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.


Tuesday, 26 July 2022

Interview with Chas de Whalley Sounds 17th September 1977

 Here is a really nice piece that appeared in UK music weekly Sounds on 17th September 1977. It was written by one of the earliest, if not the earliest serious music journalist to take a positive interest in the band, Chas de Whalley. In it he gives a fantastic early insight into the dynamics of the band at the time of the recording of 'No More Heroes'.... and producer at the point that the band were rapidly becoming the biggest commercial draw on the punk/new wave scene. Something is said about the songwriting processes that were employed within Fulham's TW Studios. This was of course before Martin Rushant, 'The Fifth Strangler' famously fell out with the band over that old creative chestnut.... musical direction!

TWSTUDIOS are tucked away behind a drab shopfront off London’s Fulham Palace Road. To gain entry you have to go round the side, through a used car lot and down three crumbling steps. The building looks so ramshackle it’s difficult to tell whether it’s in a state of terminal collapse or whether it’s being shored up at the eleventh hour. 

It's a far cry from the slick recording establishments you might find in the West End. You can hear the music out in the street, but it still comes as a surprise to push open the battered white door and stumble straight onto the mixing desk. 

No lap of luxury this. There is hardly room to swing a cat in the tiny control room. And there are few chairs. The walls are painted some shade of dirty brown. The ceiling tiles are battered and broken while the air conditioner, if it's working at all, fills the square concrete cell with a hum as pervasive as the tobacco smoke in the air. 

But as a recording studio, as a place to capture those rock’n’roll vibes piping hot as and when they happen, TW and its twenty four tracks are highly regarded in London circles. Despite its lack of facilities, TW comes out top of the pile for its atmosphere and intimacy. 

Even on those terms, however, the place has its drawbacks. Like if you've been drinking too much you’ll have to step out into the cold to hang a rat. Once you're there, (up the steps over the rubble and turn right, okay?) you’ll find there's no door on the bog. And should have been foolish enough to sample some of Fulham’s awe-inspiring array of takeaway food, you'll discover there's no bog paper on the roll either. 

What a bummer! 

WHILE YOU and I spent the first week of July basking in the sun or staring longingly out of an office window, the Stranglers were locked away in this grubby little pit. Working on their second album even as their first ‘Rattus Norvegicus' crested the New Wave and their double headed single 'Peaches/Go Buddy Go’ became THE Summer Hit of Seventy Seven. For ten days the toasts of the nation might just as well have called TW home. 

But if it wasn't actually home the Stranglers were still receiving visitors. A steady flow of well-wishers. Like the dressing room of a successful football team an hour before the match. Stranglers people like Steve, Dennis and Leigh from Finchley (first the band's fans, now their personal friends, these three young guys recently promoted the Stranglers at a secret North London Youth Club benefit). Stranglers' comrades in arms like Dick and Sheds from the road crew. Representatives from the record company United Artists. 

And while the boys were at work the control room was filled with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere that was jaunty even to the point of being jovial The Stranglers know this studio inside out. They recorded everything they’ve released there and its seedy backstreet ambience suits. Perfect|y at ease, the Stranglers were working under little strain.

Unlike producer Martin Rushent, chain-smoking with a look of genuine harassment on his face.

“THATS GREAT JJ. If you really want drum spill all over the track, you're doing a really great job." 

At the mixing desk Rushent sits with a smile of playful sarcasm hiding his exasperation. On the other side of the glass Jean Jacques Burnel bounces past the amplifiers and tiptoes through the trailing leads with his face fixed in an impish grin. He thrashes at Jet Black’s kit with all the energy and skill of a three-year-old with a tin drum. 

Martin Rushent groans again in mock despair, but Jean Jacques pretends he can't hear. Secretly watching the window along his sly black fringe he crashes the cymbals with renewed vigour. Le gamin français raises titters and smiles as usual. Even the producer has difficulty supressing a snigger. 

But Dave Greenfield is not amused. He stands at his keyboards, fingers poised, headphones over his cars, ready and waiting to lay down a lil’' overdub. He shoots Rushent a look of I mild irritation as Jean Jacques bashes on. 

The bearded producer takes the hint immediately. 

"Okay. Jean. Dave's ready to do this take. If you don't cut that crap out immediately, I won’t let you go home tonight. Come back in here." 

Burnel recognises the tone of authority and obediently he lays down the sticks. But, as he appears at the console door, with the hangdog expression of a truant summoned to the headmaster's study, he looks like there's still a dodge or two up his sleeve. Dennis the Menace with a history book in the seat of his pants. 

