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

Monday 31 December 2012

The Palms Milwaukee 24th May 1981

Hugh in Canada June 1981

Here's one at the request of MeAnIe. Cheers!

And a Happy New Year to all!



01. Threatened
02. The Raven
03. Toiler On The Sea
04. Just Like Nothing On Earth
05. Thrown Away
06. Who Wants The World?
07. Baroque Bordello
08. Second Coming
09. Meninblack
10. Shah Shah A Go Go
11. Ice
12. Hallow To Our Men
13. Tank
14. Nuclear Device
15. Genetix
16. Bring On The Nubiles
17. Hanging Around

Sunday 30 December 2012

UEA Norwich 15th March 1987

Dave on the keys
Dreamtime Tour 1986

Another from the Dreamtime tour. This time from the far east.... well Norwich actually.

Pretty good sound.



01. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
02. No More Heroes
03. Was It You?
04. Down In The Sewer
05. Nice In Nice
06. Punch & Judy
07. Souls
08. Always The Sun
09. European Female
10. Strange Little Girl
11. Golden Brown

01. Nice 'N' Sleazy
02. Who Wants The World
03. Big In America
04. Bring On The Nubiles
05. Shakin' Like A Leaf
06. Uptown
07. Tank
08. Toiler On The Sea
09. 5 Minutes
10. North Winds
11. Duchess
12. London Lady

20 From '79 (8) Adam And The Ants High Wycombe Town Hall 12th February 1979

Months before Mr McClaren suggested tribal sounds were the key to the future of rock 'n' roll, Adam with his original Ants were playing a unique music in the town halls and colleges of the UK. A mixture of bondage/fetish themes mixed with a dark humour that came through in songs such as 'It Doesn't Matter' (Your perspirations brought the wallpaper down, I just can't stand it when you walk into town), the Ants of 1979 were about as far away from the swashbuckling Ants with added teen-appeal as you could possibly get. This was no kid's TV friendly outfit!

I got into Adam & The Ants when the 'Kings' stuff was current and there was still something a little edgy about the band. I remember my parents disapproving of me wearing a t-shirt declaring 'Ant Music For Sex People'.... I suppose they had a point..... I was 11 in 1980!

From this set which includes songs such as 'Boil In The Bag Man', 'Nietsche Baby' and 'Hamstead' it is my belief that the best material that the Ants ever wrote never saw the light of day in their lifetime (check out the 'Madame Stan' or 'Decca' demos and see if you concur).



01. Intro
02. Nietsche Baby
03. Day I Met God
04. Animals And Men
05. Cleopatra
06. Kick!
07. Never Trust A Man
08. Catholic Day
09. Boil In The Bag Man
10. Family Of Noise
11. Press Darlings
12. Zerox
13. Lady/Puerto Rican
14. Red Scab
15. Fall In
16. B-Side Baby
17. Hampstead

20 From '79 (7) The Clash Notre Dame Hall London 5th July 1979

Here's a recording with a long web history, but as always, many downloads will have gone to the wall with megaupload, so another cannot hurt.

The Clash outside Notre Dame Hall
Leicester Square, London 1979

This was a very low key gig played at a small venue in central London to showcase the 'London Calling' album (to some The Clash's finest moment.... I still hand it to the first album every time). Apparently, this gig is notable as it was the only occasion when 'I'm Not Down' and 'Hateful' got a live airing.




01. Clash City Rockers
02. White Man (In Hammersmith Palais)
03. Safe European Home
04. I'm Not Down
05. Death Or Glory
06. I Fought The Law
07. London Calling
08. Rudie Can't Fail
09. City Of The Dead
10. Hateful
11. Stay Free
12. Capital Radio
13. Janie Jones
14. Hate & War
15. English Civil War
16. London's Burning
17. Complete Control
18. What's My Name?

