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, 17 August 2013

The Adicts O2 Academy 2 Islington London 5th August 2013

Monkey of The Adicts
'A very messy boy!'
O2 Academy 2 Islington London 5th August 2013

For fans of punk bands, for those within easy reach of London, early August has for the last 20 years or so been a bit of boon as incoming US based bands en route to the Holidays in The Sun/Wasted/Rebellion Festivals in the far North West of England have played in the capital in order to make the expense worthwhile.

And so it was for The Adicts arriving in London a week in advance of Rebellion for a couple of gigs including London and their home town of Ipswich. A rare spectacle indeed.

I have only seen The Adicts on one previous occasion that turned out to be memorable for all of the wrong reasons. It was 21 years ago at the now demolished Astoria Theatre. It was a rare appearance of the ex-pat Adicts, but an even rarer outing for Oi Godfathers, Cock Sparrer. And it was the fact that the latter band were on the bill that accounted for the presence of multitudes of very short haired geezers. The gig from the outset had an atmosphere but everything passed off peacefully, helped long by Cock Sparrer's rendition of 'Sunday Stripper' with the assistance of a couple of strippers. All was well for most of The Adicts set as well (the Clockwork Orange theme was in keeping with the mood for the evening I suppose!). But it was the appearance of Monkey as a naked Christ-like figure complete with cross that proved to be the straw that broke the skinheads back. In short, all hell broke loose!

The account I have came several years later when by chance, the then landlord of my local pub, James Partridge revealed his acquaintance with The Adicts after I appeared in the bar in a home made Adicts shirt. I told him of this one occasion that I had seen the band and it transpired that he had been filling in on bass duties for that evening.

On the night, the band fled the stage and barricaded themselves in their dressing room to escape the wrath of the close-cropped horde. James, didn't make it so awaited his fate cowered beneath a backstage table with an iron bar in his grasp for company. In the event he avoided a beating, possibly because on the way to get to The Adicts several skins encountered Chelsea's Gene October who took a punch. Gene, perhaps rather foolishly challenged his opponents thus, 'You only punched me because I'm gay!'. This further enraged the boneheads for they were not only confronted by the sight of a naked man.... but now they were face to face with bona fide poof. Gene took a further beating for his candidness!

Thankfully, in 2013 such a confrontation was unlikely and it was a school night to boot! The bill featured The Adicts with support coming from Vice Squad. The last time I saw Vice Squad they were supporting Penetration and as much as I like their early stuff by this point they were well advanced down a metal avenue. Our plan was to see some of their set (as Gunta's first punk gig was Vice Squad in Coventry in 1981), but in the event we did not leave the pub in time so missed their set. Beki was still present though at the point that we arrived in the venue however.

Vice Squad's Beki Bondage
5th August 2013

The gig had been relocated to the smaller upstairs venue of the O2 Academy 2.... all good stuff .... the smaller the venue the happier I am. Come showtime, the lights were lowered an Walter Carlos's chilling Title Music to A Clockwork Orange heralded the band on stage. Then in a veritable explosion of multi-coloured streamers and confetti the band ploughed (well they are from Ipswich) into 'Joker In The Pack'. From then in, I had one of those gig experiences were I am left grinning like a Cheshire at, or perhaps The Joker would be a better description, at the sheer fun of it all.

Bang, bang, bang... all the songs were present and correct. 'Steamroller' got the crowd going the most in what was a blitzkrieg set from start to finish. At one point in the proceedings Monkey returned to the stage decked like an overloaded Christmas tree to the extent that he even sported a multicoloured, flashing gum shield. After an hour or so we had the anthem 'Vive Le Revolution' as an encore before a large number of inflatable Adicts beach balls appeared for the final 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. The Kop never had this much fun I can tell you!

An early trio of 'Straight Jacket', 'Easy Way Out' and 'Numbers'
The Adicts at the O2 Academy 2 Islington
5th August 2013

An Ode to Joy...... it surely was!!

1 comment:

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