Guest Review – Stranglers/Ruts DC – Birmingham o2 180317

Sugar Tongs aside, EiTC is yet to make it to the classic collection tour!!!
Birmingham is always a blast but YT will have to wait...
Fortunately Gizzard was there and brings us this account of the evening...

15 STEPS TO BIRMINGHAM

Here we are all again, March is upon us and it’s the annual Stranglers tour of the UK, still no news of a new album(it’s in the pipeline we hear…?) The tour is called ‘The Classic Collection’, does this mean a new range of clothing or the ‘greatest hits’? We are promised ‘new old’ tracks in pre tour interviews so it looks promising and also a set change every night…

My interest in seeing the band live has waned over the last 3 or so years, they will always be my favourite band without question and in 158 gigs I have only come away really disappointed once(AITUK Birmingham 2005), from a personal point of view I think seeing them so many times has took the edge off, plus the same ‘hits’ and the lack of new material hasn’t helped, so now each tour 2 or 3 gigs max instead of previously 7 or 8.

I have never been one for not wanting to see the set list before I go to a gig, so after the first gig I want to know, I had seen what was being played and to be honest it didn’t really ‘excite’ me, the only real standouts were ‘Bear Cage’ and ‘15 Steps’ and that was because I had never seen them performed live. There were other songs I was pleased to see back but there were also a few that I have heard/seen played to death but hey you can’t please everyone…..

So I leave home around late afternoon in my new 17 plate Black automobile, plenty of CD’s for the journey, starting with a live recording of Toronto 1980, hells fire it must have been good to see them then!

And so to Birmingham, always liked seeing the band there as it’s always a very healthy and appreciative crowd and this time was no exception, before the actual gig there was a fine meet up of black clad people old and new in the nearby Railway pub, always good to meet up with old faces and new.

And onto the gig, wanted to get in early to check out the Ruts DC, have never seen them before but have their albums and have heard good reports so was keen to check them out, by the time they came on at around 7.45 there was a very healthy crowd and they didn’t disappoint, the set was a mixture of old tracks and new ones from their very fine album ‘Music Must Destroy’, highlights for me being the title track and of course the oldies ‘Jah War’, Staring At The Rude Boys’ and ‘Babylons Burning’.

And so to the main event, the place was now rammed and it was very hot, the lights go down and the familiar WIB comes out of the PA and we are off, have to say the new stage set up of the bricks doesn’t do anything for me, a plain black background with the white or red logo would suffice.
JJ looks in fine form(hope I look that good at 65), he actually seems to look younger each tour, the sound is spot on and the hits are rattled through, highlights were for me are ‘Never To Look Back’, ‘Sometimes’, ‘WWTW’ and of course ‘Sewer’, ‘Bear cage’ was very good but I thought it might be better vocal wise.

Both Baz and Dave are on fine form but the keyboards in certain songs don’t sound right, they sound very ‘plonky(is that even a word..?) and he even partly misses singing one of the lines of ‘Genetix’.

Jim does a fine job on the drums but to me it doesn’t look right without the mighty presence of JB and his drum kit, I know that is not going to change but that’s my opinion and in no way takes away the fact that Jim does a very good job and is a fine drummer.On a personal note whilst I was looking forward to seeing the band again I was not as excited as I have been in previous years, as noted above live interest has slightly diminished, that said I really enjoyed the gig, the band are playing as tight as ever and the future however long that may be looks just good for them, although I want to hear new material, I may be in the minority here as the average Stranglers gig goers will only want to hear the old material but not me, it’s been a long time since ‘Giants’ and a new album is well overdue, I would also like to hear some different ‘older’ tracks and more stuff post Hugh, this though has been and will continue to be debated for as long as the band continue and probably further.

To sum up another fine live performance in the company of good people, now FFS get that new material out!!

Oh and roll on Bristol.

Over…

Words: Gizzard.

Images: Simon Kent.

Videos: adperry0

Bonus:

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Guest Review – Stranglers/Ruts DC – Reading Hexagon –

We managed to coax the sugar tongs back to life...
And they were ticking over nicely...
Which was just as well as the following message nearly caused an overheat malfunction in the Pigeon to English translation matrix...

The Stranglers Review reading

It’s traditional now that the Stranglers go on tour in March. This year’s March tour consists of 19 gigs. And an added bonus support of the superb Ruts DC, who are promoting their new album “Music Must Destroy” 6 tickets booked for me. Taking in a couple of new cities; Newcastle and Leeds. But my first gig was the Reading Hexagon. A venue I first went to last year on the “Black and White” tour. I thought last year was so good, I decided to go again!