"Oh Martin. It’s getting late, man. Recording's supposed to be fun. You're too much of a slave driver." 

"And you 're a c—. Stop giving me a hard time' eh." quips our man. 

"I don't need to take that from you." 

The room bursts into laughter. 

Rushent has this 'Look-I-could-get- I just-a-little-pissed-off-with-you-guys' rap that always begins with the line 'I don't have to take that from you’. And it’s invariably a show stopper. Jean Jacques played for that point and he won it in a game of verbal tennis the two strike up every time they meet. 

Backchat and banter, mental muscle flexing and friendly rivalry make up the twenty fifth track in any Stranglers mix and as the hours drag on, the sun shines bright outside but the tapes continue to roll down below, the jokes and the pokes serve to keep the corporate pecker up, the band cheerful and relaxed and the morale high. 

Making records, you see, isn't the most exciting thing in the world. Unless you’re personally involved, a recording session can be a remarkably tedious experience. And even if it is you that’s got your head in the bucket screaming your thoughts to the world or else lacing your vanillas with electricity, the process is hardly one big party. 

For the Stranglers, the same as any , other band, it means work. And like every other aspect of rock'n'roll it is money earned under extremely high pressure. Short bursts of high activity, real mental energy squeezed into a thirty second organ break the same way as the whole working day might be compressed into sixty minutes on a stage. The action is exhausting and the subsequent inaction sometimes deadly boring. 

Just ask Jet Black what it's like and, reaching for his rolling tobacco, he’ll tell you how he spends two thirds I of his time simply sitting about. Rolling cigarettes, opening beer cans, I drinking coffee and .. . sitting about. 

There's not that much for him to do, you see. After the basic group backing tracks have been laid down Jet has few if any overdubs to see to. 

So he sits at the back, next to the mixing desk, and chips in short and pithily but with fatherly wisdom as the Stranglers and their producer toss ideas around off tape. Otherwise he is silent for hours on end. 

So while Dave Greenfield sucks on his Sherlock Holmes pipe and rattles through books of crossword puzzles; while Hugh Cornwell talks knowledgably about cricket, discusses the virtues of Strangler schoolgirl fans or reads socialist book club paperbacks about prisons; while Jean Jacques Burnel bounces between serious conversation and comic riot, Jet Black leans back, puts his hands behind his head and closes his eyes in repose. 

You asleep Jet? 

“Nah. I'm thinking about my holiday." The bearded face breaks into a smile. "I'm going to Tenerife next week. It’s the first holiday I’ve had for years." 

In the beginning there were the Guildford Stranglers and they starved for nearly two years. Then they signed a record deal with United Artists last December and since they have been moving at a pace that would cripple most other bands. 

Their debut album ‘IV (Rattus Norvegicus)’was recorded at the TW studios in little more than a fortnight. They had little rest since, for they were out working on a gruelling schedule that culminated in the ‘Rats On The Road' tour and those two triumphant shows at the Roundhouse. Less than a week later they were back down in Fulham hard at work on the follow-up 'No More Heroes'. They seemed to be at what we music critics call a 'creative peak’. In fact where I expected to find them tired and drained after the months on tour the Stranglers were bubbling with ideas and motorvatin' with their  foot hard down on the floor. 

In seven days they cut eleven tracks for the LP.

And gave short measure to none. 

A QUICK look on the label of a Stranglers record will credit no one individual with song writing credits. The experienced ear can often pick out individual authorship (except for the man from the NME who thought Hugh Cornwell was responsible for the voice as well as the lyrics of 'Princess Of The Streets') but the songs as such are conceived by the band as a whole. Sitting in the dressing room, riding in the car, playing in the studio they pick up on phrases in conversation and marry them to a riff or a beat someone has in their heads. 

New numbers are normally rehearsed at soundchecks. But if nothing seems to be working out after twenty minutes or so, that number is dumped unceremoniously. A hard system perhaps, and one which might trample on a few egos from time to time. But it is one which makes the Stranglers an unusually cohesive and committed band. The strength of purpose carries over on to record. Few can have failed to notice the actual sound of the Stranglers. It’s full, round and rich in texture. A Fleetwood Mac fan with an expensive stereo might even grant it decktime — an honour bestowed on few New Wave bands. There is a quality about the Stranglers recorded sound that creates a vivid, almost psychedelic tension in the jagged nature of the music itself. 

