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 November 2023

Geordie Walker 1958 - 2023


More bad news pouring in on social media this evening. Geordie Walker, originator of the grinding guitar that made Killing Joke sound like a band without equal has died at the age of 64. 

This site, in its usual, rather insignificant way will mark this huge loss to the punk community in the coming days. 

Saturday 25 November 2023

999 Musiktheater Piano Dortmund 11th November 2023

Thanks as ever to my friend Peter for sharing this recent gig that 999 played in Dortmund recently. A great solid set as always from one of the most important band's in my world! They seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves right now. Stuart posted that as of 19th November the band had clocked up 38 gigs in the year... fair play to a work rate like that from a band that mark their 48th anniversary next month. 

We were hoping to make it over to Germany for this one. We haven't been to the area since Gunta's aunt died in Dusseldorf some years ago and we have yet to see 999 abroad. However, she has just embarked on a degree course and is having to study for the first time in 40 years, so leisure time is a little restricted for now! Sadly, Ruts DC in Dusseldorf went the same way this year too. Next year we will do better!




Stranglers bassist JJ Burnel on how he stays fit: ‘No sex or drugs – just rock n roll’ Daily Telegraph Interview (19th November 2023 - The Telegraph)

 Couldn't bring myself to purchase The Telegraph, but for anyone who missed it here's Liz Kershaw's interview with JJ from 19th November 2023.

You know you’re getting on a bit when your pop idols become pensionable – and that’s if they’re lucky. In recent years, so many of mine have sadly slipped off all too soon to that great gig in the sky. Others have simply slipped on stage. Bruce Springsteen, 74, took a tumble during at least two gigs on his recent 50th anniversary world tour and had to cancel a few nights because of a mystery illness. Earlier this year Madonna, 65, (who also famously had a fall at the 2015 Brit Awards) was hospitalised due to a bacterial infection and had to postpone her 40th anniversary tour. Mick Jagger, 80, meanwhile, takes a preventative approach and travels with a mobile gym and a physiotherapist. 

Clearly it’s a perilous business being an ageing rock star. So what does it take to ensure you’re stage-ready at 9pm when your peers are settled on a sofa with a cup of tea? Bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel is now the last man standing from the Stranglers’ original line-up. 

Next year, at 72, he’ll notch up half a century as the driving force of one of our most innovative and enduring British bands. He lives with his partner in Provence, in his French parents’ old house, but was recently in the UK for the launch of his autobiography, Strangler in the Light, and to rehearse for the band’s Golden Anniversary tour, on which he’ll once again be thrashing his bass, karate-kicking at the crowd and ripping off his soaking shirts to get his pecs out. Fifty years on, Stranglers’ gigs are still mostly sold out – and an energetic business. So how does Burnel stay so fit?

“Touring is exhausting. You have to keep in good shape. It’s all down to respect for the people who’ve paid good money to see us. How many bands are still going strong after 50 years and can sell out the Royal Albert Hall in seconds? I used to be a punk and, as an angry young man, I was very anti-authoritarian and always getting into punch-ups. But this tour won’t be Last Night of the Punks. These days I’m much more disciplined. And I’m not ready to retire yet!

I’m a seventh dan in karate – [one of] the highest rated in the UK – so I’ve always worked really hard on keeping myself fit. I’m always busy with band stuff but I never miss exercising, indoors or out. My “religion” dictates that I do at least one training session every day. I do up to 100 press-ups and sit-ups and work on kicks and exercises to work the different muscle groups – whether I’m in a hotel room or at home, where I also do cold-water swimming in my pool or a nearby lake. Or I walk a mountain trail. But I don’t run because it’s bad for the joints.

The best exercise is to be on my feet on stage. Moving about on stage stops my backache for a couple of hours. I try to give it my all and I lose about two litres [3½ pints] of fluids during a gig – by the end I’m completely drained. 

These gigs will be more than three hours long, and mainly in seated venues, with an interval… or rather a comfort break – a lot of our fans have been with us since 1974. 

All the playing and travelling is gruelling and it’s so easy to let yourself go. So as well as making time for exercise, I insist on eating healthily: mostly protein and greens. I always eat breakfast – usually eggs, sometimes with bacon and brown sauce, but no bread and always fresh coffee. I’ll have a salad for lunch and in the evenings, at home, I like to cook fish, lobster, meat and veg. I’m partial to truffle oil and a dollop of crème fraîche. On tour we have a couple of cooks with us. If I do have to grab any junk food I’m filled with self-loathing!

Being French I like a small glass of rose with my lunch, home or away. But there’s no other booze before the gig. The band do enjoy a well-deserved drink while we chat through our post-match analysis. If we’ve had a really good night we might pop a bottle of champagne and then a couple of bottles of red. But nobody needs a hangover, just plenty of sleep. I’ll usually get to bed by 1am wherever I am and fall asleep to Debussy. And I don’t get up until 11 unless I have to be up and on the road early. I know it doesn’t sound very “sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll” from the guy who was NME’s Stud of The Year in 1977! But still, I hope I’m not your standard septuagenarian.

I was only 21 when I met the other guys from the band. I’d just dropped out of uni when I picked up a hitchhiker near Guildford one night and met his mates, and next thing I was invited to replace him in their band. We all lived hand to mouth above the off licence owned by our drummer, Jet Black. By 1976 we were getting 200 gigs a year in pubs. Jet would collect our 25-quid fee and then treat us to Kentucky Fried Chicken, which I loved back then – though I wouldn’t touch it now. 

I had no fat on me but I wasn’t scraggy. I was a little kid in London in the hungry 1950s, when food was still rationed. But my dad was tall and muscular, from Viking stock, and my mum was tall and beautiful, so I had good genes. So I was already over 6ft at my all-boys grammar school. I played rugby and as I was always getting into fights I’d taken up boxing, so I already had muscles when I discovered a karate club at uni.

As a student I had no idea how to talk to girls. Six years later, when the Stranglers were on stage there for the first time, I was an absolute babe-magnet! There’d be girls queueing up outside my hotel room door. And then top models are all over you and you’re invited to fashion shows and Grace Jones jumps out of a cake for you at a party and famous rock stars’ wives are blatantly chatting you up… It all got so weird. How did I cope? I was like a kid in a candy shop – I just went for it! I’m told I’m still cute, but actually I’m not that bothered about sex anymore. Lower testosterone – it’s a fact of later life.