Arriving in Reading I met my friend Adam Cooper at the station. We checked into the IBIS hotel, where we were staying with our friend Alex Owen. At the lobby I met fellow forum member Greatkudu.

After checking in we had a walk to the venue to try meeting the band around sound check time. The walk to the venue gave us time to talk on all things Stranglers. We arrived at the venue at 4pm as we thought that’s what time the band would come out. At the entrance were several fans, I saw Andy Miller, so we had a talk with him. After a lengthy chat, the band came out of sound check at 5pm. Baz and Dave quickly shot off into the awaiting car. However, JJ stopped and talked to fans. It was at that point I asked JJ if I could have a photo with him. JJ said “Well everyone else is”. So I got another photo with JJ. My first was in 2005 at his “Songs and Stories” tour in Salford. Then me and Adam headed off for a Thai curry. We arrived at the venue in time for Ruts DC. It was great to bump into friends Sam Holiday, Owen, Andy and Karen.

Ruts DC took the stage at 7.45 and Ruffy the Drummer said they had not played in Reading for 37 years. And that they would be playing songs from their new album “Music Must Destroy” which is good because I own it (and most excellent it is too – EiTC).

They started off with “Vox teardrop” from the new album. Which Captain Sensible plays on. I like “Music Must Destroy” the song and they play it. Segs the bass player and singer says it’s because we’re still so very angry. He shouts “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” at the start. From RATM. I really like the chorus “We are not your property”. They mix new songs with old songs. So, they play reggae dub song “Mighty Solider”, and their old single “Shine on Me”. Back to the new album they play “Kill the pain”. Obviously most of the crowd are waiting for the popular songs “Staring at the rude boys”, “In a rut” and “Babylon’s Burning”. But it is “Psychic Attack”. Which I am waiting for. They go off to a good applause

Time for The Stranglers at Tonight’s Sold out gig at the Hexagon. These days it is now impossible to not know the set with social media websites. I think I waited a day before I caved in. With the bands back catalogue from 1977 to 1982 supposedly being re-released, it would likely be a set mainly consisting of songs from that time period. Whilst there are many from that time period I would like to see Dropped. I would like to say “Always the Sun”, “5 minutes” and Walk on by” (sacrilege etc Etc EiTC!) for one (that’s three! EiTC). But these are must play songs. Baz has said in interviews there are several folders. “The must play folder”, “band request” folders and “Self indulgent” folders. Whilst he gave away the band would be playing “Dagenham Dave”, and an unplayed song from “Giants”. I guessed at “15 Steps”. I tried to keep the rest of set a Surprise (That was Ruts DC Surely! EiTC…).

9pm. “Waltzinblack” airs from the PA. Like a bus timetable that is timed to Greenwich mean time. Bang on!. “The Raven” starts off. My favourite all time song. So it doesn’t get much better for me already. “Was it you”? next, it looks like Dave has new Keyboards and “Grip”follows. Jim has a very nice looking new drum kit. It looks like a “linpig” (Ludwig??? EiTC) kit. Up next “Sometimes”. I have heard this a fair few times now but never get bored of it. It is clear the band are getting on as good as ever. “Never to look back” is up next, one of my favourites from “10”.

Now it’s time for the first wave of hits. “Strange little Girl” makes a nice return to the set. The first song the band ever wrote this is the classic collection, “Always the Sun” to which Baz and JJ seem to be having banter onstage by pulling faces at each other. We are well and truly in the hit parade now as “Golden Brown’ is up next.

A mad lighting effects. I am thinking to myself at this point Ok it’s a greatest hits set!

…but a keyboard run started off…
“No” I thought to myself it can’t be!!!
A heavy bass line followed and…
“BEAR CAGE”!!!!
I can’t believe it!
I have been waiting years and years to see this…
I just watch in Amazement.
Baz playing a stunning Gibson SG.
And his voice on this is very very good.
He sounds as mean as Hugh!. With “GMBH” and Gee I’m Living in a Bear Cage”.
I was totally surprised by this and this is worth the ticket fee alone!!!

“Genetix” next which is as good as ever (first time with Jim on Drums! EiTC). Only JJ seemed to start his bass solo too early. “Walk on By” which replaces “Midnight Summer Dream”. Which I am a tad disappointed about. Now time for the “Giants” set “Freedom is insane”, and then Baz starts a guitar line to “15 Steps” which is a really interesting version. I really like this song on “Giants” so I am glad they are playing it.

