
03. Three Minute Hero
04. Street Feeling
05. Black & Blue
06. The Selecter
07. Missing Words
08. Murder
09. They Make Me Mad
10. Carry Go Bring Come
11. Live Injection
12. Too Much Pressure
13. On My Radio
14. Train To Skaville
15. James Bond
16. My Collie (Not A Dog)
17. Madness

1 comment:

  1. this is the earliest live Selecter I've heard so far..Birmingham poly august 80 being the next...cheers Adrian