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 26 December 2017

La Cigale Paris 25th November 2017 - WONKY 6!!!!

So, here it is, Father Christmas, in the form of Chatts99, brings you this piece of recent history, for indeed it is a piece of history for the band in that it features 'Don't Bring Harry' played outside of an acoustic set. Not only that, Ladies and Gentlemen, it has extracts of the French version of N'Emmenes Pas Harry.... Happy days indeed!

A good time was had by all. See you in March!

FLAC/MP3 (320)/Artwork:

Thanks to both Chatts and MeAnIe....... happy to get this one out! Cheers!

Monday 25 December 2017

'A Pithead Polar Bear - From Brighton to Belsen 1940 to 1946' Back in Print

I am pleased to say that my book 'A Pithead Polar Bear - From Brighton to Belsen 1940 to 1946' is back in print in a revised edition.

It was my great pleasure to travel to South Wales last week as guest speaker at the 'Back Tuesday' Club on the subject of the book and the research pathway that lead to its publication. The 30 or so chaps in attendance on the evening were primarily local farmers by trade but with a side interest in military history. The origins of the name 'Back Tuesday' stems from their annual long weekend visits to locations of military interest (Normandy, The Western Front, Waterloo etc)..... 'Back Tuesday would be a parting remark to the family on such occasions.

Little did I know in 2014 when I started the research in earnest that I would be telling my Grandfather's story in such interesting..... not to mention remote locations.

Details on the book can be found here:

Next Up Australia and New Zealand!

Saturday 9 December 2017

BBC 6 Music's Christmas Punk Party

Happy days!!! I with a lot of people had been looking forward to this since it was first announced last month. Stupidly, it didn't cross my mind to buy tickets, must be my age.

Steve Lamacq is a star of the highest order. With his Harlow credentials he has long been a supporter of The Newtown Neurotics (a band very close to my heart) and he has championed Ruts DC since they plugged in once again in 2011. He really has taken off where Peel left off.

So, a BBC 6 Music Christmas Party. What a fantastic idea. 40 years on from the so called Year Zero and the passion for this genre of music seems little diminished. Such was the magnitude of that particular earthquake that the aftershocks are still being felt in the late 2010's. Will the same hold true for some of the musical movements that followed in its wake.... Madchester and Brit Pop. Only time will tell on that one.

Ruts DC stepped up and delivered a perfect 30 minute sermon of intelligent punk. A triumph! And once again the perfect compliment to The Damned.

The Damned then took to the stage and delivered a tight set with 'new boy' Paul Gray. With no disrespect to Stu, it is great to see Paul back in the fold. It was a surprise to me as I was under the impression that he was seriously suffering from hearing difficulties.

With Paul Gray once again on bass duties, I really hope that we can look forward to a 'Strawberries' album tour, in my opinion the only one of the Damned's 'Holy Trinity' that hasn't yet received the full album treatment.

The Damned's set was great and I have to say that it was a brave move to play a new song, 'Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow' after just one rehearsal. Proper punk attitude from The Damned, and for the record it sounded great!

With the interviews, Brix Smith's DJ'ing and the two live sets, this was a broadcasting triumph. Perhaps this is something that could be done each year on 6 Music. Given that we are now celebrating punk band's 40th birthdays, perhaps additional Summer Balls could also be the order of the day.... just to fit them all in!

Ruts DC


01. Steve Lamacq Intro
02. Music Must Destroy
03. Mighty Soldier
04. Kill The Pain
05. Staring At The Rude Boys
06. In A Rut
07. Babylon’s Burning

The Damned


01. Steve Lamacq Intro
02. Wait For The Blackout
03. Ignite
04. History Of The World
05. Neat Neat Neat
06. Life Goes On
07. I Just Can’t Be Happy Today
08. Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow
09. Generals
10. New Rose
11. Love Song
12. Steve Lamacq Outro
13. There Ain’t No Sanity Clause
14. Captain Sensible Interviewed By Steve Lamacq


Sunday 3 December 2017

Selina's Coogee Bay Hotel Sydney 13th May 1985

Here is a gig from the Australian leg of the massive 'Aural Sculpture' tour that saw the band play the Selina's venue at the Coogee Bay Hotel in Sydney. From what I have read this was (the venue still exists) something of a dive. The audience are very loud and I suspect a little drunk!



