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, 19 March 2013

A Focus On 1983

The Women's Peace Camp
Greenham Common 1983

Once again, in order to maintain a bit of variety and colour (other than black) to this site I am going to focus on another year and make available some choice live/demo recordings of the day.

So, by spinning the wheel, this time I have come up with..... 1983. A big year for The Stranglers for sure, but funnily enough I seem to recall less about 1983 than I do about 1979! I do know that I turned 14 I 1983 and was in the 3rd year (in old money) at school.

By this point in my early life, I was certainly part of the record buying public with my colletion growing as fast as my meagre funds would permit. I was also going to a few gigs at this time, mostly of the electronic variety (OMD and Gary Numan), but it would also have been around this time that I started to get interested in punk... The Stranglers were already well on my horizon and my mate Adam introduced me to The Damned, PiL and Crass. However, I was still absorbing what was happening in the world of popular music via the pages of Smash Hits rather that through Sounds or NME.

Even at 14 it became clear to me that the music in the charts was stagnating . Much of the music of the day had become very safe.... with the possible exception of Frankie Goes To Hollywood (and I didn't like them either!!). Celebration of wealth and success was becoming the norm in music foretelling the disgrace that was the 'yuppie' era that hit us a couple of years later. Some of the leading lights of the early '80's disappeared from the scene. Paul Weller had recently disbanded The Jam in oredr to sing about coffee shops on the Champs Elysee whilst The Clash just imploded. Other bands who had been so potent in the '79-'81 period either grasped the commercial carrot (Dexy's?) or simply lost their way (Blondie?).

Nevertheless, as safe and bland as it appeared at the time, looking back on 1983 from this distance, there was some great stuff out there and thinking about it of course that was always going to be so. The political situation at the time polarised people's opinions to a huge extent (in 1983 you could tell left wing politicians from their right wing counterparts). Let's face it their was a lot of shit happening..... the Falklands conflict was still a fresh in our minds..... the cold war brought Cuise missiles to our shores (I urge you to watch 'Threads', a documentary style film filmed in 1983 about a nuclear strike on the city of Sheffield, it's truely terrifying).... and the Miner's Strike was just a few months away. In short there was still plenty to rage against.

See what you think.


  1. 1983 for me will always be remembered because it was the first time i saw P.I.L. live at Newcastle, awesome

  2. you can watch the movie threads on youtube great site keep up the excellent work.

  3. I remember, Threads and the American (much poorer) counterpart The Day After, being shown at around the same time, also the glut of protest gigs around this time, which was great, even did the odd CND march and the Cops seemingly bashing anyone who had an opinion on the wrongs of the time. For me, it saw punk go off in different directions and the protesting became the driving force for some great underground bands. Pretty sure that it was around this time that I stopped listening to the radio, except for Peely and Annie.