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, 2 May 2020

Focus The Playhouse Whitley Bay 23rd October 2019

Focus (2019)

Having spouted off in my preamble to the T. Rex/Damned post about punk's contempt for prog rock it is worth noting that in many cases for some of the musicians involved, the anti-prog stance was a sham. And The Damned were perhaps the worst offenders in this deception, especially the beret-ed one. 

Not all prog was shit. One band that stood out for me as a fan of The Stranglers and The Damned was Focus. I freely admit I only know the 'hits' but this is the muppets doing prog.... it is mental and wonderful. Listen to the guitars in Hocus Pocus and you cannot fail to be impressed by the manic energy of it all...... Thijs is coming after you with his flute!

01. Focus 1
02. House of the King
03. Eruption
04. Focus 6
05. Sylvia
06. Winnie
07. All Hens On Deck
08. Focus IV
09. Birds Come Fly Over (Le Tango)
10. Who’s Calling?
11. La Cathedral de Strasbourg
12. Harem Scarem Pt1
13. Menno Showcase
14. Udo Showcase
15. Harem Scarem Pt2
16. Thijs Showcase
17. Hocus Pocus Pt1
18. Pierre Showcase
19. Hocus Pocus Pt2

Focus are:
Thijs van Leer - Hammond-organ, flute and vocals
Menno Gootjes - guitar
Udo Pannekeet - bass
Pierre van der Linden - drums


  1. Nice one, Adrian, from another closet Focus fan! You might like this one too:


    Dave Sez.

  2. Spoken like a proper Crass hippy Dave! Can't seem yo open the link though. Actually Mo is the bidder fan of Focus. She is into yodelling though! I have spawned a weird one!

  3. Thanks so much for the share mate and cheers from DownUnder

  4. Shoot'em if they're over thirty (Guilty, m'lud)! I opened the guitars101 link and it works fine; try leaving off the full stop at the end of the link. If Mo promises not to yodel, AussieRock has a couple of rare ones too at


    Dave Sez.

  5. Nice recording. I saw them 2 years earlier on their UK tour, and you're right...the fun energy was more rock than prog, but with the distinctive melodies and song structures they've developed from prog and classical.