Fanfares for Martin Rushent (although he would be the last to claim it was all his doing). This bearded young man with the wit of a used car salesman and a line for every occasion is United Artists 'house' producer and he learned his trade working with just about everybody from Shirley Bassey to Stretch and beyond. 

Not automatically the sort of person you'd expect to click with the Stranglers. A bit too Recordbiz at first sight. Talks of 'artistes' and 'acts' and such. Rushent admits that he found the four Stranglers a little perplexing when he first saw them. Now, though, he is open handed in his praise of the band as a whole and as individual musicians. 

The claims he makes of Hugh Cornwell's abilities as a guitarist are awe-inspiring. But then Martin ought to know. He started off playing the six string in public himself. He knows it all from a musician's point of view. Which is maybe why despite and because of the playfully insulting banter, Rushent and the four Stranglers get on. 

They were a winning combination at work on 'No More Heroes', and they knew it. 

But to imply that the songs were the Stranglers contribution and the sound purely Rushent's would be to over simplify the situation. Even falsify it. Admittedly it’s Jean Jaques Burnel's unique bass tone and that eerily unreal vocal timbre that's the key to the Stranglers' Sewertone. And it’s in Rushent's department to get it down on tape. He freely concedes that he uses the sophisticated modem studio at full stretch to earn his money. 

"But we use the equipment in unorthodox ways that would be frowned upon by whoever designed them originally. As far as I’m concerned , the idea is to recreate the vibe I get off the band at a live gig and to compensate for the fact that you can’t actually see the band playing in your front room. What tricks are used are to make the right noise. If somebody notices any of them merely as effects then I think I've failed.” 

But it's them Stranglers 'oo think it all up first. 

"We want to sound like ourselves " Jean Jacques Burnel insisted. "We don't want a Ramones sound like most of the other bands these days. We want to explore ways of getting through to you. Of grabbing your attention. We experiment, but we don’t go over the top. But even if we do it doesn't matter." 

The adventurous imagination department. The suggestions department. The ‘why not an echo on the guitar?’ department is staffed by Stranglers and Rushent respects their judgement one hundred per cent. He says they’re probably the easiest band he has ever worked with precisely because they are not afraid to speak their minds. In plain simple English or even in the vernacular. 

“That's great, you know. Because when you get down to it the sound and emotion of a record is only as good as the ingredients your artiste puts into it. All the producer does is mix the cake. So if you're working with a band that doesn’t know what they want you’re in real trouble. 

So what are the Stranglers looking for? 

"Well, it obviously differs from track to track," ponders Jet Black, always the man for a serious appraisal of anything. "But, basically, when we come into the studio we have a preconceived idea of what we want. 

"It's a certain sound we get live when we’ve got a good sound and the acoustics are right. That’s what we're looking for."

PUNK PURISTS may knock the Stranglers for those operatic productions. They might even claim the Stranglers aren't even a New Wave band at all and use that sound gushing from their speakers as evidence backing their case.

Certain critics will doubtless brand the ‘No More Heroes’ album another case of middle class angst from those sexist hedonistic and existentialist Stranglers . But this is still a democracy and idiots are allowed their opinions. The Stranglers hearts are firmlv with the new politics of rock even if they approach it from up the fire escape and criticise its back yard while supporting its façade.

Already classic Stranglers numbers like ‘Feel Like A Wog’, ‘Dagenham Dave’, ‘No More Heroes’ and ‘Peasant In The Big Shitty’ – all on the new album – are by no means songs of selfish appetite. They question the status quo as strongly as the Clash, and only ‘Something Better Change’ could be critisised as mere sloganry. They question the motives and integrity of the revolutionaries too. ‘Dead Ringer’ quite shamelessly points the finger at some of the big punk polititiona. 

But what about the X Certificate porn of ‘School Mam’ or the decadence of that brand new tune ‘Bring On The Nubiles’? Our feminist friends won’t buy those two, that’s for sure. 

The Stranglers are ready to pull the sheets off anybody – YOU even – and if that doesn’t give them New Wave credibility then the Boring Old Farts are right. The whole thing is nothing but a fashion.




Sunday, 24 July 2022

20 From '81 (8) The Police Brighton Centre 18th December 1981

 


Now this may divide opinion. Three white guys who had all been around the musical block it is fair to say jump on a bandwagon called punk and make a name for themselves. Soon to ditch the shackles of punk they carved a niche in  the British music industry with their 'Reggatta de Blanc'. The formula worked and whilst the music press were always suspicious of The Police, the public certainly took them to heart as they churned out hit after hit over their five album career. This set alone includes nine top 20 singles, four of which went to number 1!