“Dagenham Dave” up next. One thing I notice the band are playing superbly. “5 Minutes” and then “Peaches”, “Nice N Sleazy”, then another great Surprise “Down in the Sewer”. Always a joy to hear this song another one of my favourites I never tire of hearing it live. It’s a song of four individual parts climaxing in the “Rats Rally” finale. The band go off to a very loud applause and come back for a shortened encore tonight of “Go Buddy Go” and “No More heroes”. I sat here typing this review out as we are in a car with Mark Owen at the helm with me Alex and Mrs Owen heading in the direction of Newcastle for my 2nd part of the tour … Marching on in Black

Over…

Words: The Legendary Pigeon.

Pictures and Videos: Andy Miller.

Bonus:



Guest Review – The Stranglers/Ruts DC – Lincoln Engine Shed – 070317

The Sugar Tongs have been offline due to a malfunctioning T-unit and what with cloning technology being what it is at the moment (etc Etc EiTC), Elvis had to resign himself to the fact that in this (or that) instance he wasn’t (currently isn't) able to be in two places at one moment.
 
Fortunately help was on hand... 

Cue John Dewhirst…

Whether it is Seasonal affected disorder (SAD) or age, the passing of winter and the coming of spring is always a welcome occurrence. March can be hit and miss in terms of the weather but it is a month that has assumed a particular significance, heralding the start of the touring season for the Men in Black that can be relied upon to brighten the mood.

I have seen The Stranglers on most tours since 1979 but have no hesitation in saying that those of the last five years or so have been the best for sheer all-round enjoyment. I am not alone in confessing that there was a phase in an earlier decade when I attended gigs more out of a sense of duty or habit than a compelling case of having to be there. But how things have changed! At the start of the decade I had a deep-rooted fear that a forthcoming tour was going to be the last but The Stranglers remain the band which continues to surprise and defy.

The last forty years bear testament to the band’s ability to reinvent itself with different styles of music. This decade however has been a statement of vitality almost akin to a rebirth, sufficient to persuade myself and others to commit significant chunks of time to follow the band across the UK on its annual March tour.

This year The Stranglers began their 19 date schedule in Lincoln on 7th March and I was fortunate to be there. It was the first time that I had visited the city and walked the streets having only previously been to Sincil Bank to watch the football. (Baz Warne alluded to the recent FA Cup exploits of Lincoln City and I share his sentiments of goodwill towards the club in its forthcoming Quarter-Final tie at Arsenal. As a supporter of Bradford City and someone at the Valley Parade fire in 1985, I share a certain affinity with the Imps.)

Although based in Bradford, I work across the UK and on this occasion had the relative convenience of travelling from Sheffield, only 50 miles distant. I arrived in Lincoln in the early afternoon and enjoyed a few hours wandering around the city before getting some food and heading off to the venue. It was a great day with spring sunshine and a nice place to visit. There is also the friendliness of the people in black from diverse backgrounds but with one thing in common.

What I have discovered is that when you attend a Stranglers gig you can be assured of a decent, charismatic venue (Fibbers at York included) and in that regard, the Engine Shed in Lincoln rates highly as one of the best. As far as sound systems go, neither was the support band plagued by the sort of issues that occurred in nearby Skegness last October.

It is very easy to take for granted all the incidental stuff that makes for an enjoyable experience seeing The Stranglers but the common theme is that you get good, solid entertainment. The Ruts DC were no exception to this and once more we have another hard working, enthusiastic band in support.

The atmosphere at the Lincoln gig was in many ways characteristic of what Stranglers concerts have become and the enjoyment of the evening is evident not only on the faces of those in the audience but on stage too – as well as the road crew. Everyone has fun. It is quite a unique bond between all concerned and what is so refreshing is just how down to earth it all is. All quite matter of fact and with no pretentiousness.

There is also the relaxed manner in which the band performs consistently to a high standard. Yet whilst it could be claimed that this comes from the familiarity of the band members it overlooks the professionalism of those concerned. For all the laid back delivery there is a wonderful team ethic and attention to detail that few of us have the privilege to witness in our day jobs. Also noteworthy is that this discipline is maintained during the entirety of a tour, a stamina challenging routine of at least four concerts per week that would test the energy levels of performers thirty years younger.

In terms of the music, Ruts DC gave a good performance that featured songs including ‘In a Rut’ and ‘Babylon’s Burning’. Crucially these were musicians who wanted to be there and were enjoying the occasion as much as the regular Stranglers fans.

