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 18 February 2017

TV Smith (with Leigh Heggarty) 12 Bar Club London 7th December 2012

A coupe of merry minstrels! Here's one of the occasional musical collaborations of TV Smith and Leigh Heggarty, here captured in Soho's famed Denmark Street with a set that fully spans Tim's long career as an angry shouter!



The Price Angler's Retreat West Drayton 27th July 1989

OK to continue with the Leigh Heggarty theme! Earlier on I mentioned my first encounter with The Price was in West Drayton. Whilst it was at the Angler's Retreat, this would not have been at a gig that I would have been at since I would have been on a work placement in Basingstoke at this time. Not sure who recorded this, Chris Braund perhaps?

Owen, look! They even did 'Turning Japanese'.


01. The Cover Up
02. Can’t Remember Why
03. Fight
04. Running Out Of Time
05. Yesterday’s Man
06. What Can I Say
07. Getting Nowhere
08. You’re Gone
09. On The Ice
10. Too Many People
11. Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)

01. The Price You Pay
02. Shattered Land
03. So What About Love
04. Was It You?
05. Memory
06. Between The Lines
07. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?
08. Hawaii 5-0
09. Turn Around
10. Dancing On A Saturday Night
11. Turning Japanese

Leigh Heggarty (Ruts DC) Interview February 2017

Leigh Heggarty of Ruts DC at the 100 Club (Ruffy looks on)
(Photo: Andy Miller)

Some weeks ago I posted an interview that I did with Segs and Ruffy, Ruts DC's fabulous rhythm section (here), however we all know that every rhythm section needs a guitarist and theirs takes the form of Leigh Heggarty. In the interest of even handedness I asked Leigh whether he would be happy to answer a few questions on his musical past that ultimately has taken him into the studio and onto the road as a Rut since 2011. Leigh was happy to oblige and here are the results. Cheers Leigh, enjoy the tour!

Q. I arrived in Uxbridge in 1988, the country was off its collective head on acid house and locally there was not a great deal going on musically. However, it was not always so, as an Uxbridge resident of long-standing what was the local music scene like earlier on?
A. From what I can gather there has always been a fair bit of live music in the area - for example Burtons in Uxbridge was a very popular venue in the 1960s. I suppose the main focus for me was Brunel University - I can remember seeing posters for bands like John Entwistle's Ox and Thin Lizzy gigging there in the mid-'70's before I started going to see bands. Incidentally if I'd had been old enough then I would definitely gone to those two shows! Probably the best thing about it from my point of view was that they would put on a wide variety of acts - say a heavy metal gig one week and an acoustic band the next - meaning that it was possible to see many different types of music. The venue had something of a resurgence in the 1980s with the likes of The Stone Roses and Transvision Vamp appearing there, and The Price played there on quite a few occasions - it still exists but sadly it doesn't seem to put on gigs anymore, or if it does then they're not open to the general public which is a great pity.
Ad for Thin Lizzy's gig at Brunel (1976)
Q. I know that you have been excited in the past to have had the opportunity to support Wilko Johnson and indeed a Feelgood’s logo pin is often to be seen on your lapel. Who has influenced you as a fan, and perhaps more specifically as a guitarist?
A. My first musical memories are of The Beatles back in the 1960s when I was a little lad - my mum always said that I asked her why one of their guitars were pointing the other way when I was only about 3 or 4 years old. I also liked The Stones, Who, Kinks etc before T.Rex made a big impression on me as did The Faces, Slade, The Sweet and the other glam rockers. I spent most of my milk round money on their singles before discovering Dr. Feelgood when they appeared on the teatime kid's TV show 'The Geordie Scene' in early 1975. I also liked some heavier rock music which I heard from my older cousins Gary and Steve in Birkenhead who we used to go to stay with in the school holidays. I was inspired to start playing the guitar when Gary got one sometime in the mid-'70's, although I then discovered to my absolute horror that you didn't just pick it up and play it and so left it alone for quite a while. Eventually I got to grips with the basics around the time the punk bands started appearing, although I recall being more interested in sounding like Rory Gallagher at the time. I found a guitar teacher (Tony) who lived a few streets away from us who it turned out went to school with, of all people, Paul Fox. He taught classical guitar and I learned a lot about music from him, which was great as I didn't study it at school. I began playing in bands quite late (I had a go at school and just after but that was so awful that it put me off for ages!) as I started working in a factory straight after leaving school which effected me very badly - I wasn't cut out for the world of conventional work. After a few false starts I got a band called The Others together who split up at the end of 1984, and I then formed The Price in 1985. If I had to pick a favourite player then it would have to be Pete Townshend; other influences include John Lennon and George Harrison, Steve Cropper, Mick Green, Keith Richards, Steve Jones, Gypie Mayo, Danny Kustow, Jimi Hendrix and many many more - not forgetting the aforementioned Mr. Johnson of course. 

