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 adrianandrews1@sky.com.


Sunday, 17 April 2022

20 From '81 (2) The Clash Jaap Edenhal Amsterdam 10th May 1981

 


Well I mentioned The Clash so I may as well add them into this theme. This is an excellent remastering of a radio show that was rebroadcast in 2008. Many thanks to the original Dime uploader and to the person responsible for the remaster (see file notes for details). 'Sandinista!' had been released at the end of 1980 and The Clash took it on tour the following year. This is one of those shows. Say what you will of 'Sandinista!' and many do, but there is something brave about a 'punk' band going so against the grain and releasing a triple album. The Clash should be applauded for experimenting with the presentation of their music even if conceding that the album probably runs to two sides too many. The album does have some amazing tracks... 'Somebody Got Murdered' and 'Rebel Waltz' are two of my favourite songs by the band.

Anyway, it is what it is.... make your own mind up.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-qag3R3jp5b

Artwork (Sleeve and CD format): https://we.tl/t-Uui3JFFp6n

01. London Calling
02. The Leader
03. Somebody Got Murdered
04. White Man in Hammersmith Palais
05. The Guns of Brixton
06. Lightning Strikes (Not Once But Twice)
07. Ivan Meets G.I. Joe
08. This Is Radio Clash
09. Charlie Don't Surf
10. The Magnificent Seven
11. Bankrobber
12. Train in Vain
13. Career Opportunities
14. Clampdown
15. One More Time
16. I Fought the Law

Saturday, 16 April 2022

20 From '81 (1) The Jam The Ritz New York 26th May 1981

 


Kicking proceedings of then in a revisit to 1981 are The Jam with a full set radio broadcast of their gig at the Ritz in New York on 26th May 1981. At this time Weller & Co were at the top of their game being one of the biggest bands in the UK, perhaps The Police could have pipped them to that particular accolade but not by far. In the UK music press Paul Weller was viewed as musician/politician rolled into one.... A Minister of Yoof you could say. Sting never acquired that status. The Police on the other hand conquered the world which was something The Jam never achieved. Weller alludes to the problem in this recording in the introduction to 'Strange Town'..... 'Right, this is our bid for US success... this one's called 'Strange Zipcode'. Perhaps it was the accent, perhaps the fact that Selsey Bill or Bracklesham Bay were just too far removed from Time's Square or Sunset Strip. It seems that to break America you have to play by their rules and the music has to be palatable to US taste. The Police and certainly The Clash understood this, but Paul Weller refused to join in with that game. It's not that The Jam avoided American culture, they were very adept an making great American soul tunes their own but a gritty Britishness pervaded all of their albums and they were a better band for that.

So, with all that in mind, take a listen to this 'Sound Affects' period recording.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-ryv9G32vpv

Artwork: In download file.

01. But I'm Different Now
02. Boy About Town 
03. To Be Someone 
04. Monday 
05. Man In The Corner Shop 
06. Funeral Pyre 
07. Pretty Green 
08. Private Hell 
09. The Butterfly Collector 
10. Set The House Ablaze 
11. David Watts 
12. Scrape Away 
13. Start 
14. Dreams Of Children (cut at end) 
15. When You're Young (cut at start) 
16. Little Boy Soldiers 
17. The Modern World 
18. Strange Town 
19. Heatwave 
20. Eton Rifles 
21. 'A' Bomb In Wardour Street 

Government leaving the youth on the shelf...... 1981

 In March 1981 I turned 12. This of course meant that when it comes to the band's that I have loved for 40 years now, my initial appreciation came from afar, or at least not from the front of the stage. Exposure was limited to Top of The Pops, Smash Hits and of course much discussion/argument in the classroom.

I have mentioned before that musical appreciation in the early '80's was a tribal affair. Even in the small school that I attended that tribalism was was fully reflected. 1981 saw the tail end of the 2 Tone scene, although the finest moment of The Specials did not occur until July of that year. Punk still had a relevance..... The Jam, The Clash, The Damned and of course The Stranglers were still going concerns, in addition to that a new wave of punk in the form of UK '82 was emerging, for naughty schoolboys one local band going by the name of the Anti-Nowhere League was to become essential, if not secretive listening. Those not scanning the pages of the aforementioned 'Smash Hits' (the weekly music press did not feature in my life for a couple of years yet) were absorbing information gleaned from the pages of 'Kerrang'.  UK '82 had a hairy counterpart in the form of NWOBHM or the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that gave the world the likes of Iron Maiden, Saxon and the Tygers of Pan Tan. 