Enmore Theatre Sydney 6th December 2012

Here's an incomplete set from this month's down under support slot opening for Blondie. On this occasion they were plying the Enmore Theatre in Sydney. I have uploaded this here as the torrent was recently banned on Dime as the accompanying Blondie set had had an official release. Thanks to the original uploader (pumped) for taking the time and effort of making this available.

As this has come from Dime, I am only uploading it in lossless format, but feel free to convert to mp3 for personal use.


01. Walk On By
02. Lost Control
03. Duchess
04. Nuclear Device
05. All Day & All Of The Night
06. No More Heroes

Enmore Theatre Sydney
6th December 2012
Enmore Theatre Sydney
6th December 2012
(Thanks again to pumped, the original uploader for the photos)

Friday 28 December 2012

Edinburgh Playhouse 25th October 1986

Another Dreamtime boot for you here from north of the border. This particular gig as quite remarkable for the number of stage invasions/invaders..... a constant stream throughout the gig. If the band were put out they did not show it. On that evening strippers even 'graced' the stage for 'Sleazy'. I recall reading in 'Sounds' the week after the gig that the management at the Playhouse were obliged to hand out a number of refunds to women who walked out disgusted by the display. In the words of the song.... 'things ain't what they used to be!'

'Nice 'N' Sleazy' with added strippers
Edinburgh Playhouse
25th October 1986
Hugh stands his ground in the face of the permainvasion



1. No More Heroes
2. Was It You?
3. Down In The Sewer
4. Nice In Nice
5. Punch And Judy
6. Souls
7. Always The Sun
8. La Folie
9. Strange Little Girl
10. Nice ‘N’ Sleazy

1. Who Wants The World
2. Big In America
3. Bring On The Nubiles
4. Shakin' Like A Leaf
5. Uptown
6. Tank
7. Toiler On The Sea
8. Spain
9. Peaches
10. Hanging Around
11. London Lady

Smiling Culture/SUS - Ruts DC 100 Club 22nd December 2012

'Smiling Culture/SUS'
Ruts DC - Remembering Joe at the 100 Club 22nd December 2012

Here's a clip of the new song I  mentioed in my previous Ruts DC post. Brilliant stuff!

Thanks to the original Youtube uploader.

2012 In Music

.... and the world did not end! So, as we are about to enter the last week of the year, a brief pause for thought. On the one hand, in 2012 there were the triumphs of the olympics and paralympics as well as, for good or bad, all the pomp and ceremony that Britain had to offer to mark the Queen's 60th year on the throne. On the other hand, personal tragedy touched the lives of friends that made 2012 a year to be forgotten. As always then, a mixed bag of fortunes.

On a lighter (and a more bloke orientated list) note, there was plenty of activity on the musical front. So now that my gig commitments for the year have been fulfilled and any other CD orders to Amazon will have to wait for the new year, here's my summary of 2012, musically speaking, in the age old form of a couple of nerdy lists!

Best gig of the year

1) Ruts DC at the 100 Club (here)
2) Squeeze at Cambridge Corn Exchange (here)
3) Public Image Limited at Heaven (here)
4) Buzzcocks 'Back To Front' at Brixton Academy (here)
5) The Stranglers at Het Depot Leuven (here)

New release of the year

1) Rhythm Collision Vol.2 (Sampler) - Ruts DC
2) Giants - The Stranglers
3) This Is P.I.L. - Public Image Limited
4) MMXII - Killing Joke
5) Into The Future - Bad Brains

Re-release of the year

1) I Just Can't Stop It - The Beat*
2) The Gift - The Jam
3) Animal Now - Ruts DC
4) Wha'ppen - The Beat
5) Special Beat Service - The Beat

A mention in despatches must also go here to 'Specialized - A Modern Take On Specials Classics' - a brilliant fresh album for a great cause (here).

* Will someone within The Stranglers' management team please note that this is the way to do a reissue. Somehow this was possible for a band such as The Beat, a band who arguably have a more niche appeal than The Stranglers. It can be done and done exceptionally well!

