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

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Dark Matters Coming Our Way


Well, what to say? New material, a good thing for sure... then again always a rather apprehensive time for the fan of a band that have enjoyed a long tradition of challenging the expectations of critics alike.

Thus far we have been offered 'And If You Should See Dave…' which has done very well I believe thus far in Spotify's Rock Chart (for whatever that means). It is indeed a heartfelt track that penetrates deeply in to the near 45 year relationship between Dave and JJ. That in itself puts the song above reproach from an emotional perspective. From a musical perspective, it is my understanding that Dave's keys feature on 8 of the 11 tracks that make up 'Dark Matters' but it is entirely fitting that our first taste of the new material puts the absence of Dave Greenfield's contribution to 'that Stranglers sound' starkly in the spotlight. Use of the tubular bells offers a contrast to guitar and bass in the obvious absence of those keyboard sections and they fit very well. In my personal opinion, lyrically the sentiment is delivered a little clumsily with the line 'It would be nice to say hello, This is where your solo would go'. I have of course read the comments posted about the song and fully appreciate that it is loved by many and so it should be. Also in conversation with friends, this is the 'lump in the throat' lyrical highlight of the track.... nobody is right, nobody is wrong. So before readers climb the nearest hill to erect a gallows for my pudgy lockdown beer neck.... I am a fan through and through but also one who winces somewhat at obvious rhyming couplets... I hope that you can find forgiveness in your hearts.

For those people who regularly attend gigs, approximately half of the material will be familiar, 'Water', 'This Song', 'Payday' and 'The Last Men On The Moon' as well as the now released 'Dave'. I am sure that the remaining new tracks will represent a fitting swan song for the most important band of our lives.

1 comment:


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