The back catalogue of The Stranglers is so extensive as to make a mockery of any description of the set list being one of classics. There was probably an ironic grain of truth in the admission by Baz that it is in fact what the band wanted to play. The choice of songs showcases a real balance of musical talents and underlines the credentials of Jim and Baz alongside J-J and Dave – it is difficult to believe that the former pair are relative newcomers to the line-up.

The Stranglers never fail to be innovative and the rendition of ‘Bear Cage’ deserves special mention – a version that is destined to be a new live favourite. So too the contribution of Dave’s swirling organ that was particularly noticeable on the night. A new song – ’15 Steps’ – was given its (live) debut and was well received (15 Steps is the closing track on Giants eitc). Other favourites included the opener, ‘The Raven’ as well as old favs ‘Dagenham Dave’, ‘Sometimes’, ‘Buddy’ and ‘Down in the Sewer’. If this was the choice of tracks for an album it would be nothing less than balanced – a classic collection indeed.

On the basis of the first gig we have a great month ahead and much to look forward to. I remain in awe and have nothing but praise for the band – The Stranglers surely offer the benchmark for what a good gig is all about. Whilst there have been many videos of live performances, the one that is missing is a film about the hard work that goes into making these tours such a success and allowing us to celebrate the coming of spring!

See you next in Glasgow…

Over…

Words: John Dewhirst

John was co-founder of the longest surviving football fanzine The City Gent and has written a number of books about the history of both rugby and soccer in his home city, Bradford: https://johndewhirst.wordpress.com/ @jpdewhirst
He is the proud owner of a Triumph Bonneville T120 – black, of course.

Photos and Video: Andy Miller

Bonus:



Guest Review – The Finchley Boys 40th Bash according to Pidge…

In his own words, some yet to be added to the OED - The legend that is Pigeon gives his account of the recent Finchley Boys 40th Anniversary Bash...

It was 9am Saturday Morning. I received a phone call from Elvisintheclouds. He was on his way to his yoga class. We spoke about the Finchley boy bash, and I asked if I was going I was (couldn’t edit that mate, it’s golden EiTC). He offered me a lift to the venue, a bed for the night, and a drop off to the tube station Sunday morning so I could go to work. So the day started with a trip to Archway Tube station North London. I met EITC at 6pm, and off we drove to The Flag pub Watford.

We Arrive in Watford just gone 7pm. The Flag is a nice setting for the event. Upon Arrival the usual suspects are already there, Alex, Sarah, Rob, Owen, Jacquie, Les Neil, Audrey, Sandra, Elaine, The Welsh Mafia. I met Neil Sparkes and Alan Hillier. It was good to talk to them, and we heard many stories about the Finchley Boys.

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Walk into the venue I meet Steve Hillier. Who has my t-shirt and I bought a badge. To my right I spy a table full of goodies “Sell him Everything” I think was Mr Carnes idea. I could not believe my luck when my eyes feasted upon a poster of JJ Burnel on his Triumph Motorcycle, that was given away free with early Japanese copies of “Euroman Cometh”. I bought a Japanese copy of Euroman on eBay but my copy did not come with the said poster. “HOW MUCH? for the JJ poster I say to Steve?”. He says “you want it make me an offer?”, I say “Whatever the asking price is” he says “£15”. I open my wallet to (in disgust) find only a tenner in it. I say I will be right back and there’s a cash machine inside the venue. Withdraw another tenner. Rush back inside and yes its still there in all its glory. I can’t believe what happened I HAVE THE JJ BURNEL POSTER ON HIS TRIUMPH. I can’t recall the next half an hour, oh yes I can, proceed to show to it anyone who’s willing to let me talk to them.

Pidges Italian import...
Pidges Italian import…

First on was a band called The Smash. A punk rock covers band. They did great covers of New Rose, Ever fallen in love, Hit me with your, rhythm stick, She does it right, smash it up, Teenage kicks. got the audience dancing. They played well enough.

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Next up was one of the highlights of the evening, the brilliant Neil Horgan. Who from Ireland, and one of the tops Stranglers collectors gave an impressive speech on why The Stranglers changed his life. Saying the first time he heard The Stranglers was in 1979, and “Duchess” on the radio. He then went on to tell the length and depth of his record collection “No More Heroes” was released in Turkey!! & ….. Brazil. “Ain’t nothing to it, was released in Bolivia”. He then said his mum went on to give him a birthday surprise one year, “You can’t go to The Stranglers, Neil but there coming to you”. This was in 2005 and Neil said “I saw them in London last night, they’re in Southampton tonight”. Then Hugh walked in the living room with an acoustic guitar, and did an acoustic set for Neil, who couldn’t believe it. And Hugh said to Neil “Neil I have written a song that’s better than Golden Brown, do you want me to play it to you?”. Neil said “yes please” the song was “Delightful nightmare” and said it wasn’t as good as “Golden Brown”. He then when onto say his favourite item was his Stranglers Bomber jacket! A great speech.