On this tour we’ll be playing songs from our catalogue of around 200 from 18 albums. We’re playing some of the more obscure ones live for the first time. Back in the day we were trying to be clever and they’re quite complex arrangements and hard to play now. I’m having to get my head – and fingers – round all the notes and regain muscle memory. To be honest, we were off our heads on mind-altering drugs back when we wrote them.

For one whole year, me and some of the other guys decided to take heroin to see if it inspired us creatively. We’d inhale lines of heroin (for a high) mixed with coke (for energy). It did produce a different kind of album! But I was going to bed at dawn and sleeping all day. I was 30 and in a pathetic physical state. As thin as anything, just skin and bones. Dave [Greenfield], our keyboard player, took charge. I went cold turkey, which was grim, and after two or three days I vowed I’d never touch the stuff again. 

What saved me was that I never injected anything. That and karate, which has helped me hold back – though getting injured goes with the territory. I’ve torn cartilage, muscles and tendons, broken bones and had two screws in my leg and done a whole Stranglers tour on crutches. But karate has kept me on an even keel and, as well as keeping me physically fit, it’s a much-needed coping mechanism. A way of life. A philosophy. “Never give up. Persevere. Remain faithful. Respect yourself and others.” I now share this with the students at my Shidokan karate school in London, which I set up more than 30 years ago.

Emotionally, the last six decades have been a real rollercoaster and at times I have struggled with my mental health. At my lowest point I tried to top myself. Our fifth album, [The Gospel According to the] Meninblack, came out in 1981 and went straight to number eight in the charts, but the next week it had disappeared. We were skint. I thought it was all over, so I took myself off to my garage… Luckily I really was a failure! 

Hugh Cornwell, our singer, called me after a gig in 1990 and said he was leaving us. All the band’s assets were then frozen. I had no money. I had to sell my motorcycles to feed my kids. The highs have been getting my pride and the band back on track.

The Stranglers have never been seen as soppy, because we’ve never written love songs. But on our last album, Dark Matters, in 2021, two songs are about love. One [And if You Should See Dave…] for my friend of 45 years, Dave Greenfield, who we lost to Covid. Plus The Lines is about still being able to love yourself when you look in the mirror and have to face up to ageing.

Some of my peers are having Botox and dying their hair. I think they look ridiculous. I just accept the wrinkles and white hairs – as well as a bad back, detached retinas and hearing loss. I’ve yet to write a song about incontinence! 

One thing that I’ve learnt over the years is that you can’t go on stage wasted. If I am tired one morning, that’s a pain, but if it gets so that I wake up every morning knackered, then I’ll think about packing it in. But I have to be doing something. I can’t bear lying around on beaches. I’d still be revving up my motorcycle or hiking with my dog in the mountains. And jamming in a local blues band with a founder member of the Yard Birds. Oh, and enjoying the Telegraph crossword every Saturday! And my little grandkids, aged two and three, who are the real stars now. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m a big softy really.”

Sunday 19 November 2023

The Damned Hammersmith Odeon London 11th October 1982


To mark Rat's return to the Damned fold and thus reuniting my personal classic line up of the band here they are on the wonderful 'Strawberries' tour. This is a great sounding show from Hammersmith Odeon. Many thanks to the original uploader.

Sunday 12 November 2023

Jean Jacques Burnel 'Strangler In The Light'


First and foremost, well done to Coarsegood books for producing such a well presented book. Being something of a bookish type I do appreciate good presentation and this publication has that in abundance. But as they say, 'You can't judge a book by its cover'. Indeed not and this was an initial concern of mine. A long career in the rock 'n' roll business can play havoc with one's powers of recall, something to do with all of the late nights I think! I'll be honest here in that I feared that Mr B's memories of critical creative times for the band i.e. around the time of 'The Raven' and 'Gospel' albums would be somewhat hazy on account of those late nights, but happily this was not so.

I like the fact that the book is structured in terms of themes rather than having a chronological presentation, this breaks up what is ultimately a very well known story for a great many readers. Early in the book, JJ elaborates on his sense of being different. It cannot have have been easy growing up with French heritage 10 years or so after the Second World War. My family have first hand experience of this. My wife is half German and half Latvian. Born in '65 and raised in Coventry, 25 years after Goebbels boasted of the city being 'Coventrated'. The fact that my in-laws dressed her up in a Heidi outfit didn't really help matters. Roll the calendar forward some 30 years and we find ourselves sitting in the Junior School headmasters office as he apologised for the nazi taunts that our kids had been subjected to in the playground. Kids are very cruel, so just like the narrator in Johnny Cash's 'A Boy Named Sue', our JJ had to learn to give it out.

'And he said, "Son, this world is rough
And if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough
I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along
So I give you that name, and I said goodbye
And I knew you'd have to get tough or die
It's that name that helped to make you strong"'

And it seems that there were parallels with Mr Burnel Snr and Sue's old man.... both were good in a fight as indeed was Grand-père Burnel too! Forget the Biffa Bacon family of Newcastle, enter the Biffa Burnels of Normandy!

Some chapters filled in gaps in my knowledge, for example a more detailed exploration of JJ's life long commitment to martial arts and the strength (mental) and discipline it has given him over the last five decades. For the bikers out there he spends time on his passion for motorbikes, no so interesting for me, unsteady as I am on a push bike. However, his involvement with Shidokan and bikes are two elements that alongside music maketh the man, so the detail needs to be in there.

What I did particularly enjoy were the conversations covering his like in music outside of The Stranglers. From 'Euroman Cometh' through to the Gankutsuou soundtrack material, there is a diversity there that shows that creatively, he is much more than a hooligan bass player! A particular favourite of mine is 'Un Jour Partfait', which perhaps I have Hugh and his waning interest in the 'other' band to thank for as JJ had to seek other creative avenues for his musical creativity. Interesting that this French only release was not well received in the Mother country. Also of interest is the time he spent supporting, promoting and producing young European bands, Taxi Girl and Polyphonic Size in particular (see the previous post where Taxi Girl's 'Seppuku' demos are shared).

