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 23 June 2018

Buzzcocks Finsbury Park London 23rd June 1996

It's hard to think that this first UK reappearance of the Pistols was 22 years ago! Buzzcocks supported in the day and their set was broadcast on Radio 1.

The day was something of a party occasion. The weather was fine and itbrought out multitides of punks, new and old. I recall seeing Tim and Gaye, Charlie and many mates from Uxbridge and Sussex.

The Pistols on the day were incredible, albeit rather distant for me. That idea, perpetuated by Malcolm, that they couldn't play was blown out of the water (plus by '96 they were all very accomplished musicians by virtue of other projects!).

Check out 'Filthy Lucre Live' for the Pistols contribution to the day, but here's what Buzzcocks did.



01. Interview
02. You Say You Don't Love Me
03. What Am I Supposed To Do?
04. Hold Me Close
05. Playing For Time
06. Love You More
07. Harmony In My Head
08. What Do I Get?
09. Back With You
10. Boredom

Friday 22 June 2018

The Damned Marc Riley Session BBC 6 Music 18th June 2018

Nice little BBC session from Monday evening's Marc Riley show on 6 Music, showcasing three tracks from the new 'Evil Spirits' album.



01. Intro
02. Devil In Disguise
03. Interview
04. Lively Arts/Silly Kids Games
05. Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow
06. Evil Spirits/Outro

Wednesday 13 June 2018

Philippshalle Dusseldorf 13th June 1988 - UPGRADE

Here's an anniversary upgrade for you thanks to my old friend DomP. 30 fucking years, goodness gracious!Trouble was brewing big time in Dusseldorf on 13th June 1988. For more details check my original post here.

Cheers Dom!!

But here's the link to the upgrade:


01. Intro
02. Always The Sun
03. Spain
04. Uptown
05. Souls
06. Toiler on the Sea
07. North Winds
08. Vietnamerica
09. Strange Little Girl
10. The Raven
11. Peasant in the Big Shitty
12. All Day And All Of The Night
13. Shakin' Like A Leaf
14. Big in America
15. Who Wants the World
16. Tank
17. Was it You?
18. Down In The Sewer
19. The Last Post

Oh! The youthful exuberance of it all!
(Dusseldorf trip June 1988)

Sunday 10 June 2018

Colliery Fatality At Silverdale

Kent's Lane Colliery c. 1903


Youth Killed by Fall of Roof

Mr. H. W. Adams (Coroner) held an inquest at the New Inn, Knutton on Friday afternoon, on the body of Arthur Heath (16) a taker-off, of 6, Arthur Street, Knutton, who was killed by a fall of roof at Kent’s Lane Colliery, Silverdale, belonging to the Shelton Iron , Steel and Coal Company, Ltd, on Tuesday.

There were present at the enquiry Mr. P.S. Lea ((H.M. Inspector of Mines), Mr. W. H. Abberley (representing the Shelton Company), Mr. R.H. Moon, from the office of Messrs Hollinshead and Moody (on behalf of the relatives of the deceased), Mr. J. W. Sumnall (Secretary of the North Staffordshire Shotlighters’ and Firemen’s Association) and Mr. J. Cocks (agent to the Shelton Company).

[Illegible] by Robert Heath, an iron worker, who stated that the deceased, his son, had worked at the Kent’s Lane Pit 18 months.

Mr. W. Malbon, manager at the Silverdale Collieries, produced a plan showing the scene of the accident, which happened in the South East District (No. [illegible] jig). Witness stated that he visited the place at 9.15 pm – about an hour after the accident. A fall had taken place at the bottom of the jig in the Great Row Seam reeling out a post and two stretchers. The fall would be approximately a ton, one lump weighing approximately 10 cwt. It had come from a slit which could not have been seen before the accident. The place had been sufficiently timbered. A goth1 might have caused the accident; the district suffered occasionally from goths.

Arthur Davies, a taker-off, of 44, Goose Street, Newcastle, said he was working along with the deceased at the time of the accident. Witness was taking his tub out first, the deceased following with his load. Witness got through the brattice2, when he heard some stuff coming down. On going back he found that the deceased was under the fall. Witness picked up the deceased’s lamp, which was extinguished, and ran for assistance. Witness had heard a goth about a quarter of an hour prior to the accident.

