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

Monday, 20 August 2018

The Big Top Limerick 8th April 2018

The planned Irish dates for March were postponed this year.

 "Due to the severe weather affecting Ireland at present the government have given a directive to close the venues in Munster and Leinster until the weather improves, this has led to the need to reschedule the Dublin, Limerick and Belfast shows. We will have details of the rescheduled dates at 9pm tonight and apologies for any inconvenience caused to everyone planning to attend the gigs"

Dates were rescheduled for April and here is the band's gig in Limerick. Many thanks for fyfe79 for sharing his recording.

01. Intro tape (Waltzinblack)
02. Curfew
03. Get A Grip
04. 15 Steps
05. Bear Cage
06. Nuclear Device
07. Norfolk Coast
08. Peaches
09. Relentless
10. Don't Bring Harry
11. Golden Brown
12. Always the Sun
13. Walk On By
14. Water
15. Something Better Change
16. Duchess
17. Time Was Once On My Side
18. Just Like Nothing On Earth
19. Hanging Around
20. Freedom is Insane
21. I Feel Like a Wog
22. 5 Minutes
23. Tank
24. Go Buddy Go
25. No More Heroes

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Bilzen Festival 16th August 1980

Here is a great festival set from the band in the summer of 1980. The Belgian town of Bilzen played host to this annual event that mixed up musical genres over a three day event. The bootleg that I have indicates that The Stranglers played on 17th but the programme above and a very informative website chronicling the history of music festivals in Belgium.

For the rock festival element, the line up was rather eclectic involving a mix of UK and Belgian bands.

Urban Heroes
The Katchies
Dexy's Midnight Runners
The Shirts - Annie Golden
The Kids
The Stranglers

Here's what the site had to say of The Stranglers appearance (at least according to Google Translate and therefore tweeked by me!):

THE STRANGLERS, who replaced the Ramones, apparently decided to redeem themselves of a reputation that had deeply tainted them lately at various European festivals where their appearances were accompanied with violence.

In Bilzen, they were courteous, friendly with the public, and it is not impossible that the rumor circulating that Miles Copeland (The Police) would be their new manager, is in someway the reason.

Still, Jean-Jacques, Hugh, Dave and Jet gave a much less violent performance than the last time at the Ancienne Belgique and they let all their fans go on stage without it degenerating into a fight.

They performed a number of new songs, and they closed the festival on a slightly less bitter note, wiping out any fears they might have about their performances, but without erasing the fears that lingered about Bilzen 1981.

Bilzen Festival, Belgium

Take a look at the set. I would exchange a dozen or more full recent gigs to have witnessed those 13 songs! Anyone on here that was at the gig?

MP3 (as received):

01. Waltzinblack
02. Shah Shah A Go Go/Ice
03. Toiler On The Sea (aborted)
04. Toiler On The Sea
05. Duchess
06. Hanging Around
07. Four Horsemen
08. Meninblack
09. Down In The Sewer
10. Who Wants The World?
11. Baroque Bordello
12. Just Like Nothing On Earth
13. Tank

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Damned - An Early Gig Review Manor Hill School Finchley November 1976

Whilst sorting through some papers, I found the review below. Short and sweet from mid November '76 is must be one of the earlier live reviews of the mainstream music press. Billed as 'Punks At The High School' this gig saw The Damned play the Manor Hill School in Finchley (where Eater's Andy Blade and Brian Chevette went). The reviewer comments that 'There were more people on the stage that in the audience, but nobody cared'. I believe that some of these stage inders were Finchley Boys, who only five days before this gig had had their first encounter with The Stranglers at the Torrington.

20 From '86 (12) Xmal Deutschland Croydon Underground 21st September 1986

Here's a club gig that predates the band's support slot on the 'Dreamtour' by a few months. Many thanks to the sharer who passed on this gig to me.


01. Autumn
02. Reigen
03. Jahr um Jahr - cuts due to tape switch
04. Eisengrau
05. If Only
06. Manchmal
07. Polarlicht
08. Morning
09. Ozean
10. Matador
11. Sickle Moon
12. Augen Blick
13. Paho
14. Boomerang

The Robin Bilston 30th June 2006

Here's a boot courtesy of The Rat Zone from the 'Suite XVI' tour.