Perhaps one area that has not been the subject of quite so much Stranglers' lore concerns the relationships and dynamics of the band over its near 50 year existence. This part of the book is saved for the last chapter entitled 'Membership'. Obviously, Hugh's departure is right out there in front. The fact that these two surviving original Stranglers only interact by sniping periodically in press interviews continues to sadden me. But, these two men have 140 years plus life experience between them so if the issue hasn't been resolved by now I guess it never will be. I suppose that elements of those personality  traits that made them difficult and defiant individuals when the band started out still come into play 33 years after Hugh walked away.

The story of Paul's time with the band pretty much correlates with my view of Hugh's replacement. An affable and able vocalist but one who was never really Stranglers' material. After 16 years in the fold, Paul's commitment seems to have evaporated at a time when the band had been at their lowest career ebb (at the time of Paul's departure, half of 'Norfolk Coast', the return to form album, was done, so whether the band fully knew it or not, recovery was just around the corner). Of course I was not party to what went on, but I can well imagine that with Baz Warne now in the band (in place of Paul's ally John Ellis) and JJ's and Baz's developing musical partnership, Paul Robert's felt increasingly marginalised and jumped. As for John Ellis, well it is enough to say that I doubt whether he will be reading the book any time soon. 

But what of Jet and Dave? JJ talks of a couple of rows that he had with Jet towards the end of the big man's tenure on the drum stool. JJ lost it a couple of times when Jet messed up or played too slow. I think I saw one of these outbursts at a soundcheck in Dunfermline.

When JJ talks of Dave it is clear that there was a very special bond between the two men, also apparent when the former performs 'And If You Should See Dave'. I did not realise that his health problems were as serious as they were. I knew that he had COPD and that his love of a drink occasionally made for some interesting and quirky keyboard moments. I was also aware that he had been told to reign it in before gigs and that did make a difference, but I did not know the difficulties that he was in (and of course why should I!). Either way, for many, including me, he was the sound of The Stranglers, the piece of the puzzle that set them apart and afforded them the great success that they enjoyed.

So then, a great book that offers something new even to the most knowledgeable members of the fan base. Thank you JJ! 

Friday 10 November 2023

Taxi Girl Seppuku Demo Versions 1981


So I am a few pages shy of finishing JJ's book and read the chapter where he took it upon himself to be a champion, promoter and producer of French bands and French music. This lead me to dig out The Rat Zone presentation of the Seppuku demos from 1981.


Thursday 9 November 2023

Listen To The Sirens Blog Site

 Ok, before I get roundly abused, there is some cross over for at least some people who visit this site with the music of Tubeway Army and Gary Numan. In an attempt not to ruffle your raven feathers I have another blog that is focused on Numan. Should you be interested, there is a quite a few recordings here as well as a new thread planned to span the man's long career.

Link to the 'Listen to the Sirens' blog..... see 1978 Tubeway Army... John Lydon loved 'em and I'm told on good authority that Pete Shelley wanted to join them!

Rattus Inheritus Cask Bar Loughborough 18th June 2022


Here's an established tribute band, Rattus Inheritus, with a focus on Mk. 1 material.... although 'Skin Deep' and 'Always The Sun' sneak into the set. Thanks to the original Dime uploader, 



999 The Swan Fulham London Summer 1992


As discussed last week on the 999 Facebook page there is a recording that features a song called 'People Who Died', that by all accounts is quite an obscure track. It did appear o a bootleg tape, one of a series of tapes of punk bands in London in the late 80's (?)/early '90's. As I recall they had something to do with Dave Ferguson (who I did buy this recording (as a tape) from back then in Fulham).

As mentioned by Nick in the recording, Pablo was local and The Swan was his local, which was probably the reason that 999 played there a few times in the early '90's. Here's a flyer from 1992 that also features some outfit called The Lurkers.

5th June 1992 is probably the date of this recording.

Of course the following year the band released 'You Us It' (the successor to 'Separates' in my opinion) and there were another handful of gig's at The Swan... those were happy times for me!

The sleeve artwork also makes reference to an interview conducted upstairs at The Swan on 20th November 1993. Whilst at a gig that both The Stranglers and 999 played at Fontwell Racecourse in '93, I was asked to interview the band for an article in Strangled, the fan publication published by The Stranglers Information Service (the interview transcript can be found here).



Monday 6 November 2023

Ombudsmen Hope And Anchor Islington London 2nd November 2023


This is the second time that our daughter has had the honour of playing in one of the most hallowed gig spaces in the UK... at least in my old eyes! However, she takes it all in her stride.

So, this then is the second London gig for Manchester based four piece, Ombudsmen. A planned date at the Dublin Castle fell victim to a planned rail strike earlier in the year. On this occasion I was gutted to be absent as work commitments had taken me to Copenhagen for the two days spanning this gig. The gig line up was the same as the Hope gig that took place in March of this year, the difference being that that gig was a matinee and this was an evening affair. 

On this return date they have more product to promote, an E.P. CD entitled 'Terms & Conditions Apply' (available from ).

I did note this week that Kid Kapichi have adapted the same 'Neighbourhood Watch' logo for their new album, but Ombudsmen got there first. The adaptation was done by Mo Andrews and captures the band rather well, but then again I am a little biased in my view here!

'Terms & Conditions Apply' move the band ever forward from their first E.P. 'Fizzy Milk'. Both E.P.s are played in full in this Hope & Anchor set. Both of these E.P.s appear on Spotify too.

It is very difficult to apply labels to the band as they do not fit neatly into a defined genre, as much as a musical cliché as that may sound. There are elements of punk, electronica, funk, psychedelia and dare I say it... prog in their multi-layered tunes. The bass drives the songs whilst the guitar brings an urgency to the proceedings, a sound that compliments the vocals. Of the vocals, Mo's vocal styles vary across the set, I can hear Ari Up, a bit of Grace Slick on the somewhat psychedelic 'Yourself Is Everywhere' as well as a liberal measure of Lene Lovich. 

The band play quite regularly in the Manchester area as well as further afield with recent gigs in Liverpool, Bradford and Nottingham. Hopefully, more London dates will come their way and hopefully, if that is the case, I can arrange my time better such that I am in the same country when they next play there.

Anyway, here is the gig in full. Once again I am very indebted to Lee McFadden for sharing this recording. Cheers!