Joshua Jones, colliery foreman, of 31, Newcastle Street, Silverdale spoke to making an examination of the place about an hour and a half before the accident. He thought it was perfectly safe, and would have been satisfied to work there himself.

P.S.C.A. Clarke of Silverdale, described the nature of the injuries. There was an extensive wound under the right armpit, bruises on the neck and face and the ribs were crushed.

The Coroner registered a verdict of “Accidental death”.

Mr. Cocks, on behalf of the owners of the colliery, and the Coroner expressed sympathy with the relatives of the deceased.

A couple of mining terms in the report require some explanation for the layman.

1 goth: A sudden outburst of coal at the working face accompanied by a loud report. As a rule the coal and stone are projected from the face in a very shattered, and often powdered, condition. The outburst is due to the settlement of the roof producing a state of strain in the coal or its roof, or floor, eventuating in the sudden rupture, which is termed ‘goth’.

2 Brattice: a division or partition in a shaft, heading or other underground working place to direct air to a specific point, often to dilute flammable or noxious gases. It could also be used to divide the place or a shaft into two parts, one for the ingress of fresh air and the other for the egress of the used air. A brattice could be constructed of wood, brick or stonework, or heavy-duty tightly woven (sometimes tarred) cloth nailed to a timber frame or timber boarding.

Arthur Heath killed on 6th December 1921 at the age of just 16 was my Great Uncle.

My Grandfather, James Heath, seven at the time of his older brother's death, used to tell me how he used to earn pocket money cleaning and applying dubbing to Arthur's football boots as he had some talent as a player. He was on Port Vale's books and was expected to make his debut at around the time of the accident.

I am sure you would agree that the report above, published in The Sentinel, is extremely matter of fact, only the last line hints at the human tragedy of this pit collapse. This is an indication of how common place fatalities in Britain's coal mines were and also just how conditioned members of the mining community were to such occurrences. Sudden death was indeed part and parcel of a miner's experience.

Whilst preparing to post this piece I did some digging (thankfully not in a mine, but from the safety of my computer chair) into the Silverdale (Kent's Lane) Colliery. The first mine shafts were sunk in 1830 after which the colliery started to mine both ironstone (an iron rich rock once used for smelting) as well as coal. The principal beneficiary of the mining conducted at the Kent's Lane site was the nearby Knutton forge, but a little more on that later. These two local industries, mining and iron production were the mainstays of employment in the area (now really an area of Newcastle-Under-Lyme) for well over a hundred years. Silverdale or Kent's Lane Colliery finally closed in 1998, the last surviving mine in North Staffordshire.

In 1996 a monument was raised to the memory of all those miners who lost their lives in the process of extracting coal at the Silverdale Colliery over its operational life time. There names are recorded on three slate plaques on the plinth that supports the sculpture of a young man pushing a coal laden rail truck. Arthur is commemorated on the third plaque. It is such a shame that my Grandfather was not aware that such a memorial was being planned. Alas he died in February 1995.

The Silverdale Coal Miners Memorial

The list of man's in the third plaque including Arthur Heath (circled)

Sadly, I do not have a photograph of Arthur. However, you will recall that earlier I mentioned Knutton Forge, that took most of the coal extracted from the Kent's Lane Colliery to fire its furnaces. Well, Robert Heath, Arthur's father (and therefore my Great Grandfather) named as being present at the Coroner's Inquiry, worked at Knutton Forge and I go have a photograph of him from a book of old postcards of Newcastle-Under-Lyme, given to me by my Grandmother (his daughter-in-Law) in the 1980's.

A group of Knutton Forge workers c. 1896
(Robert Heath is second from the right)

Robert Heath

Knutton Forge c. 1925 (a photograph fairy contemporary with Arthur's brief time at the Kent's Lane Colliery)

Robert Heath died on 13th January 1949 and is interred in Knutton Cemetery.

Saturday 2 June 2018

Echo Des Bananes Paris Studio TV F.R.3 Complete Sessions 19th September 1983

There are numerous versions of these rehearsals in circulation but these recordings from The Rat Zone Archives represent the definitive version.