Q. I first became aware of your music many years ago. I think that I can pin it down to a gig at The Angler’s Retreat in West Drayton, either supporting Cheap (TV Smith band at the time) or just with The Price. For the purpose of this interview I dug out an old issue of the ‘Wake Up’ fanzine from 1992 in which your lead singer described The Price as ‘probably one of the most unfashionable bands ‘cos we stick to what we really believe in’. That said, at that time guitar bands were once more in the ascendancy and potentially The Price were in the right place at the right time. How was it that the band never got a record out and is it irksome to you that after five or so years together it never broke for the band?
A. Well as you say The Price were potentially in the right place at the right time with the likes of The Senseless Things and Mega City Four (both of whom we supported on several occasions) attaining a fair amount of recognition and success. Looking back I realise that we were pretty much outsiders in every way; I remember a conversation with an A&R man who advised me to 'think about your melody lines, they need to be more commercial' - we never attempted to make anything that we did be more commercial, let alone our songs which I guess is all you need to know. That said I wouldn't change any of it - we were honest and that means a lot.
In the course of preparing this post I took a look on the 'Brunel Bands' blogspot and in doing so came across a review of The Price from the 30th November 1989 when they played a support slot to Thrilled Skinny and the aforementioned Mega City Four. This was during my time at Brunel but I wasn't in attendance that night for some reason. Reading on I saw a review from the student paper 'Le Nurb' (hilarious student humour (???) as it is Brunel backwards). Two extracts caught my eye, that seemed to sum up Leigh's take on his former band:
“It seems to  be the trend in Le Nurb to say that local support band The Price are just a bunch of lads who play to crowds of sixth formers. Well I don`t care – I went to see The Price instead of the Stone Roses last years and I`d probably do it again”.
Jim Pressley – Le Nurb
"A local band from Uxbridge, consisting of Malcolm (Vocals), Leigh (Guitar), Huggy (Bass) and Mick Drums and a regular band to play at the Academy at Brunel University.  Paul Fox of The Ruts produced a number of their singles. The Price were well received and played a set containing many of their classics such as “Man with a smile“, “What about love“, This shattered land” and “Between the lies”
"They`ll never be a band that`ll break big `coz they wont get asked to – a good job too, then they`ll continue to be Brunel’s best support act.”
Jim Pressley – Le Nurb
What made me laugh is that I shared a house with the reviewer for three years around the Hayes and Southall area!
'Brunel's best support act' The Price, with Leigh (far left)
Q. After the initial demise of The Price, in the time honoured tradition you got back together, it must have been ten or so years ago and I found myself once again at the bar in The Angler’s Retreat. Was that reunion supposed to be more permanent or was it always intended to be the last hurrah for the band?
A. We did indeed get together for what was intended to be a one-off show at the aforementioned Anglers Retreat 10 years after the band split up and have reconvened occasionally ever since. I guess we've all forgiven each other for whatever it was that split the band up, or realised we weren't to blame in the first place, or something...
Q. I’ll come to Ruts DC later on, but notably you have also shared the stage with TV Smith. Did that relationship stem from earlier gigs when you both appeared on the bill?
A. Yes it did. The Price played with T.V. Smith's Cheap on several occasions (it looked great on the posters!) and I always got on well with Tim and indeed the rest of the band. One of the Price's sporadic reunion shows was at a birthday party for our roadie / merch man Steve and we invited Tim along to play a solo set - as we were setting up we remembered an occasion in 1991 when our two bands were playing together and Cheap's guitarist Mik couldn't make the gig so T.V. played a solo show with me joining him and the rest of the band for a few numbers at the end. To cut a long story short we played a couple of songs together at the party and it all went from there. I still play occasional duo shows with him and they're always a absolute pleasure to be part of.