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Next up there is a raffle that takes place, of which I didn’t enter but lots of nice items up for grabs including an acoustic white guitar, signed by all the band.

Up next was supposed to be a film, but there was technical difficulty so Neil Sparkes then introduced The Finchley Boys onstage for some stories, some have flown in from abroad for this. Steve Hillier, Alan Hillier, Alan Warne, Graham Hayhoe, Peter Enter, Peter Sharp, & Jonjo Bull.

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They all gave stories of how the Finchley boys came into existence, when The Stranglers played the Torrington pub in 1976. They said they saw The Damned play live there in 1976, but when they saw The Stranglers they knew that they were something special, so they invaded the stage. There was then tales of what they got up. They were in the TW studios, when No More Heroes was being recorded. They told the story of the battle of Cleethorpes and Canterbury 1977, when a running battle with the band the Finchley’s, and some HA, one had a knife and was about to stab JJ and a Finchley boy saved him. Alan told the story of the Dingwalls incident that JJ always talks about, and he says jj says the Finchley were there, but Alan says they weren’t as they didn’t know them then. They also tell the story about when they followed the band on their first European tour.

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After the Finchley’s it was time for Straighten Out who Neil Sparkes introduced. 3 Straighten Out gigs this year for me. As unfortunately I missed the second Hope and Anchor gig of the year in September. They came onto what else but “Burning up Time”. Seeing Straighten Out is always an experience, as it gives an idea to what it was like in the really early days. Keyboardist Mick “The Doctor” Turley, uses a Hammond just like Dave’s and it sounds superb. Shaggy’s bass, is how JJs bass sounded back then, and Guitarist Phil Harvey does a brilliant job emulating Hugh. It’s a concentrated set tonight. “Goodbye Toulouse” followed. But hello, technical problems early on in the set.

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The pure MK1 magic continues with “Peasant in the big shitty”, “I feel like a Wog”, “Peaches”. “Nuclear Device” the Bruce and Sheila’s are in fine voice tonight Then the crowd favourite “Toiler on the Sea”. a highlight of any gig, Dave’s Keyboard intro sung by all fans in various stages of merriness. It is here that the merriness of the Southern Section could no longer take it and were the first to fall. With the hard Northern Section of the audience prompting them back up (huh? EiTC…).

A Brilliant version of “The Raven”, follows “Princess of the Street” and “Genetix”. It’s a very long set tonight part two sees the “Black and white” part of the set start with “Sweden”, “5 minutes”, “Walk on by” was well received. Time for more “Black and White” now “Sleazy”, “Tank” and “Curfew”. “Straighten Out”, “Hanging Around”, “Something better Change” and “London Lady” finish the main set.

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Time for the Encore “School mam”, “Heroes” and the rip roaring “Down in the Sewer” where I among Alan Munro, Steve Maloney and Paul Anthony Kerswell find ourselves as Stage Security acting as the human barricade. I have never done Stage Security before, but like being a Stage Tech I am excellent at it (modest too EiTC).

stage-security

A great evening all round a well over £7 thousand pounds raised for Charity. Thanks to Steve Hillier and The Finchley boys for organising this.

Words:  Adam Salem.

Images: EiTC.

Bonus:

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Finchley Boys 40th-Straighten Out-12-11-2016

Legends, myths, fables, once upon a time etc Etc EiTC…
Well… you know how it goes?
Just then…

After a hard day’s levitation, I met up with the legendary Pidge, somewhere around Archway…

We set the sugar tongs for 1976 and headed in the general direction of Finchley North London.

Probably due to the day’s precipitation and some moisture penetrating the circuitry of the navigation unit, we somehow managed to end up in Watford 40 years later, which was quite timely as there were a bunch of lads there with a few tales to tell of Finchley in the year 1976…

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A couple of years ago The Stranglers celebrated their 40th Anniversary – there aren’t many bands who enjoy such longevity but they’ll be called the survivors, you know why?

Forty plus years of myths of menace, mayhem, meninblack, and other miscellaneous madness and misdemeanours but above all music (alliteration not withstanding). There has been much variety along the way but a good few constants are also weaved among the threads of this dark tapestry. Not least the followers and fans.

