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

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.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, great sound saw the lads at the Robin 2 Bilston a month before also a fantastic gig.Keep up the good work.
    West Bromwich