Q. Your musical tastes I know to be rather eclectic and from your own blog, ‘Leigh’s Mad World of Guitars ( it would appear that you are something of a six-string for hire, playing in a wide range of bands over a number of musical genres. Which do you prefer, the live experience or the process of recording?
A. I'm lucky enough to enjoy both, although I find that they're both very different to each another. I've always liked many different styles of music - I don't think that there's any reason why you can't for example like pop music if you like punk rock, to my mind there's nothing wrong with enjoying them both if they appeal to you. I try to bring that mentality to both performing live and studio work - it's all about doing what's right for the situation that you find yourself in, and there's a discipline involved in recording that's different to the spontaneity of a live show. Both good, but as I say both very different from each other.  Incidentally I've never seen myself as a 'six-string for hire' - maybe I would be richer if I had!
Q. Your formal association with Ruts DC started with the preparation for Rut’s guitarist Paul Fox’s benefit gig in July 2007 (at that time Paul was battling with terminal lung cancer). How did it come about that you got the gig to step into Paul’s big shoes?
A. One evening a few days before Paul's last show (at The Islington Academy with Henry Rollins on vocals) I received a call from Dave Ruffy which began with the immortal words 'what are you doing tomorrow?' They were due to be rehearsing for the gig the next afternoon but Paul was too unwell and he'd suggested me as a stand-in (they also rehearsed with the then - manager of the Blockheads Lee Harris but he couldn't make this session) so I spent the rest of the evening revising all those Ruts riffs that I'd learned sitting on the end of my bed all those years ago. The rehearsal went well - really well as it happens - and the subsequent show was of course a classic. Over the next few months Dave and Segs got together and 'Rhythm Collision Volume 2' began to take shape, and I'm pleased to say that they invited me to contribute to the album. After it's release there was the offer of a show at a dub festival in France - that fell through but The Alabama 3 (who Segs was also playing with at the time) offered the band a few support shows in late 2011. And the rest, as they (whoever 'they' are) say, is history.
Paul's last gig (16th July 2007)
Q. Since reforming in 2011, Ruts DC have gone from strength to strength, with two studio albums and a live album under their belts already. From the standpoint of both a fan and now an insider, how do you view the legacy of The Ruts and Ruts DC?
A. Well I know from talking to people at gigs that there is a lot of respect for the original band and of course for The Ruts. It's interesting to note that when we first started playing together fans of the band were bemused to find that Dave and Segs didn't seem think that many people would be too interested in seeing Ruts DC again. Happily this has of course proved not to be the case. For what my thoughts are worth The Ruts were easily one of the best bands of the punk era, and Ruts DC were severely underrated at the time - I'm very aware that every time we walk out on stage to play there will be people in the audience who will agree and therefore it's very important not to let them down. Hopefully we don't!
Q. As a gigging musician, what in your opinion can be done to stem the tide of small, independent music venue closures? I have here The Square in Harlow at the front of my mind, a venue that I know is close to your heart. After a brief respite, that venue again finds itself under threat of closure.
A. The Square in Harlow was a good example of a venue with an open booking policy - the sort of approach that I referred to in my first answer where any type of music would be given a chance, which makes it's recent demise all the harder to take. The Price played there many times, and I was fortunate enough to play three songs with Eddie And The Hot Rods at the venue's closing night - if it's possible to have emotion for a building then it was certainly there on that occasion. Sadly as more and more people think that the only way to get 'discovered' is to be part of the 'X Factor' / 'Britain's Got Talent' circus live music venues are likely to seem less and less important to potential performers, which is a crying shame. What can be done to stop it happening? Well I guess we all have to get out and watch more live music and support the places that are still putting bands and artists on - easier said than done I know, but if there's no audience then there can / will be no venues…
Q. In March of next year, Ruts DC are confirmed as the opening act of The Stranglers 2017 tour. It’s a fantastic billing and I know that the pairing has made many aged punks very happy. Real good value for money in these times of austerity! What are your expectation of this tour?
Ad for the 'No More Heroes' tour gig from the student paper (the closest I got to seeing the bloody band at Brunel University!)