01. Something Better Change
02. Dead Ringer
03. No Mercy
04. Souls
05. Nice ‘N’ Sleazy
06. Skin Deep
07. Let Me Down Easy
08. Midnight Summer Dream
09. European Female
10. Golden Brown
11. Peaches
12. Shakin' Like A Leaf
13. Death And Night And Blood
14. Threatened
15. Punch And Judy
16. Hanging Around
17. I Feel Like A Wog
18. Down In The Sewer
19. Nubiles (Cocktail Version)

20 From '86 (5) Lords Of The New Church Reading Festival 24th August 1986

Something of a punk supergroup here with Stiv and The Lords of the New Church, here from the last day of the 1986 Reading Festival.

MP3 (as received):

01. Method To My Madness
02. Kiss Of Death
03. Pretty Baby Scream
04. Livin’ On Livin’
05. Russian Roulette
06. Live For Today
07. Open Your Eyes
08. Light Share
09. Dance With Me
10. The Lords Prayer
11. Holy War
12. Walkin’ The Dog

13. New Church

Saturday 2 December 2017

'A Pithead Polar Bear From Brighton to Belsen 1940-1946' Available Again 15th December

I am very pleased to announce that my book 'A Pithead Polar Bear From Brighton to Belsen 1940-1946' was sent to the printers yesterday for a second print run. This is a somewhat revised version containing additional chapters describing events following the initial publication. Details can be found on the site below and the book will be available from 15th December.

Alternatively, send me a message and I will provide details on how to get a copy.

With All best wishes.


Bath Pavilion 3rd December 1981

Here is an anniversary gig from a mind boggling 36 years ago. From the 'La Folie' tour, the set list features some really heard tracks from what for my money is the band's most underrated album.

Some time ago, Phil Coxon wrote up his tour diary for the dates that he did (not to mention the hardships that he endured following the band on a shoestring budget on a UK tour in December!) for the official site.

Here's what he had to ay about that night in Bath.

'I’m on my own from now on as Dean has used all his holidays. I get there pretty late but luckily bump into JJ and the tour manager outside and get in just as Taxi Girl are finishing. I quite like them, some venues they go down well and some not so well. Mark is a big fan of Taxi Girl and we stand in the foyer talking to them as we wait for The Stranglers. There’s a couple of faces that are looking familiar too-Krista and Lynsey who hail from Evesham.

As Waltzinblack starts I wonder if there will be any trouble here as there was on the WWTW tour when JJ decked a skinhead on stage. I have a look around but can’t see any skinheads. The show passes off trouble free. It’s a good crowd with proper security–you know they’re there but
they don’t stop anyone having a good time! There’s a couple of mini stage invasions… One lad can’t quite make it fully on stage so he just lies there while JJ virtually stands on him with that sick, sadistic smile on his face. As the song ends, he thanks JJ and crawls back into the crowd! I manage to clamber up by the speakers and get a really good view and start working overtime with the camera.

Brilliant gig tonight, really enjoyable helped by unobtrusive bouncers. The night ends with a train to Bristol and another night in the waiting room…'

Cheers to Phil for the photo and the words.


01. Intro
02. Non Stop
03. Threatened
04. Just Like Nothing On Earth
05. Second Coming
06. The Man They Love To Hate
07. Meninblack
08. Who Wants The World
09. Baroque Bordello
10. Golden Brown
11. Tramp
12. Thrown Away
13. How To Find True Love And Happiness In The Present Day
14. Tank
15. Let Me Introduce You To The Family
16. Nuclear Device/ Genetix
17. Audience
18. Bring On The Nubiles
19. Duchess
20. The Raven

Christmas Punk Party Steve Lamacq BBC 6 Music 8th December 2017 4pm!!!!