Thursday 27 December 2012

The Hexagon Reading 17th March 1987

Here's a full set from the second leg of the Dreamtime tour from Reading. This is posted for Andy Peart at his request, it being the one time he saw the band with Hugh.



01.  No More Heroes
02.  Was It You?
03.  Down In The Sewer
04.  Nice In Nice
05.  Punch & Judy
06.  Souls
07.  Always The Sun
08.  Strange Little Girl
09. Golden Brown
10. Big In America
11. Nice 'N' Sleazy
12. Who Wants The World
13. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
14. Bring On The Nubiles
15. Shakin' Like A Leaf
16. Uptown
17. Tank
18. Toiler On The Sea
19. Spain
20. Duchess
21. London Lady

Monday 24 December 2012

Season's Greetings

I'd just like to wish all visitors to this site an enjoyable and peaceful Christmas and New Year. Thanks as ever to your support and interaction with the site. With a few days away from the office I hope to put a good few posts up in the coming week or so.



Sunday 23 December 2012

Ruts DC 100 Club 22nd December 2012 (Remembering Joe)

Ruts DC
(l-r Ruffy, Segs, Molara (out of shot) & Leigh Heggarty)
100 Club, London
22nd December 2012
If as mentioned earlier, I was looking forward to The Damned and The Dickies date, I was beside myself about this one! As posted earlier (here), I have had difficulty in getting to see Ruts DC live since seeing them for the first time last year supporting Alabama 3. The curse surrounding Ruts DC almost struck again, but I'll come onto that later.
Marking 10 years to the day, the sadly premature passing of Joe Strummer, this two day event was pulled together by the Strummerville charity. Working during the day, meant that we got to the venue quite late, in time to see Rebel Truce (a very tight Clash tribute band) work their way through the first album. Whilst they were very good, both Gunta and I were rather distracted because we had left the kids for the evening and our son from home was reporting that his sister was unwell. Her temperature and risen quite alarmingly and here we were an hour away from home listening to 'Protex Blue'! There was discussion about throwing in the towel and heading back pronto up the M11, but the situation was monitored with frequent calls back to base.
It was unfortunate then that throughout the Ruts DC set, we were clock-watching to a large extent. Nevertheless, ailing family aside for one moment, this was without doubt my gig of the year! After all of the trials encountered to see them again, they if anything exceeded my expectations which for anyone who reads the ramblings that I put up here will be understood to be very high.
They opened with 'Whatever We Do' before moving on to some of the new material from the forthcoming 'Rhythm Collision 2' album, including the wonderful 'Mighty Soldier'.
'Mighty Soldier'
Ruts DC
From there they took us on with 'One Step Forward', again from the new album before dishing up the first Ruts offering of the evening in the form of 'Back Biter'. Marvellous!
'One Step Forward'
Ruts DC
'Back Biter'
Ruts DC
An early highlight of the gig was a new song (which I am reliably informed will also appear on the new album) called 'Smiling Culture' a song concerning the continuing instances of black people dying whilst in police custody. The title is a reference to '80s reggae star Smiley Culture who suffered a fatal knife wound to the heart during a police raid in March 2011. Unfortunately, I didn't catch the name of the guy who wrote the song, but he was to join then on stage to toast. The incorporation of The Ruts 'SUS' into the song was inspired and amply demonstrated that Ruts DC have so much more to offer.
I suppose too, given the event, an eye was cast in the direction of nostalgia but with 'The Crack' and 'Animal Now' to draw material from I wasn't about to complain!
And so it was that classics like 'It Was Cold', 'Jah War' and 'Staring At The Rude Boys' were delivered in near perfect form! Now, given the aforementioned situation with our daughter back at the ranch, come midnight we had to make tracks, but I can honestly say that it was the slowest progress towards a venue exit that we have ever made, so gutted were we to miss the end..... but we did get 'West One' as the parting song.
If I were a religious individual I would like to think that Ruts DC tonight set Joe's leg machine-gunning and Malcolm and Paul's toes-a-tappin' for sure.
So, onwards to Spring. Islington tickets are in hand and the logistics of a German trip are under review...... and..... and.... this time nothing bar a recalculation of a Mayan Armageddon is gonna pull me away before the end!
Ruts DC
(l-r Ruffy, Segs, Molara & Leigh Heggarty)
P.S. Apologies once again for the quality of the photos/video. I will invest in the new year in something more up to the job.
Ruts D.C dates so far in 2013
8th Newport 200 club
9th Bristol The Fleece
14th Derby The Hairy Dog
15th Leeds Brudunell Social Club
16th Stockton-On-Tees The Geogian Theatre
17th Dundee The Reading Rooms
27th Liverpool Eric’s
28th Preston 53 degrees
29th Birmingham Hare & Hounds album launch
30th London Islington Academy
10th Berlin
11th Hamburg 
12th Bremen
13th Munich
25th Southampton The Brook
26th Minehead  The Great British Alternative Festival

