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, 26 June 2022

Hit Kwiss German TV Appearances December 1977 and March 1978 (Broadcast)


I searched the site to see whether I had shared this in the past and I cannot see that I have. If that is the case, that is mad as this was a recent discovery of early TV footage that I had not seen in my 41 years of following the band. The footage was sent to me by some star about three years ago.

According to the IMDb web site, 'Hit Kwiss' was a short lived West German TV series. Broadcast between 1976 and 1978, the programme was a game show, music mix.

From the information that was provided at the time, the 'No More Heroes' footage was broadcast on 3rd December 1977 whilst the 'Grip' footage was only broadcast on 11th March 1978. However, clearly the footage was recorded on the same day..... same clothes (black string shirt, Trotsky shirt) and same hired instruments.

Clearly the band are on good form and good terms, confident that they are riding the crest of the new wave.

Captions welcome on this one!

Previously some inferior footage was available on Youtube for one of the songs, but this is top drawer. I wonder how may of these 'lost' appearances there are yet to discover.

I hope that you enjoy this as much as I did!

01. No More Heroes
02. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)

Siouxsie & The Banshees Royal Albert Hall London 20th September 1988


Here's a great FM radio broadcast (presumably from BBC Radio 1's 'In Concert' series) of the Banshees playing at London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall on their 1988 'Peek-A-Boo' tour.

The annoying thing about this gig is that Gunta (then girlfriend) offered me a ticket and for some reason I turned it down. At the time the company that she worked for had a box at RAH for hospitality purposes and every so often (i.e. when everyone else in the office had declined a ticket for a given concert), tickets would be offered to Gunta. She went and thoroughly enjoyed it. It wasn't until several years later that I got to see the Banshees.

Great sound on this one.



01. The Last Beat Of My Heart
02. The Killing Jar
03. Skin
04. Cities In Dust
05. Rawhead And Bloodybones
06. Peek-A-Boo
07. Spellbound
08. Hong Kong Garden

20 From '81 (6) Stiff Little Fingers and U2 Queen's University Belfast 22nd and 23rd January 1981


Returning now to the 1981 thread, this time with a video. As I remember this little gem was broadcast a couple of years ago as part of a St Patrick's Night celebration of Irish music. With a bit of searching on the internet it is possible to flesh these gigs out a bit as the actual recording gives no clues about these gigs other than the year they took place and they occurred somewhere in Belfast.

At the time Stiff Little Fingers were about to enter the studio to record their third album, 'Go For It', whilst U2 were on the third let of an extensive promotional tour of their 1980 offering 'Boy'. On two consecutive nights in January, the BBC took their cameras into the dingy confines of The McMordie Hall, the Queen's University Belfast's Student Union venue. SLF played on the 22nd and U2 the following night on 23rd. 

On the theme of music as the great leveler, the BBC's preamble to the footage very briefly stated that it was music and music alone that could bridge the gap in the lives of the Protestant and Catholic youth in Belfast.

I would have loved to have seen SLF at this point, unfortunately I had another six years to wait until the opportunity came my way. U2, to be honest, I would not be so bothered about, St Bono of Vox aside, as a band they have never interested me. In terms of their material I have just 'Under A Blood Red Sky (well didn't everyone) and an unwanted album on an old iPhone!!

This is great footage though... I wonder if the full shows are lying moldering in a BBC Northern Ireland vault?

DVD disc image:

Artwork sleeve:

SLF at The McMordie Hall, Queen's University Belfast 22nd January 1981

01. Gotta Gettaway - SLF
02. The Ocean/11 O'clock Tick Tock – U2
03. Johnny Was - SLF
04. The Electric Co. – U2
05. Alternative Ulster - SLF
06. Suspect Device - SLF
07. Out Of Control – U2

U2 at The McMordie Hall, Queen's University Belfast 23rd January 1981

Friday, 17 June 2022

Stone Valley Festival South Great Amwell Hertfordshire 3rd June 2022


Photo: Gerred Gilronan

And following on from Peter Hook here is the main attraction on day 2 of Stone Valley Festival South.

A solid performance with a headline length festival set. Many thanks to Chatts and once again to Gerred (07764580332) for permission to use his shot for the artwork.

01. Intro - Toiler On The Sea
02. Something Better Change
03. Water
04. Nice 'N' Sleazy
05. Skin Deep
06. This Song
07. Strange Little Girl
08. Always The Sun
09. Peaches
10. Golden Brown
11. White Stallion
12. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
13. Relentless
14. Nuclear Device
15. Walk On By
16. Straighten Out
17. Hanging Around
18. No More Heroes

Peter Hook And The Light Stone Valley Festival South Great Amwell Hertfordshire 3rd June 2022


Photo: Gerred Gilronan

It was an eclectic line up for day 2 of the Stone Valley Festival South hosted in deepest, darkest Hertfordshire. To the casual observer all indicators (available merchandise on offer in the stalls that skirted the arena and the pre-kick off sounds emanating from the PA amongst other clues) suggested that this was a mod come Northern Soul festival. There were for sure a plethora of chaps of a 55-65 vintage sporting barnets a la The Modfather.... complete with the 'Weller-wing' side burns! Indeed, much of the music scheduled for the day was entirely in keeping with the modish genre.