'Steve Lamacq returns to Maida Vale for an annual Christmas party, and this year we're painting the holiday season punk. The Damned will be performing live from the legendary Maida Vale studios, ahead of their huge tour in 2018. They'll be joined by fellow punk pioneers Ruts DC, who'll be providing us with a second blistering live performance. Brix Smith Start, ex-member of The Fall, is behind the decks, spinning some classic punk tunes in between sets. And we'll be joined by football legend Stuart Pearce, who'll be telling us about his devotion to punk'.

Can't wait.....

Saturday 18 November 2017

The Undertones Epic Studios Norwich 10th October 2012

Last night The Undertones played Koko in Camden. The world would be a much poorer place without them. In these days of uncertainty when the world seems to have gone mad..... and that is most mornings if Trump has been online, the fact that a group of men approaching 60 can sing songs about Chocolate and Girls is a cause for celebration! Family entertainment indeed!

Here are the band performing in Norwich in 2012.


01. Intro
02. My Perfect Cousin
03. Jump Boys
04. Girls Don't Like It
05. You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It)
06. Here Comes The Summer
07. Tearproof
08. Male Model
09. Jimmy Jimmy
10. Need Your Love The Way It Used To Be
11. Billy's Third
12. Family Entertainment
13. When Saturday Comes
14. Top Twenty
15. Love Parade
16. Teenage Kicks
17. Thrill Me
18. (She's a) Runaround
19. I Know A Girl
20. Get Over You

Wednesday 15 November 2017

20 From '86 (4) The Icicle Works Royal Court Liverpool 1st October 1986

Now here were a great band (and one still playing). Liverpool's Icicle Works. This home town gig was recorded in late 1986 and as such features several songs from their excellent 'If You Want to Defeat Your Enemy Sing His Song' album that was released in March 1987. I saw them at The Reading Festival that August and they wee one of the best bands of the weekend..... miles better than Magnum and The Enid!


01. Hollow Horse
02. Who Do You Want For Your Love
03. Understanding Jane
04. Love Is A Wonderful Colour
05. Stary Blue Eyed Wonder
06. Little Girl Lost
07. When It All Comes Down
08. Birds Fly
09. Should I Stay Or Should I Go

10. Seven Horses

Sunday 12 November 2017

20 From '86 (3) Killing Joke Vaulx En Velin Lyon 6th December 1986

Here's a 1986 festival recording from Killing Joke. The mid '80's was a tremendously creative period for the band with some of there best material released (and very different from the raw of the earlier.... an later albums).



01. Intro
02. Twilight Of The Mortal
03. Chessboards
04. Kings & Queens
05. Darkness Before Dawn
06. Night Time
07. Love Like Blood
08. Love Of The Masses
09. The Sun Goes Down
10. Requim
11. The Wait
12. Wardance
13. Eighties
14. Complications
15. Rubicon

Too many fools blocking my motion

Siouxsie Sioux
Linoprint 20cm x 15cm
Black ink on cream.

Saturday 11 November 2017

Lest We Forget

On 11th November I am remembering my Grandad, the men of the 59th (Staffordshire) Division and 49th (West Riding) Division and all those killed, wounded and scarred by war. Lest we forget.

Sunday 5 November 2017

20 From '86 (2) The Ramones First Avenue Minneapolis 27th July 1986

Johnny being Johnny 1986

1986 saw the Ramones touring (no great surprise there) on the back of their new album 'Animal Boy'. Many think that The Ramones at this stage had nothing more to offer, but in my opinion it is a solid album. The highlight of this gig for me is Dee Dee's 'Love Kills', a great song and the band's musical tribute to those other punk junkies, Sid and Nancy.

Sid was a punk rock king
Nancy was a broken queen
Their lives were so glamorous
Sid and Nancy were a mess
When you're hooked on heroin
Don't you know you'll never win
Drugs don't ever pay
You really did it your way
Love kills (x3)

We still believe in anarchy
It makes me so damn angry
Sid and Nancy meant a lot to me
You may be dead but your souls are free
Like Romeo and Juliet
You two made a pact of death
Like the needle that ya used
Sid and Nancy were born to lose
Love kills (x3)

Sid never meant any harm
He shot some dope into his arm
All he wanted was some fun
Now she's lying in a pool of blood
Always loaded, always high
Why did you have to die?
I'll say one thing is
It leaves me with a bitter taste
Love kills (x9)

Many thanks to to person who kindly shared this with me for this site!