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Among the earliest and most well-known of these are the legendary Finchley Boys. Immortalised with a name-check in the song Burning Up Time. They stood side by side with the band in the early years and have themselves become part of the story.

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Tonight was a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Finchley Boys first fated meeting with The Stranglers at The Torrington in Finchley. The proceedings tonight were not in Finchley itself but The Flag in Watford which is a large pub right next to the train station with a good sized music hall (not unlike The Torrington inside according to Finchley Boy Al Hillier).

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The celebrations were arranged as a charity fund-raiser to commemorate those Finchley Boys departed for the great gig in the sky – Daddy, Leigh, Chris and John.

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Stranglers Tribute Band Straighten Out were the headline act, supported by Punk covers band The Smash. There was a Q&A session with the remaining Finchley Boys as well as an auction, a raffle and lots of merchandise and memorabilia.

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In addition to the Finchley’s and their families, The Flag was brimming with Family/Fans in Black here to take part in the celebrations. Any Fan in Black with a link to the internet or social media will not have missed out on the tireless organisation work of Finchley Boy Steve Hillier. And the hard work and dedication paid off as the £5k fund-raising target was well and truly surpassed with the final sum raised being in excess of £7k!

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Rob Owen took Mic for the Auction which saw some of the hard-core collectors digging deep for some ultra rare Stranglers memorabilia.

A mix-up with the raffle tickets saw EiTC’s guitar and jacket allocated to other people, although I wasn’t about to raise a fuss what with it being a charity do and all…

The Smash kicked off musical proceedings nicely with some well-presented punk covers.

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Special guest ‘Super-Collector’ Neil Horgan entertained all and sundry with his excellent story-telling, recounting some elements of his own personal ‘Stranglers’ journey.

Due to a technical hitch we were unable to view the video compiled by Les Neil but a link came through the following day, watch it here…

Before long The remaining Finchley Boys: Steve Hillier, Alan Hillier, Dennis Marks, Pete Enter, Graham Heyhoe, Pete Sharp and Alan Warne gathered on the stage for a Q&A session. MC for the evening Neil Sparkes fired questions from far and wide and the audience asked directly.

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We all stood agog as they entertained us with the tales of their encounters with The Stranglers.

Top Stuff!

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In no time at all, Straighten Out took the stage and proceeded to rustle up some Mk1 Magic.

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The sound was superb and authentic, the crowd hung off every last note. SO get better and better with each listen, soften your focus and it could be the real deal standing right in front of you!

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The lively crowd spilled over onto the stage occasionally which although in good spirits could potentially have spelled disaster.

Several of the crowd (not least Sandra and Al) took it on themselves to try to protect the stage. By the end of the set, the Welsh Mafia plus Pidge, Al and Sarah were on the stage providing a human barrier in a scene somewhat reminiscent of the Finchley Boys heyday!

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Superb night!

Coming soon – Guest Review – The Finchley Boys 40th Bash according to Pidge…

Over…

In JJ’s words…

Words and Images: Matthew Elvis Brown.

bonus:

Straighten Out:

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Crowd:

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Gig Review Straighten Out – Hope and Anchor – 24th Sept 16

So, after a studious day spent with like-minds in the wilds of Archway we made our way to Italy for sustenance at Il Mio Mosaic, which was nice...

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Just then the 271 bus happened along, so I hopped on whereupon it crawled its way down the Holloway Road which was very busy tonight thanks to a London Derby football match being held around and about the vicinity.

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Hopping off at Highbury and Islington and weaving through the crowds of stupored celebrants, I eventually found myself once more amongst like-minds. Albeit like-minds of a different kind…

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Here as we were for the annual Autumnal Pilgrimage to the holy shrine known as the Hope and Anchor, to enact our parts in the ritualistic summoning of Mark 1 Magic!

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The throng had dwindled a little since the last such happening but no matter as the enthusiasm of those who had made it here today more than made up for the absences.

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Then…

No Waltzinblack and straight down to business as Phil, Shaggy, Mick and Mickey P, otherwise known as Straighten Out, proceeded to deliver a no-nonsense set of authentic Stranglers Black Magic.

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Some cynics may say “why are you bothering to write a review for a tribute act?” Clearly such cynics are lacking in experience – particularly the experience of hearing perfect recreations of The Stranglers ‘Classic’ early catalogue.

Close your eyes and think of 1977 to 1982.