18th The Bearded theory festival
24th Inverness (Ruffy has private gig with the Duplicates)
7th Newcastle festival

The Damned and The Dickies At The Roundhouse 15th December 2012

I was seriously looking forward to this gig, not least because the Dickies are one of my favourite bands and they had landed the support slot. For this I was very pleased. The Dickies are a bit like the Subs in that they play a lot and whilst the '80s did not see them play these shores, since 1990 they have been over to to the UK almost every year. On these tours that have played pubs and clubs (which whilst ideal for the punter can I assume be a bit of a drag for a touring band). A prestigious support slot then that saw them playing a series of major UK venues would have been most welcome I reckon.

The Dickies
The Roundhouse, London
15th December 2012

Opening with 'Silent Night' (and why not, it's the only time they can play it after all!), The Dickies motored through their set with gusto. All the favourites were there (along with associated props) which are an expected part of a Dickies set. At the end there was a treat in store in the form of a real rarity that is 'Rondo (The Midget's Revenge) an instrumental from the band's first album 'The Incredible Shrinking Dickies'. In summary, the Dickies could not have been a better opener, preparing the ground well for the main event.

'Eve Of Destruction'
The Dickies at The Roundhouse

The Damned took to the stage to (as I was informed) John Barry's theme to '60s cult series 'The Persuaders' (incidentally favoured by The Specials on their last tour). Throughout the show they were accompanied by a projected backdrop which seems to be becoming the norm at gigs these days.

Musically, the band were tight throughout what was an adventurous set from the opener 'Under The Wheels' to the reintroduction of some real old favourites 'Rabid', 'Grimly Fiendish', White Rabbit' and 'Lovely Money' (together with a virtual appearance of the Bonzo's Viv Stanshall).

'Lovely Money'
The Damned

Later '(There Ain't No) Sanity Claus' and 'The Turkey Song' contributed to the festive theme of the night.

As ever, Captain fired off his 'pearls of wisdom' with fellow musicians Paul Weller and 'ole money bags Johnny Rotten' in his sights on this evening. And for his part, Dave whirled about the stage trying his damnedest to achieve a toreador effect but managing Spanish waiter!

The Damned pulled it off for sure with this tour.

Gunta & Adrian
The Roundhouse, 15th December 2012

Saturday 22 December 2012

20 from '79 (6) The Epileptics, Triad Centre, Bishops Stortford 5th August 1979

The Epileptics, Triad, Bishops Stortford November 1979

A bit of local history in this post. As mentioned in a previous post, my present home town, Bishops Stortford, a semi-rural market town, has something of a rich musical heritage (if you gloss over Shakatak). In the 60's the town, by virtue of the Rhodes Centre, was one of the first gig stopping off points as the bands of the day headed out of London heading north. Later, in the '70's punk bands such as the Banshees, Adam and the Antz and Motorhead passed through, playing Triad. The same venue was to become a focal point for the Harlow/Bishops Stortford based label and scene that went by the name of Stortbeat. Stortford's Epileptics were part of that collective of local bands, but they also bridged over to the emerging Anarcho scene of the late '70s/early '80s (the daddy of the anarcho bands, Crass, were just down the road in Epping).