Away from the clashing guitars, the electronic bands were enjoying their first flush of success, Depeche Mode, Soft Cell, OMD and the like. Then there was Gary Numan... the first path that I went down. All things considered, my education in popular music was something of a melting pot. By way of example I can recall borrowing and taping (we didn't pay any heed to the 'Home taping is killing music' message! There was too much music and too little cash for us to worry about that) 'Dare' by the Human League, AC/DC's 'For Those About To Rock', the Pistols' 'Anarchy in the UK' 12", 'My Generation' by The Who and 'Dirk Wears White Sox' by the Ants... all within a week's period.

That musical mix was also the soundtrack to a very turbulent and dark year. Peter Sutcliffe's reign of terror was ended with his arrest in January. In the Spring, grey foreboding 'H block' prisons featured on our televisions nightly as Bobby Sands MP and IRA member died whilst on hunger strike triggering riots in many nationalist areas of Northern Ireland.

HM Prison Maze in Belfast showing the 'H Blocks'

Trouble followed trouble as policing methods in black communities resulted in explosive riots in London, Liverpool, Bristol, Leeds and Manchester. As mentioned earlier 'Ghost Town' by The Specials, a mournful response to the urban decay of Britain's former centres of industry, resided at number 1 in the UK singles chart as inner city areas of Liverpool and Manchester burned. Joe Strummer could only have dreamed of such a scenario.

Brixton, London April 1981

Away from the troubled streets, the 'Royal Wedding of the Century' saw Charles, the 32 year old heir to the throne, marry Diana Spencer, an aristocratic girl just weeks out of her teens when they married in July. That didn't end well either.

So, yes it was a miserable year but the music was great. 

What will follow in the coming weeks in another in the '20 From' series which will put a spot light on... yeah you guessed it, 1981!

Friday, 15 April 2022

Transbordeur Lyon 2nd December 2021

 

Here is another brilliant recording from the recently concluded tour, this time from The Transbordeur club in Lyon, the 3rd night of the European tour that contracted to become a French tour! Thanks to Chatts and DomP for their sterling efforts once again.

CD artwork has a split between 'La Folie' and 'White Stallion'.

N.B. Artwork splits 'Lines' and 'Go Buddy Go' whereas they are not separated in the WAV file.

WAV: https://we.tl/t-5yoJ2E1jmB

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-kS6lM139LA

01. Intro-Toiler On The Sea
02. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
03. I’ve Been Wild
04. Nice ‘N’ Sleazy
05. This Song
06. 5 Minutes
07. Always The Sun
08. Golden Brown
09. Midnight Summer Dream - European Female
10. La Folie
11. White Stallion
12. Walk On By
13. Relentless
14. Peaches
15. Water
16. Nuclear Device
17. Duchess
18. Hanging Around
19. Last Men On The Moon
20. Encore-Lines
21. Go Buddy Go
22. Tank
23. No More Heroes

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

O2 Academy Brixton London 4th February 2022

 


Back on home turf for this gig, the first of two at the glorious Brixton Academy. Once again this was a team effort of recording, remastering and packaging. Thanks to all involved. The set saw a few changes from that played in France, most notably the poignant in the extreme, 'And If You Should See Dave'...



01. Intro-Toiler On The Sea
02. Something Better Change
03. Sometimes
04. Water
05. Skin Deep
06. This Song
07. Nice ‘N’ Sleazy
08. Don’t Bring Harry
09. Strange Little Girl
10. Always The Sun
11. Peaches
12. Golden Brown
13. Last Men On The Moon
14. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
15. Curfew
16. White Stallion
17. Relentless
18. Nuclear Device
19. Walk On By
20. Straighten Out
21. Duchess
22. Hanging Around
23. Encore-Lines
24. And If You Should See Dave
25. Encore-Tank
26. No More Heroes



Tuesday, 5 April 2022

Adam & The Antz The Roundhouse London 14th May 1978

 







Yesterday the worldwide punk community were shocked at the passing of Pamela Rooke a.k.a. Jordon Mooney but best known of all just 'plain' Jordan. As iconic and as identifiable with British punk of the 1976 vintage as Johnny Rotten himself Jordan was something else! Her reputation went before her, young visitors to 'Sex' on the Kings Road would by all accounts tremble on the threshold at the idea of encountering this way out there assistant Jordan. Her appearance was extraordinary even by the standards of the first adherents of the London punk scene. No one touched her when it came to her insistence on the right to self-expression, perhaps Siouxsie and Soo Catwoman came close but they were for sure either side of Jordan on that particular podium. 