Sunday 5 November 2023

999 On TV And On Film


Here's a DVD compilation that I put together some years ago that features a collection of TV and live appearances from 1978 to 2007. Quality varies, but it's a nice collection. Anyone recall where 'Bomb You' came from or is it another of those tracks like 'People Who Died' and 'White Trash', songs that saw the light of day for the briefest of times?

DVD image:


Hugh Cornwell Interview Record Mirror 22nd January 1977

 Here's an interview with Hugh conducted by early supporter, Barry Cain from the UK music weekly Record Collector.

Brixton Academy London 23rd June 1991


An early Mk II gig here uploaded in two versions. The first is the version recently uploaded to Dime and the second is a much larger file which is a remastering original files prior to the Dime upload. Larger files, the remastered version has significantly more depth than the Dime version.

Many thanks to malcolm769 for the Dime version and to Mick for his remastering efforts. And thanks to Meanie for the artwork file.

FLAC (Dime 617 MB):
FLAC: (Remaster 1.80 GB):

Track listing reflects artwork split across two CDs if burning.

01. 5 Minutes
02. No More Heroes
03. Threatened
04. Sometimes
05. Never See
06. Never To Look Back
07. Someone Like You
08. RB11 (Laughing At The Rain)
09. Heaven Or Hell
10. Always The Sun
11. 96 Tears
12. Brainbox

01. The Raven
02. I Feel Like A Wog
03. Uptown
04. Wet Afternoon
05. Mr Big
06. Hanging Around
07. Toiler On The Sea
08. Down In The Sewer
09. All Day And All Of The Night
10. Tank
11. London Lady
12. Duchess
13. Something Better Change

Buzzcocks The Academy New York 21st July 1991 (TFTLTYTD#2)


All of those people who once said that punk was just a noise made by 'musicians' that couldn't play their instruments just weren't really listening, or were listening to some really bad bands... I remember an argument on the school bus with someone in the year above who believed that punk was just heavy metal played badly... Judas Priest anyone?

Buzzcocks did not just make a noise. Over the three albums that the band recorded during their first incarnation Pete Shelley and Steve Diggle wrote a soundtrack to the teenage condition. Shelley in particular was peerless in his ability to produce kitchen sink dramas in 3 minute episodes. What's more, he was 45 years ahead of his time in his writing. A man open about his bisexuality from the start, his songs were lyrically gender neutral by design... boy meets girl, boy meets boy, girl meets girl... you decide, it had no relevance in his songs.

The band first split up in 1981 after a gig in Hamburg (recorded for posterity in 'Auf Wiedersehen') when the members that were considered to be the 'classic line-up (Shelley, Diggle, Garvey and Maher), burned out by touring and bad rock 'n' roll habits went their separate ways. In 1989, that same line up reformed (much to my delight) for dates in the US and UK. Bolstered by a hugely positive reception, the band wrote and recorded new material in demo form. For a reason that I have never really understood, the planned 'comeback' album based on these demo recordings was binned. These demos, long in the hands of fans, only finally saw a release in the last couple of years. Some of those tracks, especially 'Dreaming' and 'Why Compromise?' were classic Buzzcocks tracks that amazingly did not make the final cut when the band did finally release an album of new material in 1993 when 'Trade Test Transmissions' was released. 'TTT' in my opinion is one of the finest 'comeback' album seeing Pete, still unlucky in love, recounting his further tales of angst and frustration. The album bears all the hallmarks of Buzzcocks, but with a nod towards the indie sound of the early nineties (again strongly influenced by another generation of Manchester guitar bands). More information on the 'Trade Test Transmissions' album can be found here.

In their second incarnation, Buzzcocks doubled their initial recorded output with the release of a further six studio albums and whilst for me, 'TTT' was the best, each of the subsequent albums contained at least some of the glittering poetic magic that was Pete Shelley's stock in trade.

Buzzcocks went on to have a second wind that lasted from 1989 to 2018 when Pete played his last gig with the band on 25th August 2018, a gig I feel privileged to have witnessed. Pete Shelley succumbed to a heart attack in Tallinn, Estonia on 6th December 2018. Steve Diggle has continued to play under the Buzzcocks banner with the band's last line-up less Pete.

The family at the Pete Shelley memorial mural
(Leigh, Greater Manchester)

Many thanks to the original Dime uploader (notsaved) of this great quality recording from New York in 1991 that brilliantly showcases the pre-split material as well as new songs from the 1991 demos.



01. Intro
02. I Don’t Mind
03. Love You More
04. Chat
05. Who’ll Help Me To Forget?
06. Alive Tonight
07. Tranquilizer
08. Never Gonna Give It Up
09. 16 Again
10. The Last To Know
11. Chat
12. Autonomy
13. Chat
14. Get On Our Own
15. Successful Street
16. Why Compromise?
17. Moving Away From The Pulsebeat
18. Everybody’s Happy Nowadays

01. Everybody’s Happy Nowadays (Cont)
02. Chat
03. Dreaming
04. When Love Turns Around
05. Mad Mad Judy
06. Harmony In My Head
07. What Do I Get?
08. Chat
09. Ever Fallen In Love With Someone (You Shouldn’t Have)?
10. Encore Break
11. Promises
12. Fast Cars
13. Noise Annoys
14. Orgasm Addict
15. Boredom
16. Outro

Saturday 4 November 2023

'Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard...' Poly Styrene Inked


Poly Styrene (X-Ray Spex)

'When you look in the mirror, do you see yourself?
Do you see yourself on the tv screen?
Do you see yourself in the magazine
When you see yourself, does it make you scream?'

Linoprint 15cm x 20cm
Black ink on cream art card.

Enjoy Yourself It;s Later Than You Think! - Terry Hall Inked

Much like in the case of Dave, Jet and Pete Shelley, I am still struggling with the loss of Terry Hall.

Terry Hall, The Specials

Linoprint 29.7 cm x 21cm
Black ink on cream artcard.

'Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think.
Hello, I'm Terry, and I'm going to enjoy myself first.'

Sunday 29 October 2023

Tom Robinson Interview Record Mirror 27th May 1978

 I have been listening to a lot of TRB since seeing their recent support slot to The Undertones in Cambridge. Articulate and sound, now as then. Punk owed so much to this band.