So here is a little taste of that scene (for Dave Sez - who was in attendance on the day).



01. Anarcheest 69
02. I Hate Life In Debden
03. Tube Disaster
04. 1970’s
05. Two Years Too Late
06. I’ve Got A Target On My Back
07. What Have You Got To Smile About
08. System Rejects
09. Hitler’s Still A Nazi
10. Get Nicked
11. I Can’t Stand Sitting Down
More info can be found on the Stortbeat label here:

Hugh Cornwell Kulturzentrum Schlachthof, Kassel, Germany 23rd September 2011

Here's an excellent recording from Hugh's 2011 German tour. Recorded at the Kulturzentrum Schlachthof (a converted abbatoir), the set features and early outing for the track 'Totem and Taboo'.




01. Intro
02. Toiler On The Sea
03. Wrong Side Of The Tracks
04. Goodbye Toulouse
05. Snapper
06. Bear Cage
07. Nerves Of Steel
08. Golden Brown
09. One Burning Desire

01. School Mam
02. Rain On The River
03. Always The Sun
04. Banging On At The Same Old Beat
05. Nuclear Device
06. Going To The City
07. Straighten Out
08. Totem & Taboo
09. Hanging Around
10. London Lady

Sunday 16 December 2012

'See You On The ther Side' A Tribute to Paul Fox in Aid Of The Michael Sobell Hospice

The title of the post says all you need to know really. However, I wanted to bring to your attention the above flyer which I picked up at the Subs gig on Friday. Some great bands are appearing on this album for a great cause. The album can be obtained from here:

UK Subs and TV Smith The Garage Islington 14th December 2012

Last night say something of a punk treat in the form of The UK Subs and TV Smith on the same bill for an evening of early Christmas frivolity at the Garage in Islington.

I got there early in time to see the first support (which is unusual for me). They were a young band from Blackpool called Outl4w if I remember correctly. They were quite good, their sound much enhanced by the inclusion of a trumpet.

TV was playing on his own, acoustically, and played a good set of his solo stuff, intrspersed with Adverts songs. Songs like 'It's Expensive Being Poor' and 'The Immortal Rich' never sounded so on the button as they do right now as we face hard times for several years to come as the Chancellor of The Exchequer admits failure in government economic policy.

'The Lion & The Lamb'
The Lion & The Lamb The Garage

Oh well, at least it's Christmas.... which lead TV nicely into his annual opportunity to play his Christmas song. This I filmed, but a caveat is needed here. I think that I had the video setting on an inappropriately high setting and as a result there is an audio/visual synch issue with these clips. But they are what they are.

First up is the aforementioned 'Christmas Bloody Christmas, followed by 'New Church' and 'The Lord's Prayer', a song that he penned for The Lords of The New Church. Something of a religious trilogy then.

'Christmas Bloody Christmas', 'New Church' & 'The Lord's Prayer'
'Punk Rock Poem' & 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes' 
A quick word about the Subs. You know exactly what you're gonna get from Charlie and Co, consistency is the order of the day. Playing with a tightness that can only come from endless touring, I have enjoyed them over many years. On this occasion though I was not there for the full set, but what I saw was good, including the classic 'Down On The Farm'.
'Down On The Farm'
UK Subs

Saturday 15 December 2012

20 From '79 (5) The Damned Whiskey A Go Go 8th May 1979

The Damned in 1979
Here's a gig that saw The Damned, regrouped and once again in the US. This is one of the most chaotic gigs I have ever heard. Captain is just dangerous in front of this audience (two nights before at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco fists flew after Sensible urinated on a member of the audience!)