Promo poster for Derek Jarman's 'Jubilee' (1978)

I remember watching a programme with my Dad, quite possibly The Old Grey Whistle Test when Blondie were playing. This would have been 1977 I think  and Debbie had the ripped fishnet tights etc on. He said to me, 'Adrian, God forbid that you ever bring a girl home like that' (....as if!). What he would have made of Jordon in her finest finery I cannot guess, but I don't suppose that she ever crossed his conscious mind (neither did punk in general... although in 1976 he would have been only 38!). He bizarrely fancied Princess Anne in the 1970's and would try to tell me and my Mum that she was a good-looking woman!

As outlandish as Jordan's style was it had, well... style. As a dress-maker herself, something that drew her to Vivienne and Malcolm in the first place, she had an eye for what went well together, be it in latex or cheesecloth. 

Punk face became punk manager and punk 'singer' when she became involved with Adam & The Ants. This is a recording of the band from the Roundhouse in May 1978 that features Jordon on vocals for the band's assassination song Lou Reed entitled... 'Lou'.

In recent years, Jordan the long term veterinary nurse in her home town of Seaford, reacquainted her with her punk past attending gigs in Brighton and in the wider the Sussex area as well as participating in high profile punk events in London. I never got to meet her but many friends did and all described her as a charming, intelligent and witty woman willing to share her unique insider's view on Year Zero and her key role in the punk wars. 

I have to say that I was rather dismayed upon first seeing social media messages that she had died that my regular updating of the BBC new webpage did not reveal the sad truth. In fact 36 hours later and there is still no mention of her passing on the BBC (although I think that 6 Music covered it). But still, are the Pistols and all those associated with those foul mouthed yobs still so reviled by the Corporation  that 46 years on the female face of punk does not deserve an obituary? I am sure that there could have been room for both Dot Cotton and Jordan!

Jordan
1955 - 2022


Monday, 4 April 2022

The Damned Town & Country Club London 1st July 1986

 


Here's one that I forgot that I had, put together many years ago. Back in the summer of '86, the band played two gigs in North London's Finsbury Park, the '10th Anniversary Tea Party'. However, earlier in the month they played another anniversary gig at the T&C in Kentish Town. The gig was filmed and an an edited version (presented here as audio) was broadcast on Whistle Test on the BBC. Around the same time another edited version, largely with different tracks was broadcast on BBC Radio. In combination the two broadcasts make for a good quality record of the night (or at least part of it!). With the duplicated 'Love Song' this represents more than half of the set played on the night. But what a set.... great to hear that material from 'Phantasmagoria' along with the mighty 'The Limit Club' for Malcolm. 'Anything' gets a first airing, a song so new that Dave Vanian has the lyrics on a crib sheet!

WAV: https://we.tl/t-2bipTt7pXD

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-VBS1ozhOZQ



Krakatoa Bordeaux 6th December 2021

 


It pains me a tad to put this up, this being one of the two French gigs that I had lined up until the omichron variant reared its little bastard spikey head and made travel impractical once again. Nevertheless, I am very glad to have it as I think that it is one of the best recordings that Chatts has achieved and I thank him for it. Dom also sprinkled some audio fairy dust over it and what you have is an extremely good document of the European leg of the last full tour. Okay, 'And If You See Dave' was yet to make an appearance (that emotional roller coaster was held in reserve for the fans back home), but there is 'La Folie' in there and I am never gonna complain about that being in a Stranglers set! Enjoy this gem from Bordeaux!

If you wanna split it the artwork reflects CD 2 starting with 'White Stallion'.

FLAC (16 bit): https://we.tl/t-i5CvfuXogT

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-FLLQ2UnL6M