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Highlights too numerous to mention it was the whole blooming lot really but in the spirit of trying to narrow it down – for me it was, in no particular order; Who Wants The World, Bring On The Nubiles, Peasant in The Big Shitty, Ugly, Grip and the magnificent School Ma’am! First Class, Top Notch, Superb etc Etc EiTC…

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All too soon it was all, see you in March and all that.

Over.

Words and Pictures: Matthew Elvis Brown.

Bonus: Guess the song?…

o oo-bloo oo ooo oooo ooooo oooooo

Bonus: Straighten Out

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Bonus: bonus

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Hugh Cornwell – Always The Sun Festival Guildford – 11th Sept 2016

Okay I’ll level with you…
Not much time to get this done…
So will dispense with the normal nonsensical waffle and get straight down to business etc Etc EiTC…

Well…
Almost!

Had you going there for a while though eh!

But seriously…

Another blessed weekend of music and other blissful activities culminating in two festivals in one (Sun) day.

Pippfest - Dorking - Join Hands
Pippfest – Dorking – Join Hands

Dibdab and EiTC paid a visit to the charming Pippfest in Dorking. A local festival with lots of live music and other really cool stuff going on – organised as part of a campaign to save Pippbrook house from being sold by the council on the private market and keep this cherished local landmark available for local community use.

Then before you knew it there I was with Guildford Lil at Guildford Station, from whence we made our way to Stoke Park where we met up with Rob, Carol and family and the Legendary Pidge.

(Always) The sun shines – on the righteous…

It’s always a risk giving a festival a title that includes the word sun. This was the experience when I saw Hugh play at the Forever Sun festival in Dorset where it forever rained and was blooming freezing…

So going to a festival called ‘Always The Sun’ made me reach for the wellies and judging by Saturdays weather we may have needed the sou’westers as well!

But, as luck would have it, here we were on a perfect sunny day.

Further luck was that Hugh’s performance was at 5.40 meaning I could catch his set and be tucked up with cocoa before 9.30! Result!

The ATS site had plenty going for it lots of great music, loads of attractions and some excellent grub. Lil and YT shared some vegan brownies, then a falafel and cup of tea later and Hugh was up…

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Kicking off with Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit, the sound was spot on ticking all the boxes. Hugh’s material really suits the 3 piece treatment and the choice of Stranglers numbers were spot on too.

An awesome Sleazy gave way to the brilliant Beat of my Heart leading on to a sublime 2nd Coming. Then it was Badge next, Ooops sorry I mean God is a Woman, sounding great too.

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Caz looked slightly concerned as Hugh kicked off Hanging Around at a breakneck pace but the concern soon faded as they stormed through with a flawless solo and all, they nailed it! And the crowd showed their appreciation, while Hugh showed his appreciation for my beard… (Really!)

Through Getting Involved, Babylon and Tramp all sounding absolutely spot on! Then special mention for Stuck in Daily Mail Land which was brilliant, Caz’s harmonic bass accompaniment on the main melody once more showcasing her musical gifts and really helping the song shine.

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Then Hugh announced it’s time for that song, as the whole place got behind him for a flawless Always The Sun.

I want One of Those next which was nice but what I really wanted was Bad Vibrations…

More creative bass from Caz on Thrown Away which just works in this format. A sublime Under Her Spell before the grand finale of Nuclear Device which again they totally nailed!

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What can you say really.
F-in’ Awesome!

From the brilliant drums of Chris Bell to the superb Bass and BV’s of Caz Campbell, this format is cooking with Gas for the Hugh-meister!

And Hugh was just that! Masterful!

A great performance, great sound at a great festival…
And home in time for cocoa!

Over…
Words and Photos: EiTC.

Bonus:

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Gig Reviews – Stranglers-Wickham – Straighten Out-Heathfest – Aug 5-6 2016

Be in the moment…

So it was, after leaving India, well deepest darkest Dorset if you insist, Gurudi imbued me with the spirit of the great sages. Whereupon we swiftly levitated to Sunny Basingstoke. It was here that I alighted a mechanical carriage to the South...

Through Micheldever and the vegetable patch known as Winchester and several other towns before arriving at destination Fareham not to be confused with Wareham which, although nice, is actually nowhere near where we in fact needed to be and where we in fact were etc Etc EiTC…

En Route I met a crouton, though in reality it was Peter a thoroughly nice fellow South Londoner making his way to Wickham to volunteer. He offered to share a cab to the festival but as I already had a lift laid on, we bundled him into the Dreadmobile and made our way to base camp…

But, I digress…

An advanced party comprising Dreadinblack and WilliB arrived ahead of EiTC and set up base camp at the Heathfest site (Rob and Carol’s back garden – and a jolly nice job they did too thank you very much) in the back field beyond the reed beds and pond, before rendezvousing with YT at Il Stazione… Which was about where we came in…

The memory of a paid festival…

A quick recce around the (most impressive) Heathfest site, then we were bundled into a 4×4 and ferried off to Wickham festival – courtesy of Charlotte. John joined us for this part of the journey which meant WilliB had to travel on the jump seat (aka. The Boot or dog cabin). A short hop and we were there, wrist-banded and admiring the stunning Hampshire sunset (sun machine coming down).