'Love Song'
The Damned at The Old Waldorf San Francisco
6th July 1979

This is the time when I would most like to have seen The Damned. That's not to say that  wouldn't have been apprehensive about it! A mate of mine's first Damned gig was at The Corn Exchange in Cambridge in '79 and by all accounts (well his anyway) it was basically a big fight with occasional musical interludes!

Nevertheless, there is little doubt that with this year's 'Machine Gun Ettiquette' The Damned peaked, producing one of the finest albums in UK punk.

I am seeing The Damned tonight at The Roundhouse in the good company of The Dickies. I have no doubt that the gig will be great, but somehow not as raucous as this Los Angeles gig in '79.

01. Jet Boy Jet Girl
02. Teenage Dream
03. Stretcher Case
04. Ballroom Blitz
05. Rich Kids
06. Born To Kill
07. Looking At You
08. New Rose
09. Suicide
10. Noise Noise Noise
11. Problem Child
12. Help
13. Stab Yor Back
14. So Messed Up

Thursday 13 December 2012

The Specials Maida Vale Studios London 12th December 2012

Steve Lamacq and team with The Specials at Maida Vale Studios for BBC 6 Music
12th December 2012

I tried to get tickets for this once in a life time opportunity to witness The Specials at the closest quarters imaginable! Unfortunately, I was in the company of 17,000 like minded people so the chances of being there last night were rather remote.

And what a show it was! From the opening instrumental version of 'Sock It To 'Em JB' to the last notes of 'Too Much Too Young' this sounded like the greatest fun you could have with your clothes on as they say!

I believe that Neville was ill last night so there was a bit of vocal juggling by necessity, but this has really put me in the mood for the May tour.

Listen well and....   Enjoy yourselves!!

Terry spots Jerry by the fire escape




01. Introduction By Steve Lamacq
02. Sock It To 'Em JB
03. Do The Dog
04. Concrete Jungle
05. Gangsters
06. Rat Race
07. It Doesn't Make It Alright
08. Pearl's Cafe
09. International Jet Set
10. Friday Night Saturday Morning
11. Stereotypes
12. Man At C & A
13. Ghost Town
14. Do Nothing
15. A Message To You Rudy
16. Nite Klub
17. Too Much Too Young

As my mate Andy (who was lucky enough to be there) said of the evening by text last night,

'I never thought I would see The Specials like that. There was no stage and I stood in the front row in front of Roddy. Don't think that there were much more than 150 people there but there were apparently 17,000 applications for tickets'

...... we may be back on talking terms by Christmas!

Lynval with harp
Horace lays down the bass
Roddy checks on the brass

Tuesday 11 December 2012

TV Smith Mello Mello Liverpool 12th December 2011

Here's a boot I picked up a while back from Dimeadozen.

TV Smith, front man of the wonderful Adverts, is someone I have been following since the late '80's when he was playing in another great band that he'd pulled together that went by the name of Cheap. They were very much underrated and largely ignored by the music journalists (with the exception of the odd insider operating out of the 'Sounds' office).

TV Smith's Cheap at the Bull and Gate, early '90's
(...and there I am... with hair in a Rattus shirt, bottom right)

I recall that I first saw Cheap at the Anglers Retreat in West Drayton. Back then I asked him if he would record the 'Crossing of the Red Sea' album. At that time, I wasn't too sure about the soundness of the only label to have re released the album. Bless him, he agreed to do it for me, but complained that in doing so it would mean that he would be forced to listen to it!

With the passage of another 20 years, clearly his outlook on his earlier band's material has changed somewhat and thankfully so for those of us who are too young to have seen The Adverts when they were together. TV is now content to play these songs once more and having seen him do it in London, there is no doubting that this is not a nostalgia trip, he still means it maaan!

So enjoy this great gig from just under a year ago.

TV Smith in 2011.... he's still angry!