MP3 (as received):

01. Teenage Lobotomy
02. Psycho Therapy
03. Blitzkrieg Bop
04. Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio?
05. Freak Of Nature
06. Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment
07. Rock 'N' Roll High School
08. I Wanna Be Sedated
09. The KKK Took My Baby Away
10. Crummy Stuff
11. Loudmouth
12. Love Kills
13. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
14. Glad To See You Go
15. Surfin' Bird
16. Cretin Hop
17. I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You
18. Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World
19. Pinhead
20. Chinese Rock
21. Somebody Put Something In My Drink
22. Rockaway Beach
23. Do You Wanna Dance?
24. California Sun

25. We're A Happy Family

Saturday 4 November 2017

20 From '86 (1) RCH Nottingham 28th October 1986

OK, I haven't done one of these for a while, but here is the start of what will be over the coming days a series of gigs from 1986. True, by this time, Stock, Aitken and Waterman had the charts in a stranglehold, everything was bouncy and over produced but there were diamonds in the rough.... you just had to seek them out that's all.

As this is predominantly a Stranglers site, they can get the ball rolling with this Dreamtime date from Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall.



01. Intro
02. No More Heroes
03. Was It You?
04. Down In The Sewer
05. Nice In Nice
06. Punch And Judy
07. Souls
08. Always The Sun
09. La Folie
10. Strange Little Girl
11. Nice ‘N’ Sleazy
12. Who Wants The World
13. Big In America
14. Duchess
15. Bring On The Nubiles
16. Shakin Like A Leaf
17. Uptown
18. Tank
19. Toiler On The Sea
20. Spain
21. Hanging Around
22. London Lady

Tuesday 31 October 2017

1986 - Adrian Gets Into His Stride!

In March 1986 I turned 17. In this year my parents finally relented and I got to see my first bands in London. The first was Peter and The Test Tube Babies at the 100 Club, followed in quick succession by PiL at their troubled gig at the Brixton Academy. That was their 'homecoming' date on the 'Album' tour that was marred by spitting members of the audience plus a couple of attempted attacks on John Lydon.

In that year also, Anglo-Canadian hardcore outfit Toxic Reasons made a great impression on me when they payed a visit to the UK. I first saw them on a pub in Brighton on the Lewes Road called The Ship (venue at one time for the popular Sunday 'Strip at The Ship' or so said my Uncle Brian). We drove to the venue with a mate Matt who had only gained his full licence the previous week.... and it showed. We had a white knuckle ride down to Brighton and when we arrived the bouncer informed us that the gig had sold out but for a fee he would let in. Thus went half of the money that I had. The remainder of my meagre funds for the evening were exhausted after I inadvertently kicked over the pints of a gaggle of skins who were sitting on the floor in a dark corner of the venue. Best to placate these thirsty skinheads than save a fiver and risk a kicking!

The gig however was a triumph. Towards the end of the gig they were joined on stage by a scruffy looking blonde bloke with a guitar. 'Hey' I said to Matt, 'that looks like Captain Sensible with a wig on'. The band launched into 'New Rose'. It was indeed the good Captain himself.

So impressed were we with the band that a week later we travelled back to the 100 Club to see them again in the company of a gaggle of the Brighton punks. My memories of that particular gig are limited, but I do remember standing watching most of the gig shoulder to shoulder with John Peel. We exchanged brief pleasantries before refocusing on Toxic Reasons.

In the Summer of '86 I spent a weekend on the campus of the University of Sussex as part of an 'A' Level Physics revision course! On the Saturday myself and a mate called Rob walked into Brighton to see a great band that I followed at the time called The Four Guns who were playing a 10th anniversary of punk gig at the Escape Club in the centre of Brighton. After the best 'disco' I had ever heard in my life we walked back home arriving back on the campus with the rising sun.

The Four Guns Brighton 1986

The Damned at Finsbury Park followed within a week (my first opportunity to see them having missed them at the Top Rank the previous year).

