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

Tuesday 24 October 2023

Devo Eventim Apollo 19th August 2023 - A Review


Well this was the one that looked to be the event of the summer. Devo bowing out after a staggering 50 years as a band that has entertained and confounded in equal measure. Once describing themselves to Tony Wilson as 'the fluid in the punk enema bag' Devo, the boys in the high vis boiler suits, espoused the theory of De-evolution, a simple premise that rather than evolving as a species, human-kind was doing the exact opposite and becoming less organised and increasingly dysfunctional (switch on any new programme today and you may be inclined to agree with them).

So, this was my first (and last) time of seeing Devo and I was exited at the prospect, something rather rare for me and gigs these days. We headed to the Duke of Cornwall pub just around the corner from the Eventim Apollo (Hammersmith Odeon to anyone over the age of 50) where I was amused to see, and not in the least bit surprised to see, a throng of people sporting energy domes. I was even more amused when a couple walked past the pub in the direction of the venue wearing improvised yellow boiler suits topped of with 'budget energy domes' courtesy of the garden section of Home Base... actually plant pots.... absolutely brilliant. 

As we entered the art deco auditorium a lone man could be seen with a couple of turntables in the middle of the expansive stage. That was Rusty Egan, formerly of The Rich Kids and Visage who was trawling through some electronic hits of the early 1980's. 

With Rusty gone, Rod Rooter, the band's music executive creation introduced the band to the stage from a huge cinematic backdrop, that promised something akin to a Kraftwerk gig but with guitars!

Photo: Paul Jenner.

Opening with 'Don't Shoot (I'm A Man) from 2010's 'Something For Everybody', the band's last studio album, the audience were soon into more familiar territory with the likes of 'Going Under'. Girl U Want' and 'Whip It'. The visual accompaniment to the music was as stunning as it was garish.... Total Devo! Of course the band went through their repertoire of images, from the 'Whip It' outfit to the 'Are We Not Men?' yellow Hazmat get up!

Halfway through the set they delivered the Holy trinity of 'Are We Not Men?' tracks, 'Uncontrollable Urge', 'Mongoloid' and 'Jocko Homo' at which point I was pretty much in spud heaven!

Photo: Paul Jenner.

It was in fact pretty much a greatest hits set but such a stylish way to bow out. Proceedings were wrapped up by Booji Boy's rendition of 'Beautiful World' and just for 90 minutes within the walls of the Hammersmith Odeon it was... even if Devo didn't mean it!

My only disappointment of the night was that by the time I left the pub for the gig the merch stand had sold out of energy domes and I so wanted one, although where on earth you could wear one, if not at a Devo gig, I have yet to fathom!

Thank you Devo, for daring to be different!

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