Saturday 8 December 2012

Jake Burns and the Big Wheel Janice Long Session 16th April 1986

Here's quite a rare one. After the demise of SLF first time around, Jake put together the Big Wheel. Their album 'On Fortune Street' is long deleted (which I believe included this session). The session includes the track 'Breathless', a heart felt tribute to then wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie. Winnie was later to fall from grace, but that doesn't detract too much as it remains a great track.



01. She Grew Up
02. Breathless
03. Trapped Inside
04. Belfast 14

Somewhere I have a live recording of the Big Wheel which I will share soon.

2 Tone Tour A Review NME 27th October 1979

Continuing the 2 Tone Tour theme for a while longer, I thought that I'd share this contemporary review with you that appeared in the UK's New Musical Express at the start of the tour. Again from the Stateside in Bournemouth, for the reviewer at least it was Madness that sparkled on the night, making The Specials look rather lacklustre.... would you believe it!?

Special thanks to MeAnIe for the clip(s). Cheers!

20 From '79 (4) Madness Stateside Centre Bournmouth 16th December 1979

Fresh from the high jinx of the '2 tone tour' that bundled all of the bright lights associated with Coventry's exceptional 2 tone label onto a coach for a 60's style review tour of almost 40 dates, the band here headlined in their own right supported by The VIPs.

2 Toners take the sea air on Brighton beach in 1979

By late 1979 success was assured for Madness and the opening years of the approaching new decade were theirs for the taking. By 1980 the Madness 'M' logo had appeared on exercise books, school bags and blazers like a rash!

Personally at the time I was listening more to the likes of Adam and the Ants and Gary Numan, but it was impossible to get away from Madness. I first saw them in Finsbury Park in 1994 and then a year or so ago when my daughter expressed a desperate need to see them.

Ramona at Bickling Hall, Norwich 2011

Madness have had their lean times, but from what I have heard, they are back on form with a back to basics album, Oui Oui Si Si Ja Ja Da Da. For me though they reached their mature peak with 'The Liberty of Norton Folgate' and intense but brilliant album with its vivid musical depictions of East London.

'The Liberty of Norton Folgate' Madness

So here is that set from back in '79.




Incidently, this gig occured one week after a classic appearance on the hugely influencial UK TV music programme 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'.

'Night Boat To Cairo' by Madness
The Old Grey Whistle Test
December 1979

20 From '79 (3) The Members 'In Concert' 3rd March 1979


Here's a short radio broadcast from the BBC Radio 1's '70s/'80's series 'In Concert'. This may or may not be a complete set from The Members.

Considered by some to be a second division player in the punk league, however, they did have some great songs, not least 'Solitary Confinement and of course 'The Sound of the Suburbs' which neatly summed up the whole punk ethos in 3 minutes and 53 seconds. With the wonderful 'Off-Shore Banking Business' they tapped right into the reggae tinged punk that was so prevalent in the late '70's.

I never saw The Members play live. The nearest I got was seeing JC Carroll and Chris Payne do a couple of numbers at the Ruts film premiere, but in all honesty it wasn't very tight. No offence chaps! With Nicky Tesco unable to perform on stage with them, I'm not sure how well the reformed Members work, but please go and see them if they play in your town and judge for yourselves.

Anyway, here's The Members at their peak.



01. Electricity
02. Sally
03. Frustrated Bagshot
04. Stand Up And Spit
05. Goodbye To The Job
06. The Sound Of The Suburbs
07. Solitary Confinement
08. At A Chelsea Nightclub

Also treading the boards on this night:

The Pop Group/ATV/Linton Kweski Johnson    Edinburgh University
The Only Ones   Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow
The Undertones/The Squares   Erics, Liverpool

Friday 7 December 2012

Are We Not Pious?

Hee Hee!

Barry Spooner's goin' to Hell!

Hugh Cornwell Guilfest Stoke Park Guilford 15th July 2006

As a companion recording to the recently shared Stranglers set from the Sunday of Guilfest 2006 (here), here's an incomplete set from Hugh from the Saturday as broadcast on BBC Radio 2. Also included are a couple of interviews from the day.