On early doors, and perhaps rather too low down the pecking order, were the fabulous Small Fakers who did the Small Faces proud and make no mistake..aaah! To step on a public stage to play the songs of such a musically brilliant band is brave. To go on that same stage to emulate a pint sized foghorn with the talent of Steve Marriott if nothing short of heroic! Stone Foundation added a Style Council element to the afternoon's proceedings whilst Geno Washington, a highlight of the day, belted out a string of soul floor fillers. Nevertheless, The Rezillos got in on the act as the evening took a definitive swing towards the New Wave with Peter Hook doing the prep work for headliners the Stranglers. 

Of all of the bands appearing on the day, it was Hooky that I was most exited to see. To date he had bypassed me . I was never particularly big on New Order and Joy Division were particularly late in coming to my attention. Mates of mine loved them... I saw 'The Light' only after watching the Ian Curtis biopic 'Control'. 

Now in a Hertfordshire field, complete with authentic cow shit, Peter Hook was once again supporting The Stranglers, a billing that last occurred at The Rainbow in April 1980, a mere 42 years ago!

It was a shame that they played a parred down festival set, but that is how these things are.... variety and all that. To say that he played Joy Division's hits would be something of a misnomer given that no such hits existed until the success of the posthumous 'Love Will Tear Us Apart Again'. Nevertheless, with the inclusion of 'Disorder', 'Transmission' and 'She's Lost Control' most of their most 'recognisable' material was present and correct. Thrown into this mix was a handful of genuine hits from New Order that made for a most enjoyable hour, before Hooky announced that it was past his bedtime.

The set was recorded and turned out pretty well despite the best efforts of a bit of a cross wind... a festival hazard always. 

Backstage Hooky was pictured with JJ Burnel.... a genuine teacher and pupil moment so many years down the line.

Hooky and Burnel 'hook up' backstage at SVF South
3rd June 2022.

Thanks to Chatts for the recording and Gerred Gilronan (07764580332) for kind permission to use a fabulous photo of his from the day for the artwork. Cheers both!


Artwork sleeve:

01. Intro - Digital
02. She's Lost Control
03. Shadowplay
04. Transmission
05. Ceremony
06. Blue Monday
07. Regret
08. True Faith
09. Crystal
10. Temptation
11. Love Will Tear Us Apart

Sunday, 12 June 2022

Rockstore Montpellier 3rd December 2021


Here's another from last year's French tour courtesy of Chatts with a bit of ooomph added by DomP with artwork by MeAnIe and myself. Cheers all!



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 (Issues-Aborted)-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

Friday, 3 June 2022

20 From '81 (5) The Fall Queen Mary College London 5th February 1981


Mark E Smith! I am ashamed to say that in their long incarnation I never took the time to figure out what the fall were all about. My knowledge of their music was extremely limited. 'Psychomafia' and 'Industrial Estate' I had seen on a Tony Wilson 10th anniversary of punk TV compilation and I had the singles of two covers that the band did, 'There's a Ghost in my House' and 'Victoria'.... that was the extent of it. I saw them too at the Reading Festival in 1987, albeit briefly, and in truth it may have been Brix Smith rather than The Fall themselves that was the draw on that occasion.

When he died, several friends were devastated that this hard living musician had left the bar so to speak. With our daughter now living in Central Manchester, on one Saturday afternoon she took her folks into one of Mark's locals, where, sitting in the back room with a pint I could honestly believe that we had been transported back to the 1950's were it not for the sounds of The Fall being pumped out of the bar's speakers at considerable volume. The moment was quite profound for me as someone who had previously only visited the Manchester once in 2008 but who was now becoming a more frequent visitor and who was rapidly falling in love with the city. Over the past couple of years, to my appreciation of Manchester's impressive punk credentials, I have added it's stunning red brick architecture that crowed about the town's place within Empire, its pubs and its people. So I have started listening to The Fall.... and there is a hell of a lot of it to get through.

Here's a good quality recording from early '81.



01. Your Heart Out
02. Totally Wired
03. Leave The Capitol
04. An Older Lover
05. New Face In Hell
06. Middle Mass
07. C'n'C-s Mithering
08. Crap Rap #19
09. Fiery Jack
10. Jawbone And The Air-Rifle
11. Slates, Slags, Etc.
12. Fit And Working Again
13. Prole Art Threat
14. Impression Of J. Temperance
15. Container Drivers