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

Tuesday 31 January 2023

UK Subs Resolution Festival 12th January 2023


It has now become an annual event for several years. The 100 Club host a punk festival that runs over a week and a half. It's a win win for punters and venue alike. For the gig-goer it offers great, affordable entertainment during those doldrum months of January and February. For the venue it fills in space in what could otherwise be a barren calendar and brings money in at the door and over the bar.

A second January tradition has also established itself, one that annually scuppers at least some of my plans for Resolution and that is the rail network. For several years on the trot, Network Rail have opened up extensive engineering works throughout the first month of the year. The only option on impacted days is the dreaded replacement bus service. I am sure it is not just me but getting into London for a midweek gig when tomorrow is a work day is much harder these days than it ever was in the past! And that is when the trains are running a normal service. With the bus replacement option I cannot do the additional journey time after midnight of nearly 90 minutes.... and neither can my 54 year old post-gig bladder, if you get my meaning!

This year there was something of a plot alteration as the disruption of the engineering works was compounded by industrial action by members of the RMT and ASLEF (although don't take that as a condemnation of the strikes, I only mention it as an additional barrier to seeing all of the bands that I wanted to see).

In the event, it was just the two bands (or gigs rather) that I got to see. The UK Subs and 999. I am aware that the Subs have made public their intention to slow up a bit. Gigs will be scaled back meaning the end to big tours and who can really blame them? In years gone by, UK Subs T-shirts did not bear the slogan 'On Tour Forever' for nothing! For many years, as the song says, Charlie Harper really did 'Live in a Car'. Now 78 years old Charlie has earned his punk rock spurs ten times over and more. The various and multitudinous incarnations of the band have taken us right through the alphabet with album releases and beyond. So fair play to the Subs for their 47 years of service so far.

In short, whilst UK Subs were a constant presence on the punk live circuit, opportunities to see them will diminish from now on, so I will grasp the chances as and when I can.

Pre-gig, the band were loosening limbs and vocal chords with Gaye in 'The Blue Posts' in Newman Street (which has seemed to have displaced 'The Ship' in Wardour Street as a preferred warm up watering hole).

Into the venue then. I missed the support, 'The Mistakes' The Subs hit the stage with a powerful version of 'Emotional Blackmail' and from then on in the band went on to deliver a rapid fire set of 21 songs, the majority of which were lifted from the first five years of the band's career. Most of the key singles were present and correct, the likes of 'Tomorrow's Girls', 'CID', 'Keep On Running' and 'Party In Paris' kept the crowd well entertained as did the set's closing number 'Teenage'. I wonder if a tally has been kept of all the gigs the band have played, I am sure they have, and it will significantly into 4 figures and certainly this far down the line they didn't disappoint at all. 

Charlie seemed to be very happy to be back for the night in London and it was abundantly clear that a reciprocal London were very happy to have him there.

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Jet Black Inked


Not a fantastic muriel (sic) as can be seen in Cheltenham and much smaller....

Jet Black (The Stranglers)
15cm x 20cm
Linoprint in black ink on cream card.

'Communion's got a lot of grace
It's got style and bread and wine
But they're not mine!
You know what I like!'

Ombudsmen Lion's Den Deansgate Mews Manchester 27th January 2023


With sufficient stage time under her belt now, Mo has relented and is comfortable for Mum and Dad to be in the audience! The Ombudsmen play another central Manchester gig at the Lion's Den Bar in Deansgate Mews once again supporting Vee VV. I am looking forward to seeing that steely gaze!

Wednesday 18 January 2023

Dave Greenfield Inked

Dave Greenfield (The Stranglers) 1985
Linoprint 15cm x 20cm
Black ink on cream art card.


Monday 16 January 2023

Barrowlands Glasgow 5th February 1993


Many thanks to malcolm769 for this one, an upgrade version that he recently uploaded to Dime. An interesting set properly mixing old with new. I have to admit that by 1993, Mark II as they then were were falling off of my radar. Was 'Mumble Jumble ever released?

The those wishing to burn this recording, the artwork reflects a slit after Mumble Jumble.