01. No More Heroes
02. Peaches
03. Always The Sun
04. Goodbye Toulouse
05. Interview With Janice Long
06. Interview With Stuart Maconie

Caz Campbell
Guilfest 2006

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Rainbow Theatre 4th December 1981

Here's one that would have been posted on it's anniversary were it not for arriving back late from Ireland last night. However, no matter it is here now.

The band haven't played too many December gigs over the years. So, from the first leg of the La Folie tour.....



1. Non Stop
2. Threatened
3. Just Like Nothing On Earth
4. Second Coming
5. The Man They Love To Hate
6. Meninblack
7. Who Wants The World
8. Baroque Bordello
9. Golden Brown
10. Tramp
11. Thrown Away

1. Bring On The Nubiles
2. Tank
3. Let Me Introduce You To The Family
4. Nuclear Device
5. How To Find True Love And Happiness In The Present Day
6. Duchess
7. The Raven

Saturday 1 December 2012

Guilfest, Guildford 16th July 2006

JJ & Baz
Guilfest, Stoke Park, Guildford
16th July 2006

I am very pleased now to be able to share this recent acquisition of mine. The reason is simple, this was one of the most significant gigs that I have been to in that it kick started the whole Stranglers thing off again after several (13 I think) years of disinterest on my part.

I have previously written about this gig here, but I don't mind repeating myslf on this one. On the day, the entire Andrews family were in attendance and what a fine day it was too. Blisteringly hot it took my best efforts to keep myself 'hydrated' with beer! Amongst the Stranglers fans present (most of whom were unknown to me by that time) spirits were high. There was a sense of celebration in the air for indeed for some, a celebration this was..... we had heard the recording of the Weston-Super-Mare gig a few weeks before and could not wait to hear the band as a four-piece once more. Paul Cooklin was smoking a cigar at the bar that was worthy of Churchill to mark the event! Paul and I were about to go full circle with this band.

'Dr Cooklin I Presume?'
Adrian after years in the wilderness with Paul Cooklin
Guilfest 16th July 2006

And so it was that with the shrill falsetto of Russel Mael of the brilliant Sparks out of the way and the strains of Donovan's Jennifer Juniper had evaporated in the heat of this most atypical of British summer afternoons, I was faced with the acid test (sulphuric acid of course). Would it be as good as I wanted (make that needed) it to be?

Any doubts on the matter disolved rapidly as Dave stroked his first keys in the intro to '5 minutes'..... then the bass kicked in... and then.... oh Jesus, the bass player's vocal. At that point in a sweltering Surrey field, I must have made the Cheshire Cat look like Jack Dee..... with a bellyful of beer and good company to boot, this surely was my very own Battersea Park!

Judge for yourself.



1. Intro
2. 5 Minutes
3. Big Thing Coming
4. All Day And All Of The Night
5. Peaches
6. Long Black Veil
7. Strange Little Girl
8. Golden Brown
9. Always The Sun
10. Never To Look Back
11. Summat Outanowt
12. I've Been Wild
13. Lost Control
14. Duchess
15. Burning Up Time
16. London Lady
17. Dagenham Dave
18. No More Heroes

Interestingly, Hugh appeared on the bill, playing on the Saturday night. Headlining on the Sunday night was Billy Idol, and I'm pleased to say that whilst some punk feuds have bee laid to rest in the intervening years, the antagonism between The Stranglers and Idol still seems to have some heat left in it. I heard a story that after the Stranglers had come off stage and relaxing in the backstage area, one of Billy Idol's entourage entered and announced that 'Mr Idol would now like this area cleared!', to which JJ responded with something along the lines of 'Tell Mr Idol that if he wants us out of here he'll have to fuckin' do it himself!'

Idol went on to have some digs about hits from the stage during his set, but I didn't stick around.