Where did I stand on them? On record I think they are great, especially the first three albums but live from the earliest days Sting could not suppress his jazz roots and this lead to diabolical improvised versions of some of their songs on stage. Listen Sting, 'Roxanne' is a great track but no one needs a live version of it strung out for eight minutes!

This particular gig was very nearly my first. I was offered a ticket but opted to see Adam and the Ants instead, arguably the wrong choice. 

In 2007-2008, The Police embarked on a 158 date world tour (yes really that many!) and given how public the rifts were in the band, one can kind of question their motives for undertaking such a schedule.

But anyway, here they are promoting the 'Ghost In The Machine' album in December 1981.

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-oFXlRNGCL0

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-GEk1a5PIHa

01. Voices Inside My Head
02. Message In A Bottle
03. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
04. Spirits In The Material World
05. Hungry For You
06. When The World Is Running Down...
07. The Bed's Too Big Without You
08. Demolition Man
09. Walking On The Moon
10. Shadows In The Rain

01. Bring On The Night
02. One World (Not Three)
03. Invisible Sun
04. Roxanne
05. Don't Stand So Close To Me
06. Can't Stand Losing You
07. So Lonely

Penetration The Junction Bristol 16th April 2009

 


Just to mix things up a bit. This is a recording of Penetration from Bristol back in 2009. The sound is pretty good but it is audience shot... although you could argue that that only adds to the atmosphere. This is a classic Penetration set in what must have been an extremely hot club!

DVD Disc image: https://we.tl/t-oetcLoPUBM

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-984pPuRMX1



Baz Warne The Centurian Club Somersham 16th July 2022

 


Many thanks to Saz Chapman for allowing me to take the audio from her video clips and also to Jez Bottley who's recording of 'Nice 'n' Sleazy' meant that songwise this is a reflection of the full set from this most important of gigs. Many thanks to you both!

This was the near culmination of a very emotional day... tired and emotional for many, myself included. A friend's tribute in a place that Dave knew so well.

WAV: https://we.tl/t-IpTglNMOXB

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-WMGJrMwXL7

01. The Man Comes Around
02. Nice ‘N’ Sleazy
03. Golden Brown
04. Bless You (Save You, Spare You, Damn You)
05. Dutch Moon
06. Lines
07. Breathe
08. And If You Should See Dave
09. Always The Sun

'Fly Straight' A Charity Concert in Memory of Dave Greenfield The Centurion Club Somersham 16th July 2022

 

It is hard for me to get my head around the fact that it is now over two years since we grappled with the terrible news that Dave Greenfield, our maestro of the keys, had succumbed to COVID-19. He has been in my mind, if not daily, weekly ever since. Of course Dave had a funeral but like thousands of others it was limited due to COVID restrictions. Many people had been denied the opportunity of being able say goodbye until now. 

When an online announcement appeared (perhaps a little prematurely!) that a charity gig was taking place in Dave's memory, I was quick off the mark to get tickets for what was effectively Dave's wake. This was my first visit to Somersham, Dave's adopted home village. I had intended to see Dave and Baz play some years previously but as I recall work travel requirements got in the way. I bitterly regret that now.

The line up looked great, a mix of collaborators and recent tour supports. On the day, sadly Ruts DC were not with us. They had to pull out due to personal circumstances, but no matter, as disappointing as it was, today was about Dave and the gathering of friends brought together by Dave and the music of The Stranglers. 

The first band that I ventured into the hall for was Department S or more accurately their guitarist Phil Thompson. An all round nice guy, Phil also plays with The Rezillos and deps for The Vapors. As such he is steeped in that New Wave UK thing. He played a great set that took in 'Turning Japanese', Do Anything You Wanna Do', a bit of 'Psychokiller' and of course 'Is Vic There?'. A good start to the days proceedings.

My time was split between the activities on stage and the makeshift box office in the bar. This was not a problem as the box office table was commandeered by Owen, Jacquie, Nick and Elayne, so the conversation was good and the near proximity of the bar meant that the beers (and cider) flowed.

Gunta holding the box office fort.

I missed the Countess of Fife (who has a lovely hound by the way) but did see the acoustic Rezillos. In this respect the running order posted on the wall was rather misleading, suggesting as it did that the set would run to 40 minutes. In the event, the set ran to 3 songs, but that was OK, it was fun and presented Rocky with a new challenge... quieter drumming!