00. Waltzinblack
01. Time To Die
02. Toiler On The Sea
03. Something Better Change
04. 5 Minutes
05. Someone Like You
06. Never See
07. Southern Mountains
08. North Winds
09. Thrown Away
10. 96 Tears
11. Mumble Jumble
12. Burning Up Time (start cut)
13. English Towns (sung as Scottish Towns)
14. Ugly
15. Brainbox
16. London Lady
17. All Day And All Of The Night
18. Sugar Bullets
19. Tank
20. Always The Sun
21. Hanging Around
22. Duchess
23. Uptown
24. No More Heroes

Saturday 7 January 2023

Studio 54 Barcelona 21st September 1983


From the Autumn leg of the Feline tour.... Barcelona!



01. Nuclear Device / Toiler On The Sea
02. Ships That Pass In The Night
03. Its A Small World
04. No More Heroes
05. Who Wants The World
06. Never Say Goodbye
07. Golden Brown
08. Midnight Summer Dream/European Female
09. Thrown Away
10. Tramp
11. The Raven
12. London Lady
13. Encore Break
14. Hanging Around
15. Let Me Introduce You To The Family

Royal Concert Hall Nottingham 5th February 1983


Here are the band on fine form back in February 1983 in Nottingham. Many thanks to Meani for the artwork. I will point out (before someone else beats me to it) that there is an error on the artwork as 'Blue Sister' is listed in the set. As memory serves the track was only played on the opening night of the tour at Chippenham Golddiggers, after which it was dropped from the set.



01. Aural Sculpture
02. Nuclear Device
03. Toiler On The Sea
04. Ships That Pass In The Night
05. It’s A Small World
06. Just Like Nothing On Earth
07. No More Heroes
08. Who Wants The World?
09. Never Say Goodbye
10. Baroque Bordello

01. Golden Brown
02. Princess Of The Streets
03. Midnight Summer Dream
04. European Female
05. Tramp
06. The Raven
07. Duchess
08. London Lady
09. Nubiles (Cocktail Version)
10. Genetix

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Pete Shelley Inked


Missing Pete after our family outing to Leigh a few weeks ago.

Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks)
15 cm x 20 cm linoprint
Black ink on cream art card.

Sensible and Vanian Inked


'I said, neat, neat, neat
She can't afford no cannon
Neat, neat, neat
She can't afford no gun at all'

The Damned (1977)
A4 linoprint
Black ink on cream art card.

Sunday 1 January 2023

Ruts DC Almost Acoustic Spanish Hall Blackpool 5th August 2022


It was Day Two of the Rebellion punk marathon, an event requiring stamina, an ability to get by on 4 hours sleep a night, and a liver of a young Lemmy. I have mentioned earlier that for me the 2022 Rebellion was in part frustrating. Certainly all the bands that you would want to see are in town, but the logistics of seeing them would be beyond the military. The afternoon had been cracking with the Newtown Neurotics, followed by From The Jam, The Skids and The Undertones on the R-Fest stage on the promenade. So, what to do about The Stranglers when Ruts DC are to play acoustically at the same time. Sadly, the Meninblack lose out to an extent. I do five songs, six by the time a get beyond the venues exit. 

Up the stairs and through the warren of the Winter Garden complex to a very full Spanish Hall, there are hundreds of people sat down here to hear Ruts DC. It's fantastic!

Here I must admit that by this point in the day's proceedings I am getting a little jaded, it could be the dreadful 'Carling Black Label' lager that they sell here but I doubt it.... it must be exposure to sea air and the sun over a long afternoon!

I am annoying people by standing in front of them. It's a little irritating to move out of the way by people sitting cross-legged on a tightly packed floor. It's acoustic, I get that, but it's Ruts DC.... not Tyrannosaurus Rex! Meaning no disrespect to Marc Bolan of course!

At some point, 'Babylon's Burning' I think, Segs gave me a name check. Later he mentioned it and said 'I dunno why!'. maybe he too was suffering from the affects of the Blackpool sun and sea air.

This set turned up a couple of new songs, 'X-Ray Joy' and 'Born Innocent', both from the marvelous 'Counterculture?' album.

A great little set to end the day. I love the fact that the Ruts DC back catalogue, not to mention the current material lends itself to an acoustic setting and that it goes down so well, but for fucks sake.... please stand up!! (Audience, not band).

Enjoy! And with thanks as always to Chatts!



01. Tuning-Something That I Said
02. Music Must Destroy
03. Dangerous Minds
04. X-Ray Joy
05. Love In Vain
06. Staring At The Rude Boys
07. Hometown Blues
08. Born Innocent
09. In A Rut
10. Babylon's Burning