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

Tribute To Steve Shy (1955 - 2022) Gullivers Pub Manchester 25th February 2024


It was Day two on our mid week Mancunian trip and we were in the city's Northern Quarter. Gunta wanted some haberdashery and it was convenient for me that the shop was next to a pub. With a justification of 'I don't want to rush you so I'll have a quick pint' or some such nonsense, I disappeared through the swing door of Gullivers. As an aside, Mo informed me that the pub was one of Mark E. Smith's locals (I suspect that there were a fair few of those!) and The Fall's track 'The Mixer' was written about a guy who worked behind the bar in there. Any way, I digress. I could not help noticing this brilliant mosaic on the wall. It had not been on the wall when I last called into this pub. Since it was a Wednesday and just past opening at that, I was the sole customer, so I was able to occupy the booth opposite and study it well. It was a memorial piece to Steve Shy, original Manchester punk and creator of the fanzine 'Shytalk', one of the earlier cut, pasted and xeroxed DIY efforts that informed local kids about the new music both on a national level and local level. The piece is accompanied by a quite from Pete Shelley who described Shy as the 'Unsung hero of the early Manchester scene'.

From a Man United fan blog site, Steve recalls an encounter with an irate Hugh Cornwell: 

'One of the editions of Shy Talk had a piece in it which was slagging The Stranglers off. I had the mag on sale at the Electric Circus when they next played there in June 1977 and Stranglers lead singer, Hugh Cornwell, bought a copy off me. Half an hour later, he was all over the place looking for me and wanting a fight after reading what had been written. The following night, The Drones were supporting The Stranglers in Sheffield and Cornwell saw me and came walking over. I thought, “here we go”, but he just said “sorry about that last night. It annoyed me. I thought we were all supposed to be on the same side”. I said “maybe, but you’re not on the same side as the lad who wrote that fucking piece”'.

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