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, 8 January 2013

The Demise of The Blue Plaque

OK I'll admit to it, I'm a bit of a sucker for history and something that has been rumbling for some time in UK politics came up in the news again this week.

English Heritage have announced that in the face of 34% government cuts they are to stop the blue plaque scheme that has made London's buildings just that bit more interesting since the 1860's.

I appreciate that in these austere times some painful decisions have to be made and charities and other organisations are losing out, but how much of a saving does this move make I wonder. I would suggest that held up against the phenomenal financial figures involved in running a European country scrapping the plaque ain't going to make much of a dent.

Call me a nerd, but always keep my eye open for these unassuming blue commemorative plaques whenever I am walking around London. I think they are very understated and all the more British for that.

A favourite example can be found in Brook Street (off Oxford Street). Here, as testified by said plaques Jimi Hendrix and George Handel were unlikely musical neighbours (albeit separated by a century or so!).

Hendrix and Handel Were 'Ere, Brook Street, London

In 2012, the East End of London saw the spectacle that was the Olympics and Paralympics, whilst at the end of the year, spectators ushering in the new year in the West End witnessed the most impressive firework display I have ever seen.

Central London, 31st December 1012

These shows are massively expensive, but do they not continue to put Britain on the map and sustain and generate interest in people to come here.... a big generator of income indeed!

History has shown us that Britain up against the wall can be one of the most creative and inspirational places to be. Look at the miserable economic climate that prevailed in the mid-70's that was an essential element in the rise and proliferation of the UK punk scene that we all know and love. Go back another generation and the deprivations of the immediate post war years again was a fertile environment for the arts (Merseybeat, Swinging London and the British Invasion that took rock 'n' roll back to the US and reminded them what it was all about!)

In short Mr Cameron and Mr... the other one. Leave the plaques alone, who knows you may get your own one day........ !? Maybe, maybe not.


  1. Couldn't agree more Adrian. I have to admit it was a buzz running across a blue plaque commemorating Bram Stoker when I visited Whitby, what now seems like a million years ago.
    I enjoy your historical titbits, reminds me of what I miss about home, it certainly isn't the weather!

  2. Three weeks worth of very cold weather have been forecast. That enough to send you running in the direction of the Barbie?

  3. It was 33 degrees C by 10AM here this morning, it's crazy and they reckon it may hit over 50 out West.

  4. In Belgium (and I don't want to hear any jokes about Belgium!) railway station clocks will no longer be replaced when they stop functioning. Costs too much. Let's just keep on spending billions on weapons...