GENERALLY SPEAKING I'm pretty averse to the question and answer interview. However, looking
back over the typescript of my conversation with Tom Robinson in London recently, there seemed to be
a flow there which totally justified printing it in this particular form - indeed to have done otherwise
might well have destroyed the drift of the ideas that were there on the occasion. Tom Robinson is an extremely aware and articulate individual, so that there's no need whatsoever to
process what he says to make it either interesting or intelligible in the cold medium of print .
Tom Robinson is a man who’ll look you in the eye and say what he feels. He brings the same kind of
dynamic commitment to his music. He also happens to write mighty fine rock ‘n' roll songs and to
execute them, in the company of his band, with a similar strength and panache. It's worth hearing what he has to say.

N. S. What did you think of the Anti-Nazi League march?

T. R. There was a good atmosphere on the section I was on. But for the kids, the best part of the march was undoubtedly the part as we got down to the beginning of the Hackney area and there was those five thugs of about 16 on the right hand side, who stood through the whole procession and shouted abuse at the march which was very brave - five against 60,000 right - but for the first time, I think for those people on the march, they sussed that the National Front actually had faces, that they were ordinary people just like them who had these absolutely perverted views. And that was worth all the march and all the concert put together - to actually come face to face with people your own age with
those beliefs because that demonstrates that it's real in a way that the demonstration can never hope to do.

N.S. A feeling I had after the march was that people need to develop a new language for political sloganeering which embraces the human element and the fact that there is a human element in the opposition.

T. R. Exactly. Well, the case in point is the Sham 69 skins, who came along to a Rock Against Racism gig – the very famous one a few weeks ago - and were pretty well won over by the reggae. I think it was Misty that was on that day, but they came along to that gig and they're skinheads, and we know for a fact that several of them are British Movement, which is miles worse than the National Front. And the thing is they love music better than they love the British Movement. And they were there through that whole gig, and by the end, when we were there, I mean, like, these real hard little skinheads down the front -  they moved right up to the front - and I thought "Oh, we're going to have trouble here". They were boppin away, they loved it - and when all the black bands came on, when Ninety Degrees came on, as well as the punks. They were there, black, white together tonight - and as you say, the human element of the opposition was apparent - in fact they are human and human beings have an infinite capability for the good as well as for the bad, they can rise to it. And that's very good. Far from shouting anti-gay abuse when I was on, during the speech when I was putting down the punks and the blacks and the niggers and the commies and the queers and the womens' libbers and that, they said "What about the skins, what about the skins? Aren't you going to put us down?" So they definitely wanted to be in.

N. S. To what extent are you worried about the identification of the T. R. B. with the overall political thing? Do you think it could operate to the detriment of your musical drive?

T.R. If we ever f••ked up our priorities. It would. If it ever became politics first, music second, we'd
have blown It. We have things worked out in those terms, and that's why we're very glad that
'Motorway' was the first hit, because it was a rock 'n' roll song and amply demonstrated that we could make a perfectly good living playing straight rock 'n' roll, thank you very much. And nobody need think that we're using politics to make a fast buck or that.

N. S. I think that at the moment you provide the answer to the skeptics who say rock and politics can't be put together.

T. R. I think that people who say that are very blind anyway. The only stock example I've got is 'Stand By Your Man', which Is more or less politically devastating for the women's movement, that's ever reached the airwaves and It went to No.1 or something. If you go down with a pub band, round the pubs of London as I have, and you see that song being sung, you see all the old dears of about 80, who sacrificed their entire lives to some pig of a man, drinking up their halves of Guinness going 'Stand By Your Man', because it justifies and vindicates everything they did. I mean, that's a very powerful political song but because it's for the status quo Instead of for change, it isn't perceived as political.

N.S. What are your immediate plans?

T. R. I'm Insisting personally that the leave us alone from the middle of June to the beginning of September to write and record the second album. The reason I'm so worried about the next album now is that, at the moment, we're playing songs that are a year, year and a half old, written when I was newly pollticised, very angry - but for reasons of artistic integrity, I'd like to also be performing something I'd written now. I'm halfway through lyrics of about 4 or 5 songs already. But It's just time. I don't want to be pressurised unduly, because you can't write songs to order. You have to write and let it come. Also there's the whole thing of working in a new keyboard player and things like that - takes sortng out.

N.S. Is there going to be any new emphasis in the material for the second album?

T.R. It's like Mr Eliot said: "Last year's words belong to last year's language, next year's words might have another voice." It's just the thing we voiced in a way in which one would express It today, as opposed to the way one expressed it then. I dunno.

N. S. Do you change Ute lyrics of existing songs as you go along?

T.R. Yes. For Instance, just the latest newspapers that happen to have been slagging gays are included - like the Dally Express. After the lesbian mother bashing by the Evening News, that went Into the song.  And that song I think can only survive If It carries on changing. Because if it stays at categorically listing the things that happened three years ago. It becomes sterile, meaningless. It's a song that obviously one wouldn't want to drop, so if you've got an old song, it’s got to stay on and the nature of the song being a catalogue of woes, it has to stay upto date.

N. S. In the show you incorporated a fairly strong theatrical thing with the speech.

T.R. l was really so nervous I really f---ed that whole speech up a lot – I think It could have been a lot funnier. 

N. S. Do you think the claims about the figures were accurate!

T. R.. Everyone obviously inflates them, but If the BBC News say 60,000. It has to be 60,000, cos they
don't  give you the benefit of the doubt. Even if the public came along just for the music and weren't interested In the politics at all, maybe 15 per cent of those got politicised - it's still worth it, with those kind of numbers.

N.S. Again, it comes down to the question of just how effective music can be in stimulating people into thinking critically. You have to ask the same question about any art form. Do you think music is more capable of politicising people than, say, film or theatre?

T. R. Yes, more than film or theatre and less than football, It's just any kind of mass culture, any kind of
populist culture as opposed to an elitist culture is bound to have a greater power in that way … Film and theatre are basically elitist, apart from sort of a 'Jaws' or 'Third Encounters of the 56th Kind' - those
kind of things, well, maybe. Even so, when I was on the dole, I could never afford to go to films. TV yes, radio yes, football matches yes, though not for me personally. Films and theatre no.