A. Well to say that I'm looking forward to the tour is, to coin a phrase, the understatement of the year so far. The Stranglers have always been a fine band - I first saw them (I think) 40 years ago on the 'No More Heroes' tour at Brunel University so the idea of appearing alongside them means a lot to me personally. From a band point of view it's obviously a great thing for us to be part of, and we're all really looking forward to a great tour. If you're going along then please come and say hello!
Flyer for the tour and the new single 'Kill The Pain'

Monday 13 February 2017

O2 Academy Leeds 25th March 2016

Actually this Leeds gig is the last that I have acquired from the 'Black & White' tour.


01. Intro
02. Tank
03. Nice 'n' Sleazy
04. Outside Tokyo
05. Hey! (Rise of the Robots)
06. Sweden (All Quiet on the Eastern Front)
07. Toiler on the Sea
08. Curfew
09. Threatened
10. In the Shadows
11. Do You Wanna
12. Death and Night and Blood (Yukio)
13. Enough Time
14. (Get a) Grip (On Yourself)
15. Walk on By
15. Dead Ringer
16. Norfolk Coast
17. Lost Control
18. Princess of the Streets
19. Always the Sun
20. Freedom Is Insane
21. Burning Up Time
22. Nuclear Device (The Wizard of Aus)
23. 5 Minutes
24. Relentless
25. I Feel Like a Wog
26. Something Better Change
27. Peaches
28. No More Heroes
29. Outro

Sunday 12 February 2017

O2 Academy, Newcastle 9th March 2016

So with the new tour almost upon us it's a case of out with the old and in with the new. Today I will post the remaining gigs that I have from the last tour in anticipation of getting something new in the coming weeks, although as before I don't intend to post anything from the March tour until after the Manchester show. Many thanks to Yesican for the share!


01. Intro
02. Tank
03. Nice 'n' Sleazy
04. Outside Tokyo
05. Hey! (Rise of the Robots)
06. Sweden (All Quiet on the Eastern Front)
07. Toiler on the Sea
08. Curfew
09. Threatened
10. In the Shadows
11. Do You Wanna/Death and Night and Blood (Yukio)
12. Enough Time
13. (Get a) Grip (On Yourself)
14. Walk on By
15. Dead Ringer
16. Mercury Rising
17. I've Been Wild
18. Princess of the Streets
19. Always the Sun
20. A Soldier's Diary
21. Nuclear Device (The Wizard of Aus)
22. 5 Minutes
24. Relentless
25. I Feel Like a Wog
26. Something Better Change
27. Audience
28. Go Buddy Go
29. No More Heroes
30. Outro

Donation Update

Many thanks once again for the contributions to cover the running costs of this site. Thanks to you, 60% of the annual costs are covered thus far.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!


Joy Division 3rd April 1980 The Moonlight Club London

As this Sunday struggles to get going and I look out of the window and see the worst that the month of February has to offer, Joy Division seem to be an obvious choice. In the capital for the following night's support slot at the Rainbow, here's the Manchester funsters at the Moonlight Club in London's West Hampstead. Thanks to the original uploader.


