There are very few bands that I want to see every year, there are even fewer that I first watched as a teenager and still want to see now, and there is only one band that I have seen over the course of around 30 different tours. That band is The Stranglers, and there are some very good reasons for this:
- The Stranglers have the sort of back catalogue that most bands would die for, as last years’ 40th Anniversary ‘Ruby’ tour showed. The band played at least one track from each of their studio albums, and they all fitted together in one seamlessly excellent, and quite eclectic, night.
- The Stranglers have attitude. Whether it’s strippers in Hyde Park, or getting arrested for taking on distractors, the band have always had a reputation for not taking any shit. This has continued with the addition of Baz Warne to the original line up of JJ Burnel, Dave Greenfield and Jet Black. This strength I’m sure had helped the band survive leaner times and thrive as it does today.
- The Stranglers are professional. Don’t be fooled, the band are great musicians and know how to put on a show. They play with power, skill, togetherness and conviction. I’ve never come away from a gig feeling short changed.
- The Stranglers understand their audience. For many years the vast majority of people at the gigs were, like me, middle aged balding men in black with expanding waistlines. We wanted the hits, we wanted the classic album tracks, and we were also happy to listen to some new stuff as well, provided it was good (it was). The band understand this and always manage to put together a set which is a great mixture of these elements. The last few years have seen audiences become more mixed with more younger people coming in too, which can only be a good thing.
- The Stanglers are getting better. I have to admit that ‘Golden Brown’ isn’t my favourite track, and often breathe a bit of a sigh when it comes up during the set. Last year, though, I went to the Sheffield gig and I thought Baz’s solo was amazing – he had managed to wring something quite fresh out of something I must have heard a hundred times.
The above might well be why the tours are getting longer and the venues getting fuller year-on-year. A night with The Stranglers is fun, exciting and often delivers the unexpected – catch them while you can, you’ll be hooked.
See a review of the Sheffield gig on The Ruby tour click here.
For some fabulous pics from the Leeds gig on The Ruby tour click here.
The Stranglers are on Tour in Britain throughout March 2015
Tuesday 03 Brighton Dome
Thursday 05 Guildford G Live
Friday 06 London Roundhouse
Saturday 07 Sheffield O2 Academy
Monday 09 Liverpool O2 Academy 1
Tuesday 10 Cardiff University
Thursday 12 Newcastle O2 Academy
Friday 13 Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Saturday 14 Birmingham O2 Academy 1
Monday 16 Portsmouth Guildhall
Tuesday 17 Leeds O2 Academy
Thursday 19 Bristol O2 Academy
Friday 20 Cambridge Corn Exchange
Saturday 21 Manchester Academy 1
Monday 23 Oxford O2 Academy 1
Tuesday 24 Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 26 Aberdeen Beach Ballroom
Friday 27 Kilmarnock Grand Hall
Saturday 28 Glasgow O2 Academy
Tickets available from www.gigsandtours.com / 0844 811 0051