N. S. How do you see the balance of different political interests or concerns in what you’re doing ?

T.R. Well, to say that there's one human race, sounds pretty mild but actually it's political dynamite…
That's the basic premise, I know it's the cliche of the decade, but clichés don't stop being true from becoming cliched.  And that's the common ground on which the band works. Well, obviously a lot of things start following from that, once you start thinking it through. It's the general idea of Rock against Racism, anyway. You start with common ground where any fool can see that black people may be different to white people, but then it's no inherent betterness or worseness about It. And then you start moving it on from black people to Irish people, you know. What's all this Irish jokes business about? When you start thinking about that. And you get down to queer jokes, right and you start thinking about that one, too, and gradually this whole "well, Is It really true when they say that the workers are out to just cripple industry. You know, is that all they're at…?

N. S. On the question of your relationship with the record company', how do you rationalize being involved with a company like EMI and at the same time putting across socialist politics?

T.R. If It wasn’t for EMI. 1 wouldn't be talking to you now. I wouldn't be going to talk to a lady from Sterne magazine this afternoon to say the same things, basically about the rally. We wouldn't have reached - it's quite possible we wouldn't have had the hit with "2468 Motorway" without EMI's promotion department, in which case we probably wouldn't have reached all those people at the rally yesterday. And if you make music, you make music because you want it to be heard. And if you want it to be heard, you want it to be on record , and if you want to make records , you have to have a
good record company. And we went with the best we could get our hands on. You know, CBS and EMI
probably the two best in the world in terms of just making sure the records get heard and "exploited".

The kind of contradictions I find much more unnerving are the EMI weapons division, where they make
anti - personnel mines, as well as radar for guided missiles. And all you can do in the end is be very open about It and say to your audience, to your public "Look, I've just found out about this. I didn't know but I think you'd better know as well. "  In last bulletin, I published the EMI pamphlet that somebody stole from the arms sale, the Military Arms Fair on the EMI ranger, which is a missile throwing device that can be fitted to any medium or heavy tracked vehicle, fires 1,296 rounds per minute, reloads in five and can Immobllize personnel without fatality. The pamphlet's got all these sort of little stars with the pluses - a bit like Persil washes whiter and whiter, does this, that - It was just like that.

But so far, I've reached a compromise. I've already signed to EMI, they'll find that out. All I can do is stir up what shit I can around that, using the position equally and not be so sort of two-faced that I sit
down about the EMl Weapons Division, whereas I shout on about women's rights being taken away.

N. S. How do you jet on generally with your peers In the rock sphere – the actual musicians!

T. R. I really like Bob Geldof and Mick Jones and the Clash, I really like a lot. They hate each other, I 
think. Phil Lynott, The Motors' - I’m trying to think of all the people we've met. Generally, when we meet people, it's charming, you know, they're really nice people. You know, the mood that you find among the other bands of your own generation is generally kind of wonderment at what's going on. But we've all got this far and we're all sittin' there going 'what' clinching the novelty of all this and the slight
headiness of it.

N. S. There's a macho-thing in rock generally which is - it's something which is ultimately hard enough to pin down, when you get into the whole sexism set of distinctions it can become very hazy. I just wondered how you feel about that in rock.

T. R. Yeah, well, rock 'n' roll is almost by definition sexist, isn't it? Well, it's built on machismo, its fundamental thing, it's basic rock 'n' roll as opposed to, like, popular, music generally is male generated.  The female singer in rock 'n' roll is the exception and generally she's the singer and not the drummer, right. There's strictly defined rules whereby a woman is allowed to sing rock 'n' roll and she's definitely a bit of titillation for male palates anyway - Blondie that general thing. That's usually it.

It stems from the roots of rock 'n’ roll which is in the blues ethnic – the 12-bar blues and the old songs like Muddy Waters 'I'm A Man' and 'I Got My Mojo Working' and "I ain't no milkman baby but I'm the
milkman's son" or "I'll give you plenty cream until the milkman come" and the double talk and the jive talk and the double entendre.

The Doors encapsulated it by taking 'Back Door Man' as blues standard and doing it themselves. And then you just saw it from Morrison straight away _ .. (sings) .. . "Well, the men don't know what the little girls understand", It's all there. The medium itself is sexist just by all the precedents. Don't you agree?

N. S. I think a lot of bands that steer clear of blues basis can do things which are non-macho.

T.R. Are you talking about Yes?

N. S. Well I'm not talking about Yes at all, 'cos I don't listen to Yes and I don't like Yes.

T. R. Yeah, but .they're, like, sexless.

N. S. But isn't it possible to incorporate sex into music without being macho? A band like XTC at the moment, just reflecting on their music, I can't think of anything macho in it. Maybe I'm wrong.

T. R. No, it's true. But isn't what XTC are doing an extension of the Yes genre. It's the intellectual
thinking man's rock as opposed to raunchy rock 'n' roll. Raunchy itself implies sex.

N. S. But the question is whether you can incorporate sex without being sexist. That's the ultimate issue.

T. R. Joni Mitchell - her songs are very sexual.

N. S. Yeah and I don't think they're sexist.

T. R. No, but the it isn't rock 'n’roll.

N.S. I doubt that a thing like ‘Rag Mamma Rag’ which has a certain exuberance and sex, whether that actually crosses the border into sexjsm.

T.R. Touche! That's great, that's a really good example, 'cos that is a really sexy song but it isn't sexist.
Possibly because of the fact of the breadth of The Band's vision anyway, the love of humanity which sort of oozes out of that whole album anyway. They just like couldn't put somebody down. There's no real sort of hatred on that album. Even when Virgin Cain's brother gets killed, he's still Iike very fatalistic and he's not blaming the other side. But that album, let's face it is an exception. There's one other guy I thought of and that's Johnny Rotten, who's a lead singer who - I suppose he isn't really sexual either - but I mean he doesn't do much posturing. I really think a lead singer is in a position that you would expect to be very sexist and it's actually not there at all. The guy's a complete individual.

N. S. What do you think of their abortion song?

T. R. I think it sucks. And the part that sucks is too mild a word. I don't want to be associated with that sort of rot.

N. S. I felt the same.

T.R. I would say a thing that’s probably worth saying from Dublin to Swansea that anyone who in an over - populated under – resourced world tells you that homosexuality or abortion are anti-social has to be off their rocker.

N. S. The question with that song is what motivated it.

T.R. John's an ex - Catholic.