In the autumn/winter I recall gigs at the brilliant Richmond Hotel, a dive of a venue (now a gastropub of some kind) where bands played upstairs amongst a setting of plastic palm trees! Anarcho-punk punk bands were regular visitors and it was here that I first saw Conflict (at the time that 'The Ungovernable Force' album was released). Equally memorable were a band called Antisect ('In Darkness There Is No Choice') who kicked up a great racket!

One night at The Richmond in '86 (although it could have been '85!) a band called Scream played. They were a Washington DC hardcore band. On the night one of their amps blew up so the band had to rush the cabinet still belching black smoke out of the venue. I chatted to the band afterwards on the pavement outside the venue as they came down from the gig with a spliff. I learned later that this was one of Dave Grohl's first bands, although he was still to join at the point when I saw them.

I realise that I joined the punk tribe late in the day, but even in the mid '80's there was still at lot going on. In the coming days I will share some '86 moments, some punk, some otherwise.

Adrian in 1986 on the debut and final gig of the Reluctant Virgins.

Saturday 7 October 2017

The Damned Bournemouth International Centre 27th November 2009

Here's the good Captain and crew entertaining the folks in Bournemoth some years back and warming them up for Motorhead.


01. New Rose
02. Street Of Dreams
03. Neat Neat Neat
04. 13th Floor Vendetta
05. History Of The World
06. Under The Wheels
07. Lookin' At You
08. Eloise
09. Love Song
10. Smash It Up
11. Happy Talk

Sunday 1 October 2017

Bristol Academy 1st October 2006

And a proper anniversary with this one from Bristol on the 'Suite XVI' tour.



01. 5 Minutes
02. (Get A) Grip (on Yourself)
03. Spectre Of Love
04. Nice 'n' Sleazy
05. Death & Night & Blood
06. Unbroken
07. Peaches
08. Always The Sun
09. Golden Brown
10. I Hate You
11. Lost Control
12. Summat Outanowt
13. Walk On By

01. Relentless
02. Threatened
03. Burning Up Time
04. All Day & All Of The Night
05. Thrown Away
06. Duchess
07. London Lady
08. Nuclear Device
09. Dagenham Dave
10. No More Heroes

Killing Joke Ancienne Belgique 29th September 2008

Here's a near miss anniversary gig from the unstoppable Killing Joke. In the first night of two fans were treated to renditions of the first 'Killing Joke' album and their second 'What's This For...!'

Great sound to this one.



01. Intro
02. Requiem
03. Wardance
04. Tomorrow's World
05. Complications
06. Bloodsport
07. S.O.36
08. Primitive
09. The Fall Of Because
10. Tension
11. Unspeakable
12. Eighties

01. Who Told You How ?
02. Butcher
03. Madness
04. Exit
05. Follow The Leaders
06. The Wait
07. Pssyche
08. Encore
09. Speech
10. Love Like Blood
11. Fresh Fever
12. Change

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Joy Division Piccadilly Radio Session Pennine Sound Studios 4th June 1979

Last week I started reading 'Unknown Pleasures - Inside Joy Division' bassist Peter Hook's take on life within one of Britain's most original bands.

It was very late in the day when I started properly listening to the band. Apatr from 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and the handful of songs they performed on TV I was largely ignorant of their music. It was true that back in the day I had mates that were huge fans and conformed 100% to the JD fan stereotype. I am sure they wore their macs in bed! I took the band at face value and thought the misery exhibition stance to be a bit ridiculous. Thinking back I should have taken a look at myself, a big fan of those laugh a minute folks from Crass!

It was only when I saw the film 'Control' that I waded a bit deeper into their murky Mancunian waters buying the 'Heart and Soul' box set. Hook's book presents another side of Joy Division, an intense and driven band certainly, but not without humour. He expresses and issue with the perceived deification of Ian Curtis. Whilst Peter Hook recognises the poetic, romantic, other worldliness of his former lead singer he paints an alternative side to him that one would expect of a bloke in his early twenties in an up and coming band with a bunch of other blokes in their early twenties.