01. Love Will Tear Us Apart
 02. Glass
 03. Digital
 04. Heart And Soul
 05. Isolation
 06. Disorder
 07. Atrocity Exhibition
 08. Atmosphere.

Top Secret Vol. 14 November 1988

And the next one. Here.

Saturday 11 February 2017

Jet Black Interview 1987

Ok, here's another of Eric's remasters. This time a copy of a flexi disc featuring an interview with Jet Black from 1987. Can't remember for certain, but the sleeve notes would indicate that this was a freebie with Top Secret fanzine (which can also be found on this site).



Saturday 4 February 2017

Hugh Cornwell and Dr John Cooper Clarke O2 Institute Birmingham 1st December 2016

Ok, for the record, the quirky tour of 2016. Courtesy of Evil_Teacup I give you Hugh and (the other) Dr. John somewhere in the Midlands. Many thanks!


01. It's Only Make Believe
02. Way Down Yonder in New Orleans
03. Spanish Harlem
04. Johnny Remember Me
05. MacArthur Park
06. She's a Woman
07. Donna
08. Jezebel
09. Love Potion No. 9
10. Sweeter Than You

Hugh Cornwell Orchestra (Dr. John had gone for a fag)
11. Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit
12. Nice 'N' Sleazy
13. Stuck In Daily Mail Land
14. Walk On By

Dr. John back again:
15. I Wanna Be Yours
16. 36 Hours
17. No More Heroes
18. Grip

Thanks For Donations Gratefully Received

Many thanks to those that have kindly responded to the request to help cover the running costs of this site. I really appreciate it. So far, 20% of the total annual subscription costs has been donated.



Warwick University 4th February 1982

An anniversary gig of a mere 35 year vintage.



01. Down In The Sewer
02. Just Like Nothing On Earth
03. Second Coming
04. Non Stop
05. The Man They Love To Hate
06. Who Wants The World
07. Baroque Bordello
08. Golden Brown
09. How To Find True Love And Happiness In The Present Day
10. Duchess
11. Tank
12. Let Me Introduce You To The Family
13. Tramp
14. The Raven
15. Nuclear Device
16. Genetix

Thursday 2 February 2017

No Future?

It seems wholly fitting to post this on the anniversary of the death of Sid Vicious.

Wednesday 1 February 2017

About Time Demos Rehearsals Sessions 1994

'About Time' works in progress!



01. Lucky Finger
02. Sinister
03. When Reason Sleeps
04. Swim
05. She Gave It All (Take 1)
06. She Gave It All (Take 2)
07. Kiss The World Goodbye
08. Shattered
09. The Bed Of Nails
10. And The Boat Sails By
11. Little Blue Lies
12. Face (Take 1)
13. Face (Take 2)
14. Sinister (Basic Track)
15. Sinister (Keyboard Track)
16. Still Life
17. Cool Danny

The Bootleg Series Originally Posted on The Rat Zone

Over the last few years Eric2Vini was very busy lovingly remastering a number of old vinyl bootlegs, interview discs (that had their 15 minutes of fame in the mid to late '80's) and some notable live recordings known to be firm favourites of the fanbase. This was an excellent effort with the original artwork and sleeve notes faithfully reproduced.

As mentioned above, they appeared on The Rat Zone (a French Stranglers Forum) and periodically on the Burning Up Time Forum. However, on each occasion they were uploaded for a brief interval before the files were deleted from whichever file sharing service.

Previously Eric gave the OK for these recordings to be posted on this site. Since they are so good and as I think that I have enough storage space to do so I propose to give them a permanent home here (at least for as long as this site continues). I think  that I have the majority of them now (thanks for the hand MeAnIe!).

I don't propose to put them up in one go, but to aid locating them I will add the tag 'Rat Zone' to facilitate searches for them.

Thanks again Eric!