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

Sunday 10 March 2024

A Small Square of The Square.


This morning Gunta and I paid a visit to Harlow museum that also takes in the walled garden. The garden is a great secluded and peaceful space amidst the persistent traffic of Harlow (could it be that on the cusp of being closer to 60 than 50 I have become mellow... oh no!). The exhibition space traces the development of the area from from the Bronze Age, through the Roman period up to the modern day and Frederick Gibberd's new town vision.

For me the pinnacle of the town's development was The Square, simply the bestest, independent music venue that there ever was. Since moving to neighbouring Bishops Stortford 29 years ago The Square was the location of many brilliant nights.

Sadly and seemingly inexplicably (given what happened to the plot) the company that owned the land decided to end the lease so that this near legendary venue closed its doors finally in 2017. 

After closure, the venue stood derelict for several years before bulldozers levelled the building a couple of years ago. Why the decision was made to close the venue only for the land to be undeveloped for such a long time is a mystery to me. On the face of it Harlow and its residents were needlessly deprived of a brilliant entertainment hub for years.

So back to 2024 and the museum then. The original backdrop is an exhibit and boxed up sections of The Square's stage were available to buy... well I had to! Boxed as it is I was reminded of the presentation of posh cakes and pastries. However, open the box and I can assure you you would not put the contents anywhere near your mouth. It is a 10 x 10 cm slice of stage, the rubber surface of which is a rich infusion of gob, sweat and gaffer tape adhesive... in short all the flavours of rock 'n' roll condensed in a CD sized block. OK, so it is not a piece of Wardour Street Marquee, but nevertheless within it is a small part of my musical journey, but more importantly the history of the bands that put Harlow on the map and those bands that went on to much bigger things.

Also, whilst sifting through a mass of gig tickets and flyers I came across a Square beermat... could be worth a fortune!

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