Here then is a session the band did for local Piccadilly Radio in the summer of 1979.


01. These Days
02. Candidate
03. Chance (Atmosphere)
04. Atrocity Exhibision

Feeling in the mood I also created a lino print of Ian Curtis on stage.

Ian Curtis (Joy Division)
Lino print 30cm x 40cm
Black in on grey card (1 of 10)

Friday 22 September 2017

Hard to believe that this goes back 10 years... time flies for old punks!


01. Love Song
02. Second Time Around
03. I Just Can’t Be Happy Today
04. Disco Man
05. Generals
06. New Rose
07. Neat Neat Neat
08. 13th Floor Vendetta

01. I Fall
02. Fan Club
03. History Of The World
04. Ignite
05. Alone Again Or
06. Anti-Pope
07. Smash It Up
08. Eloise
09. Jet Boy Jet Girl
10. Wait For The Blackout
11. I Feel Alright

Sunday 17 September 2017

The Alhambra Dunfermline 10th March 2017

So with the announcement of the 2018 which sees a the band playing three dates again in Scotland, here is a reminder of the last tour when they played the wonderful Alhambra in Dunfermline. Uploaded here in 24/48 bit FLAC format and high quality 320 kbps MP3 format. My thanks as always goes to Chatts and MeAnIe!!




01. Intro-The Raven
02. Was It You
03. Sometimes
04. Grip
05. 15 Steps
06. Nice-N-Sleazy
07. Never To Look Back
08. Midnight Summer Dream
09. Always The Sun
10. Strange Little Girl
11. Golden Brown
12. Bear Cage
13. Who Wants The World
14. Dagenham Dave
1.5 Freedom Is Insane
16. Peaches
17. Genetix
18. Hanging Around
19. 5 Minutes
20. Down In The Sewer
21. Encore-Relentless
22. Something Better Change
23. Encore-Go Buddy Go

24. No More Heroes

2018 Tour Dates Are In

Tuesday 5 September 2017

What's my na-aa-aa-aa-me!

The Clash
15cm x 20cm linoprints 
Black ink on cream.





Saturday 2 September 2017

The Playhouse Theatre Edinburgh 24th February 1981

A classic and much loved bootleg from 'The Men in Black' tour.


Top Secret Volume 18 July 1989

Here is the latest installment of the wonderful 'Top Secret', here.

Buzzcocks Reading Festival 25th August 1990

Here is an early festival set from the recently reformed Buzzcocks, that at this point featured ex-Smiths drummer Mike Joyce, John Maher having returned to the States after the reunion tour of the previous year.



01. What Do I Get?
02. I Don't Mind
03. Love You More
04. Promises
05. Can You Hear Me?
06. Never Gonna Give It Up
07. Autonomy
08. Nothing Left
09. Successful Street
10. Everybody's Happy Nowadays
11. Harmony In My Head
12. Ever Fallen In Love…?
13. I Believe
14. Orgasm Addict
15. Mad Mad Judy
16. Boredom

Thursday 31 August 2017

The Boring Annual Subscription Appeal

Hi Folks,

Sorry to bore you again with more of the same. I have just received notification that the first of the two We Transfer accounts that I currently maintain for this site is up for annual renewal. I won't repeat what I have said before since this can be seen on one of the permanent posts that can be found on the right hand side of the site.

I appreciate that in 2017 I have not been as prolific with my posts as in the previous six years. This has chiefly been down to the fact that a large proportion of my limited free time has this year been taken up with activities associated with the publication of my book on my Grandfather's wartime service. This became an absolute priority for me, not least because I was determined that the veterans that had so generously helped me with their invaluable memories that progressed my research had the opportunity to read the book. In this I  am not being morbid, just practical.

I still really enjoy maintaining this site and giving my own insights into The Stranglers, punk and anything else that floats my boat. I note that the majority of the blog sites that were up and running when I started Aural Sculptors in 2011 have fallen by the wayside. It is not my intention to do so for a while yet..... but it has costs associated with it. Over the years the same people have contributed and to them I am always grateful. To others, if you have ever downloaded anything from the site please consider contributing a pound or two.

All the best!