WMA (As received):

Saturday, 11 August 2018

NEW LINK - Top Rank Sheffield 19th October 1977

From the 'No More Heroes' Tour - restored links can be found here.

NEW LINK - The Nashville London 10th October 1976

One of the earliest bootlegs out there. Restored links can now be found here.

I had forgotten that an early fan of the band and someone who attended the Nashville gig (who perhaps unsurprisingly was not turned on to The Stranglers that night) had commented on the original post.

From DaiBack:

Hi thanks for sharing these :)
The early shows bring back many happy memories of when I was 17 in Cardiff, I saw the band twice in 1976 and 1977, probably in the Top Rank. The first gig was before Peaches hit the charts and the band were supporting someone, maybe "The Damned"? The second gig was well after Peaches and was full to capacity and awesome.
I remember playing Ugly at full blast in my sixth form common room one lunchtime - LOL.
Anyway, keep up the good work, I'd be interested to hear more early stuff if you get it,

and from PhilM:

Phil M1 November 2012 at 16:18
I Had bunked off school to make my way to the this gig and needless to say I got there ridiculously early. So I hung around in the Nashville before the band even arrived. When they finally did arrive to set up there gear Jean Jacques Brunel took exception to my presence and decided to pin me up against the bar. Luckily Hugh and the others dissuaded him from following through with his violent threats and I was allowed to remain until gig time. Sorry but I never became a Stranglers fan but was happy to check anyone out. The following week I saw AC/DC's first ever English gig. Again the entry fee was: free.Zero. Zilch.Happy days

Lasarte Autodrome San Sebastian 24th September 1983

Once more with Feline!



01. Intro
02. Nuclear Device
03. Toiler On The Sea
04. Ships That Pass In The Night
05. It's A Small World
06. No More Heroes
07. Who Wants The World
08. Never Say Goodbye
09. Golden Brown
10. Midnight Summer Dream
11. European Female
12. The Raven
13. Thrown Away
14. Tank
15. London Lady
16. Hanging Around

Sunday, 5 August 2018

20 From '86 (11) Le Zenith Paris 13th November 1986

The Dreamtour hits Paris.



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

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Sweet Sweet Little Ramona?

Mmmm, this is how my daughter Ramona is whiling away her big (post GCSE) summer holiday. This is a caricature of herself in fabric and clay. It now sits on the living room mantlepiece and I swear that the eyes follow you round the room. I feel like I'm in an Edgar Allan Poe novel!

Picture Disc Interview With JJ Burnel 1981

Thanks again to the Rat Zone folk over the water for this interview disc.


New Capacity - New Charges

Hi Folks,

Those that have been following and/or visiting this site over the seven years that it has been up and running will know of the trials and tribulations that the host of such a site can face. The biggest issue has been with the selection of a stable and reputable file sharing partner. I along with many others got stung when the FBI closed down Megaupload. The lost data was largely re-posted on Rapidshare but in time that site too implemented changes that intimately made the site unfit for this purpose. However, on transferring to WeTransfer I appear to have a solid and reliable file host that allows this site to operate in the way that it does.

I think that this is one of the main reasons why so many great sites have over time ceased to be active.

The really good news is that WeTransfer have now done what I have been hoping that they would do for a long time and that is to increase the storage availability on their Plus accounts. For me, this means that I now have at my disposal almost a terabyte of capacity of which approximately 18% is taken up with the files that are currently live on the site. This means that I have now a lot of additional capacity! This gives me the opportunity, finally, to reactivate all of the older dead links such that in time (and it does take time) everything that has been uploaded since July 2011 to date will be accessible.

As ever as a have reluctantly mentioned annually there are costs associated with maintaining the two WeTransfer accounts. Rather than repeat the information, please take a look at the details which can be seen in the panel on the right hand side of the site. All I will reemphasise is that this is a non-profit making site. The donations made each year have covered some but not all of the costs.

So, just to say thanks to all those who have stuck with the Aural Scultors site. Especial thanks goes to those who comment and donate, be that in the form of hard earned cash or interesting recordings to share (both tapers and collectors!).

Have a great weekend!