'I Can't Stand My Baby'

At this point the need for food intervened. The fact that I was drinking Stella Artois, a strong beer and never one that I would choose normally.... I did it all for Dave... meant that some manner of food related interlude was the best idea.

Early evening saw the worst excesses of this mad July weather abate to a degree.... or a few degrees... and we could sit outside.

Enter Baz Warne.

At 9.30 if the running order had any meaning at this point in the day.... I certainly wasn't keeping track of the time at the point that we filed in for Baz's set, we came to the most poignant part of the events of the day.

Throughout, performers had spoken fondly of Dave and their personal recollections of this remarkably talented and enigmatic musician. However, Baz's take on things was always going take things up to a higher emotional level.

Baz opened the set with a declaration that he was going to play a selection of songs that meant a lot to Dave. I was thrilled that he opened with Johnny Cash's 'The Man Comes Around', my album of the year back in 2002 when it was released. To hear a Strangler perform a non-Stranglers' song that means so much to me was wonderful. With it's visions of Armageddon it could have been a 'Gospel' era B-side! 

Photo courtesy of Saz.

The set that followed was career spanning but what came across strongly from the stage was just how supportive the quiet man on the keyboards had been of the new boy in the band. more so it seems than another band member that had significantly less Stranglering time under his belt than Dave, Jet or JJ!

The penultimate song, 'And If You Should See Dave' was clearly the most poignant point of the day. I think that the decision to close the set with 'Always the Sun' thus ending his contribution was a good call on Baz's part as it lifted the crowd after the reflective solemnity of 'Dave'. I was pleased to hear my vocals on the recording!

Dave was a part of my life for 41 years, initially from a distance of the rock star/fan but in later years rather closer. On one of the last times I spoke to him in France there were just four of us and the four members of the band drinking beer in the dressing room and I was able to talk to Dave about his early years in Brighton (my neck of the woods as well). 

So thanks Dave Greenfield for serving up the soundtrack of my life all the way from a teenager to a middle aged grump! It meant a lot!

Saturday, 23 July 2022

Paradiso Amsterdam 2nd September 1977 Record Mirror 24th September 1977

 


Take a few minutes to read Sheila Prophet's review of the band's first appearance at the legendary Paradiso venue in Amsterdam. I was intrigued at the mention of 'Dead Loss Angeles'.... 'a sort of 'Peaches' revisited, with added cynicism - a damnation of the lifestyle on America's West Coast, an area Hugh hates'.

There is no denying that Prophet is describing that song.... but in September 1977!! Was it in the soundcheck? It does not appear in the bootleg that I have of the gig that can be found here.

Friday, 22 July 2022

20 From '81 (7) 999 CFNY FM Broadcast Hamilton Toronto 27th June 1981

 


I mentioned in the last post my fondness for 'Biggest Prize In Sport' era gigs and here is a great one from Canadian radio. It features a few tracks that I don't think that we will ever hear live again.

WAV: https://we.tl/t-6cVSwNLqf6

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-QMcR7KqeBn

01. Introduction
02. Hit Me
03. Let’s Face It
04. Inside Out
05 Feelin’ Alright With The Crew
06. Hollywood
07. Boys In The Gang
08. Fun Thing
09. That’s The Way It Goes
10. English Wipeout
11. Nasty Nasty
12. Titanic (My Over Reaction)
13. My Street Stinks
14. I’m Alive
15. Boiler

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

999 A Glorious Return To The Roots Hope & Anchor Islington 14th July 2022

 

999
Hope & Anchor Islington
14th July 2022

Well, it was a long time coming but 999's 'Glorious Return To The Roots' finally took root at the weekend when the band headlined two nights at the iconic Hope & Anchor pub. Located in Islington's Upper Street, for those that don't know (and there can't be many of those in the UK at least) this Victorian edifice occupies a hallowed space within the history of the London punk scene and The Stranglers.

In the mid-1970's, a chap called Fred Grainger (he who is name checked in 'Bitching' an autobiographical track that looked back on the formative years of the band, then struggling to get bookings.... 'Why can't you all be like a Grainger man?') and Dave Robinson (who along with Jake Riviera founded the ground breaking Stiff Records label) put on rock bands in the basement. The bands in favour coalesced around the so-called 'Pub Rock' scene, a London centric marriage of several of the city's breweries and their tied pubs which created a  circuit that could keep bands active in the capital seven nights a week.

