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 19 November 2020

The Neurotics The Square Harlow 10th September 1988


The Stranglers may have dictated the way I dressed back in the '80's but this band informed my thoughts on politics (dictated being the wrong word here). I have for sure said it on this site before that it was Spitting Image (the first incarnation) and the Miner's Strike that hammered home the message into my 16 year old brain that politics matter. Whether you like politicians and the wily ways of those same politicians or not, they make decisions that affect your lives for good or bad. No one can afford to let our political leaders ride roughshod over the things that are important in our lives.... and that is true whether you are coming from the perspective of the left or right.

The Newtown Neurotics come/came from Harlow in Essex, the town where I have worked for 18 of the last 26 years. These days they only play a handful of gigs a year. Things have moved on, sadly bass player Colin died a few years ago, drummer Simon lives in Brighton, so its just Steve that can be seen on occasion in Harlow Town in his distinctive shades. 

Back in the late summer of '88, The Neurotics (by that time) had released their final album, the brilliant 'Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks?', but by that time the end was in sight. Colin Dredd left the band for health reasons leaving the band with just a handful of gigs left to play before they called time. 

I was lucky enough to see a couple of those swansong gigs, an anti-fascist gig at the Electric Ballroom as well as the last gig at the Fulham Greyhound on 29th October 1988. That gig was amazing, but this is the one that I really would have wanted to be at. The farewell to Harlow on 10th September 1988 with a marathon 37 song set.

Here the venue is as important as the band. The Square was an oasis in an otherwise drab new town, and I am not running Harlow down here it's just that that venue was so very special to musicians and punters alike. The land is owned by the NHS and time was called on the contract several years ago. The venue stood vacant for a year or so before being demolished. The plot has subsequently been fenced off for almost three years now... to what end? If no plans existed for the land at the time of the enforced closure why on earth could it not have been allowed to stay open! Rant over.

Anyway, here is what must be one of the best Neurotics gigs ever.



01. Wake Up
02. Sects
03. Never Hold Your Tongue
04. Oh No!
05. Airstrip One
06. Fighting Times
07. Bored Policemen
08. Local News
09. Agony
10. No Sanctuary
11. Life In Their Hands
12. My Death
13. No Respect
14. Inch Away

01. Angela
02. You Must Be Mad
03. The Mess
04. This Fragile Life
05. The Mind Of Valerie
06. Mindless Violence
07. Hypocrite
08. Never Thought
09. Suzi Is A Heartbreaker
10. Keep The Faith
11. Screaming
12. If Only

01. Afrika
02. Winds Of Change
03. Take Strike Action
04. Newtown People
05. When The Oil Runs Out
06. Stand By Me
07. Living With Unemployment
08. You Said No
09. I Fought The Law
10. Blitzkrieg Bop
11. Kick Out The Tories

Contemporary article from our then local newspaper The Observer (18th August 1988)

1 comment:

  1. Ah the Square. Great venue. Played there in various dead end bands myself in late eighties and early nineties. For a very reasonable fee they would also film and record your performance