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

Wednesday 23 November 2022

The Newtown Neurotics and Attila the Stockbroker The Lexington London 22nd November 2022


I am not sure that even the Neurotics imagined that they would be back on tour in 2022, but here we were on the last night of that tour in London Town.... a last night in Harlow would have been more poetic but for some inexplicable reason the magnificent Square was demolished several years ago now and now stands as a vacant plot! However, the Lexington offered a splendid intimate environment for tonight's entertainment. 

With Attila opening up for his Neurotic mates, it is business as usual, an evening spent with 'his punk rock family' in his words. Whilst there is new material to be heard tonight from both the Neurotics ('Cognitive Dissidents', the new album is out now) and Attila (new material at least for me), tonight is not one of those nights where the band are on the front line as was often the case in the past. There were no impressionable skinheads in Skrewdriver T-shirts taunting the band at the front of the stage or their older mates saluting the stage. This really did feel like a group of musicians and fans coming together to celebrate 40 plus years of intelligent music, the sole intention of which was to 'agitate, educate and organise'. Preaching to the converted it may well have been, but everyone needs an affirmation of values every now and again, and right now seems to be a fine time when I increasingly reluctantly watch the news!

Attila had a new vibe.... dub-ranting verse, which is as you would imagine is a amalgamation of poetry with a reggae backing. It worked really well. I was reminded of an old Attila rant 'The Iron Men of Rap' when the lyric along the lines of 'My only hoes are in the garden centre' hit me. Brilliant stuff!

As I recall, the Neurotics took the stage at about 9 pm (a good early start for me as a middle aged punk out in London on a work night!) and got he evening of to a good start with a trio of songs from the debut album 'Beggars Can Be Choosers'. We were warmed up with 'Wake Up', 'The Mess' and 'Get Up and Fight' before the first new material was offered, two singles in fact, 'Climate Emergency' and 'Liar Liar'. 

Then it was back to the early days of the band with the two earliest singles 'When The Oil Runs Out'.... very apposite in the winter of '22, and 'Hypercrite' (which could have been dedicated to FIFA boss Gianni Infantino in reference to his speech on the eve of this World Cup... maybe it is just me but having FIFA's top brass officials moralise to me sticks in the craw a little!). These songs were the bread around the 'Repercussions' filling of 'Fighting Times' and 'This Fragile Life', again songs that bolster the belief that we are not alone in our disdain of the current political climate (and actual climate!) whether here or internationally. These songs are also the reason why I sounded like Paul Robeson with COVID this morning!

'Stand With You' is a new anti-fascist anthem and one that resonates very strongly with me having been to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the last month and being utterly shocked at the attitudes of some of the residents of the Oranienburg suburb that surrounds the camp. 

And then we are on the home stretch, with a real treat of The Neurotics sharing the stage once again with Attila for a rousing rendition of 'Andy Is A Corporatist' which hammered home the key message of the previous song.

'Andy Is A Corporatist'
The Newtown Neurotics and Attila The Stockbroker
The Lexington, London 22nd November 2022.

They left us with 'Kick Out The Tories' and 'I Get On Your Nerves'..... they did nothing of the sort of course. And with that I headed back to Angel tube station for the journey back to Bishops Stortford with the slight comfort in the knowledge that if I am angry with the world at least I am not alone.

1 comment:

  1. Hey any chance you could post Melkweg, Amsterdam, 1996