N.S. This brings up the whole question of God and religion. 

T. R. Well, I've got nothing against believing In God… one day I might end up that way myself there seems to be quite a good case to be made, tha there might be a God. To lay my cards on the table, I must tell you that I was Church of England from about eight through to about 15 – I was part of the Church of England. My father is an avowed atheist. I mean he actually bothers to put in his diary where it says " In case of emergency" under religion, he puts humanist. He's that obsessive about it because when you take him back and you find that he was trained to be a priest before he lost his faith right - I mean that's him certified.

So I lay my cards on the table and say that although I was not brought up to be religious, I joined the church choir locally where I was living at the time at the age of eight and got interested in the religion through that and got confirmed and everything and gradually lost interest again about the age of 15.
But as I say, you know, for that reason. I can find the Idea of a God quite plausible. But, I mean, whereas Jesus of Nazareth was undoubtedly a very good bloke and had some pretty sensible Ideas the atrocities that have been committed in the past 2,000 years in his name aren't worth thinking about. I mean a lot of evil things have been done in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that bloke Paul of Tharsus has quite a lot to answer for as well.

N. S. What do you feel about Gays who are apologetic about their sexuality?

T. R. My theory for it, for what it's worth, is that somebody who isn 't quite - don 't quite belong - hold to the trappings of belonging much more than somebody who does. That's as evidenced by, for instance noblesse oblige. And the difference between the U and the non-U will say "I beg your pardon" and the U will say' 'what". because the upper-class doesn't need to prove anything. They know they're upper, so they can afford to be rude and say "what". The aspiring bourgeoisie say "I beg your pardon" .

In other words If you don't have it, you aspire to it. So if you are beyond the pale by being gay, either beyond pale-of politics , perhaps you cling to those things. You see Indian guys wandering around the city wearing suits and bowler hats. They'll never be let into Claridges  for Christ sake.

N. S. I think that's important in the gay thing in Ireland that. . .

T. R. We lick the asses of the establishment and the status quo and try and beg some little crumbs from under their table and play their game and when they see fit to pay us any attention by even mentioning us or deigning to, we fall over ourselves in gratitude. I think gay people really want to wise up. As far as the vast majority of the population are concerned in Ireland and in Gt. Britain, we're scum. And suss that. We'll never be respectable it we live a million years. So stop clinging to all that.

Brighton Centre 20th May 1978 - The Reviews

 Something of a rarity here, two very positive and complimentary reviews of a Stranglers gig, not only from Record Mirror, but also from the pages of the New Musical Express. It is a real shame that this one does not appear to be out there in the bootleg fossil record!

I take Mark Ellen's point about the venue. My first gigs were nearly all at the Brighton Centre (including The Stranglers) and it is the most awful, cavernous, soulless box of a venue.... but given the chance in 1978 I would have made the effort... but on a Saturday night in 1978 I would have been watching Basil Brush and waiting on 'The Generation Game'!

New Musical Express 27th May 1978

Stranglers step up the pace.

The Stranglers

The last time I saw The Stranglers was at the Roundhouse in November. I was left with two impressions.

Firstly, they had subverted the performer/audience balance to the extent that it was the audience who were performing, the band merely acting as a catalyst.

And secondly, as I dragged out a friend with a broken ankle, that I was lucky to be alive.

They’d reached a stage where, apart from inciting more hysteria by deriding the crowd’s response, they didn’t have to work for an ecstatic reception.

The Stranglers now return to the circuit in a very different league, and it’s certainly hard to imagine playing a venue more soul-destroying than that clinical bunch of breeze-blocks, the Brighton Centre.

Everything was against them. There was nowhere near a 5,000 capacity crowd, no bar (imagine it!), and a sound mix that was knotting itself into sonic spaghetti and bouncing off the walls.

Coupled with this, any reaction from the audience was so deadened by the surroundings that the band probably thought they had the place to themselves.

After about three numbers, the distinctive Stranglers sound finally broke through.

The ceaseless twanging of Burnel’s bass and the caustic rasp of Cornwell’s guitar chords, offset by Dave Greenfield’s fluid, almost delicate keyboard fills, seemed more than usually aggressive, as if honed on a cheese-grater.

A more comprehensive exposure of the band’s material I couldn’t have wished for. Not only did they play almost every track off the “Rattus” album (“Sometimes” and “Hanging Around” being quite outstanding), but also a fair few from “No More Heroes”, before launching into the realms of the new LP “Black & White”.

Supposedly an album representing extremes, their horizons both musical and lyrical, are considerably broadened.

This was the first time that I’ve heard any of the material, and the only time I’ve seen The Stranglers use lighting to any real effect.

The songs were punctuated by ranks of white arc-lamps and air-raid spotlights, slightly lost in the vast cubic void of the Centre, but still suggesting something of the starkness of the lyrics.

Easiest to accept were “Sweden (All Quiet On The Eastern Front)”, “Do You Wanna” and “Death And Night And Blood (Yukio)”, because they conformed fairly closely to the standard Stranglers format of an incessant, balanced barrage of sound, swayed by keyboard and guitar breaks.

“Outside Tokyo” was radically different. Introduced by Cornwell’s precept. “Look at your watches and go to sleep”, it was a loping ans dischordant dirge, conspicuous by being so out of character with everything else.

“In The Shadows” was not a pleasant noise by any means. It consisted of echoed moans against a listless backing that was more like a reject sound-track from a Hammer movie, and wrecked the continuity of the set.

As for “Nice ‘n’ Sleazy”, any remaining doubts as to whether The Stranglers are macho-merchants, or as to whether they give a nubile’s butt that anyone cares, were swiftly dispersed by the appearance of a stripper. Within seconds she had whipped off the bulk of her mail-order lingerie, and embarked on a routine that would curdle milk.

The mammoth one and three-quarter hour set finally closed to the more familiar tune of “No More Heroes”, “Something Better Change” and “Five Minutes”.

If The Stranglers proved one thing it was that, although still trading on the sound they first hit on two years ago, they’ve got themselves to this level by producing enough musical variation within those limits.

They’re also back to working for a response.

The gig gave the impression they were starting all over again, but on a much larger scale – getting the audience to accept new material, cranking them up to react to it, and playing with all their old energy and determination.