Throughout November and December 1977 the Hope hosted the 'Front Row Festival', an event that was something of a watershed for the UK music scene. It was a musical changing of the guard as the older pub rockers made way for a younger (in most cases!) breed of musician. The seminal double live album of the same name, capturing highlights of the festival gigs, features acts such as The Tyla Gang, Roogalator and The Pirates along side The Stranglers, X-Ray Spex , XTC and 999, all in the ascendant by the end of that incredible year.

The tiny basement continued to play host to a multitude of bands as their careers transitioned from the club circuit to the ballrooms of Britain.

This gig would have been quite special I think to Nick, Guy and Arturo. In the bar Guy told me that they had last played the venue in 1977. I cannot verify that but I do know that 999 received regular billing there that year. Nick's history with the venue would go back a few years still as Kilburn and the High Roads were regular visitors pre-1976.

It must evoke a strange sensation to return to a space that you last played in 40 years or more years ago. OK, so the basement has been knocked about a bit since then. The stage for one thing is at a different end of the room. But the space dictates the atmosphere and of space it can be reasonably stated that there is not a great deal of it! One positive change since the last time I was there has been the installation of air conditioning, not a small consideration in the week in which the UK recorded its highest ever temperatures!


Up first were the irrepressible Splodge. We missed most of their set as we were still in the bar discussing the merits of Radio 4 with one of their comedy writers who had travelled down from Edinburgh for the gig. Not very punk I know! We did catch 'Mongols on the Streets of London' and '2 Pints of Lager....' that closed the set.

As has been the case for many years now, 999 opened the set with 'Black Flowers For The Bride' from the sublime 'You, Us, It' album. Never seen to be standing still, next on the agenda was 'Shoot' taken from their 11th studio album 'Bish, Bash, Bosh' from 2020. From the outset and as usual the pace of the gig did not flag as one high energy favourite collided with the next. This is no meagre feat for a band with as many years of gigging as 999 have racked up. As mentioned earlier, Nick Cash's live career goes back into the early 1970's. Nick's frantic vocal is perfectly complemented by Guy's highly accomplished playing and Arturo's punching bass lines, not forgetting Stuart's solid drums. 

For me, highlights of a 999 set tend to be those tracks lifted from the two early '80's albums 'The Biggest Prize In Sport' and 'Concrete', a period when the band enjoyed some significant success (through sheer hard graft) in the US. Songs like 'Inside Out', 'Boys In The Gang' and 'Don't You Know I Need You' do it for me as much as the punk classics such as 'I'm Alive', 'Emergency' and of course 'Homicide'. An hour's reverie concluded with the first single 'I'm Alive', and what a place to declare it almost 46 years after the band formed!

Unfortunately, we were unable to attend the following night's gig due to other commitments in deepest, darkest Cambridgeshire, but I look forward to seeing 999 again in the coming months. 

Sunday, 10 July 2022

Merkur Spiel Arena Dusseldorf 24th June 2022

 


Here's one recently picked up from Dime. Many thanks to the original taper. The band take on the support slot for Germany's biggest punk band, Die Toten Hosen, in Dusseldorf. Asked whether playing to such a vast audience was intimidating Baz retorted, 'Not at all, it’s a challenge. It's great seeing those faces...trying to be indifferent and waiting for the main band to come on...feigning boredom…and gradually they start to smile and by the end you have them... They couldn't have given a fuck when we started and we got an ovation at the end... Satisfying'.

Satisfying I am sure it was. What a way to wind down a near 50 year career. I cannot say what goes through the bass players mind but I am sure there must be times that he wonders how it came full circle after the doldrums of the 1990's. 

FLAC: https://we.tl/t-OZtLsn2zAp

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-cqEVtVNkxv

01. Intro
02. Tank
03. Norfolk Coast
04. Nice 'N' Sleazy
05. Always The Sun
06. Golden Brown
07. This Song
08. Peaches
09. White Stallion
10. Relentless
11. Hanging Around
12. No More Heroes

Sunday, 3 July 2022

Europe 1 Top Live French Radio 22nd May 1995

 


This is a great one for fans of 'About Time' era Stranglers. This is a radio broadcast of the band's appearance on the major French radio station Europe 1, promoting the release of the aforementioned album. The quality of the recording is great to boot.

MP3 (as received): https://we.tl/t-eGmpMihlUF

Artwork: https://we.tl/t-I52S8lVior

01. Still Life
02. Face
03. Interview
04. All Day & All Of The Night
05. DJ
06. Always The Sun
07. Sinister
08. Interview
09. Lies & Deception
10. Golden Boy