Mark Ellen.

Record Mirror 27th May 1978

Brighton Centre

OPENING UP for Stranglers is never an easy task and on Saturday night at the Brighton Centre we were faced with Brian James's new outfit Tanz Der Youth, playing their first ever gig. There were several problems especially with the Stranglers biased audience, who didn't know what to expect and had to put up with a fairly rough sound system. Nevertheless, Tanz Der Youth were good, in fact I thought they were very good.

They played eight numbers with Brian on vocals / guitar alongside Tony Moor on keyboards/synthesiser, bassist Andy Colquhoun and ex-Hawkwind drummer Alan Powell. Brian tended to stick to rhythm guitar leaving the bulk of the solo work to Tony Moor's synthesiser although there were some fine guitar/synthesizer breaks.

The best numbers were 'Why I Die', 'I'm Sorry, I'm Sorry', introduced as a "cute little pop song", and the excellent 'Blue Lights Flashing'. Also included from the Damned days were 'New Rose' and a slowed down version of 'Neat, Neat, Neat'. In which you could actually hear the 't' s.

As for the Stranglers, this was the most complete performance I have seen them give, not only in presentation, effort and technique, but also in material, consisting of almost every number on their three albums. On stage for the best part of two hours, they commenced with a run through of a dozen songs from 'Rattus' ,and 'No More Heroes'.

Two spotlights were then beamed towards the audience as the 'Black and White' section began. Of the newer material, 'Death and Night and Blood'. 'Sweden' and 'Nice 'n' Sleazy' (with the accompaniment of a topless dancer wearing nothing else but a suspender belt and a knowledgeable smile) came over particularly well. However, it’s hard to single out individual numbers from a practically faultless set.

The climax of the evening came as the band played through ‘Grip’, ‘Something Better Change’, ‘No More Heroes’, ‘Five Minutes’ and ‘Sewer’, during which Jean Jacques Burnel leapt off the stage into the photographer’s pit to the delight of the south coast crowd.


Saturday 28 October 2023

Seaside Festival '83 De Panne Belgium 13th August 1983


Leo Morriss sent me a request yesterday. Like many of us he is swiftly turning the pages of the recently delivered JJ book. Within it a tale is told about a festival squabble between The Stranglers and The Cure over headlining. The Stranglers were indifferent and agreed to Fat Bob and Co. coming on last, a decision that the promoter overturned. 

It seems as though the band's monitors were not connected properly so none of the four musicians on the stage could hear what each were playing, all were effectively playing blind. In JJ's recounting the band opened with 'Midnight Summer Dream' and not hearing the rest of the band came in to early with the bass part of 'European Female' upon which JJ smashed the useless monitor and departed the stage.

Today I listened to DomP's remastered version of this gig. It is clear throughout that the sound is all over the shop, 'MSD' does indeed fuck up and grinds to a halt before 'European Female' starts after a few moments of silence. That track then cuts from this recording. More problems can be heard at the end of London Lady when JJ continues playing after the rest of the band have finished the track. Finally, during the set closer, 'Down In The Sewer', Dave's keyboards are all at sea as is JJ's bass. It is at the end of this song when a mighty crash can be heard, presumably the sound of a live base hitting the stage with force. The crowd burst into surprised laughter that would be consistent with seeing a stage tantrum and a walk off. So there you have it, sadly there is no Nice-esque commentary on the issues at hand... just a lot of mistimed, bum notes and the final crash of a thrown bass.

Nice recording though... thanks DomP!



Tuesday 24 October 2023

Devo Eventim Apollo 19th August 2023


So here then is that gig. Thanks to the original Dime uploader (Hotpoint). A great night that I will remember for a long time to come.



Devo Eventim Apollo 19th August 2023 - A Review


Well this was the one that looked to be the event of the summer. Devo bowing out after a staggering 50 years as a band that has entertained and confounded in equal measure. Once describing themselves to Tony Wilson as 'the fluid in the punk enema bag' Devo, the boys in the high vis boiler suits, espoused the theory of De-evolution, a simple premise that rather than evolving as a species, human-kind was doing the exact opposite and becoming less organised and increasingly dysfunctional (switch on any new programme today and you may be inclined to agree with them).

So, this was my first (and last) time of seeing Devo and I was exited at the prospect, something rather rare for me and gigs these days. We headed to the Duke of Cornwall pub just around the corner from the Eventim Apollo (Hammersmith Odeon to anyone over the age of 50) where I was amused to see, and not in the least bit surprised to see, a throng of people sporting energy domes. I was even more amused when a couple walked past the pub in the direction of the venue wearing improvised yellow boiler suits topped of with 'budget energy domes' courtesy of the garden section of Home Base... actually plant pots.... absolutely brilliant. 

As we entered the art deco auditorium a lone man could be seen with a couple of turntables in the middle of the expansive stage. That was Rusty Egan, formerly of The Rich Kids and Visage who was trawling through some electronic hits of the early 1980's. 

With Rusty gone, Rod Rooter, the band's music executive creation introduced the band to the stage from a huge cinematic backdrop, that promised something akin to a Kraftwerk gig but with guitars!

Photo: Paul Jenner.

Opening with 'Don't Shoot (I'm A Man) from 2010's 'Something For Everybody', the band's last studio album, the audience were soon into more familiar territory with the likes of 'Going Under'. Girl U Want' and 'Whip It'. The visual accompaniment to the music was as stunning as it was garish.... Total Devo! Of course the band went through their repertoire of images, from the 'Whip It' outfit to the 'Are We Not Men?' yellow Hazmat get up!

Halfway through the set they delivered the Holy trinity of 'Are We Not Men?' tracks, 'Uncontrollable Urge', 'Mongoloid' and 'Jocko Homo' at which point I was pretty much in spud heaven!

Photo: Paul Jenner.

It was in fact pretty much a greatest hits set but such a stylish way to bow out. Proceedings were wrapped up by Booji Boy's rendition of 'Beautiful World' and just for 90 minutes within the walls of the Hammersmith Odeon it was... even if Devo didn't mean it!

My only disappointment of the night was that by the time I left the pub for the gig the merch stand had sold out of energy domes and I so wanted one, although where on earth you could wear one, if not at a Devo gig, I have yet to fathom!

Thank you Devo, for daring to be different!