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We caught the last two numbers of From The Jam’s encore and it sounded very good.

Bella and Amanda caught up with us and proceeded to lead us down to the front where the FiB were in waiting for the main event. Waltzinblack and Bam The Stranglers took the stage doing their summer festival stuff with gusto.

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I bounced up and down for three or four numbers toward JJ’s side of the stage then the pong got too much (the real ale and exotic foods clearly not agreeing with someone’s digestive system). So I headed for more fragrant pastures toward Baz’s side where I managed to last a few numbers – but the mix was way out on this side – with just the guitar being audible!

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Holding my breath I made my way back to JJ’s side for the remainder of the set where the sound was more favourable. I think the problem was the main PA speakers were some way behind where we were standing (at the front towards the barrier) so all we could hear here was the backline. Although there did also seem to be some disparity in the levels – almost like the guitar was set for Wembley while the rest of the band were set for a pub gig.

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No worry really – the greatest band with the best fans it’s all good. At the end of the set we nattered and posed before heading off back to base with Bazzainblack and Mr T in tow, we just managed to squeeze into Anthony’s car.

A midnight swim in the heated pool was most civilised but it felt very cold getting out of the pool luckily Ben had been keeping the jacket potatoes warm which helped stave off the cold. Then it was off to bed to knock out a few zeds under canvas and recover a little energy for the main event.

The memory of a free festival…

Sun machine is coming down and we’re gonna have a party…
Be in the Moment!
Did you ever have a day where you lived every moment?

6am…

The geese were a honking the cock was a crowing and the sun was a shining, so I took this as a sign and an opportunity to head across the dewy field for morning ablutions, tea and a little light practice. Perfect start!

Ben and his assorted helpers soon had breakfast on the go as the good people gathered around the field slowly began to join the day…

As more guests began to arrive, Carol was frequently seen ferrying people’s tents and luggage across the site on the ride on lawn mower and attached trailer with a huge smile on her face.

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From the moment I got here on Friday evening I have to say it was difficult picking my jaw up from the ground – it really was a most incredible event that Rob and Carol and assorted helpers had set up. And in a wonderful location too. Our hosts had thought of everything from wristbands and glowsticks to 5* Toilets and Top Cuisine, they’d even managed to arrange the glorious Hampshire sunshine and an Ice Cream Van.

The words ‘Magical’ and ‘Magic’ were on my lips for the whole experience. And that’s exactly what this was – an Experience!

Did you ever have a day where you lived every moment?

Some moments are crystallised in time

And I’ve not even talked about the entertainment yet…

…here goes!

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Up first The Drop Bears entertained us with a solid set of classic rock covers. They did a great job of warming up and wetting the appetite of the audience. With Paul’s solid drumming and Paul’s solid rhythm guitar, not forgetting Paul’s solid Lead guitar and Nick‘s steady bass all making the perfect platform for singer Hanna to strut her stuff!

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Rockabilly Trio Switchblade were on next and began to get the crowd going a bit more with their fine mix of covers moulded into their very distinctive punky rockabilly style. Highlights for me were – Johnny Remember Me, Babylon’s Burning and (crowd pleaser) Golden Brown.

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Our host Rob joined them for a superb rendition of Folsom Prison Blues on Voice and Harmonica and made a very convincing job of it too. There may have been a bit of Manilow in their set somewhere too! And certainly some Smiths! Well worth a look…

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More rockabilly next – as The Ace Trio took the stage. No worries about back to back Rockabilly bands as the two bands both had very distinctive sounds where Switchblade sounded a little more uptempo and edgy with reverberant Tele and crunchy Precision while The Ace Trio had a more traditional/classic rockabilly feel with a smooth Gretsch and Stand up bass flavour to their sound.

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The Ace Trio proceeded to deliver a flawless two set show comprising an eclectic mixture of songs given their rockabilly treatment including: Rock this Town, Nine Lives, I’m on Fire, Valerie, Killing Moon, 13 Women, Jump Jive and Wail, Rock the Joint, Slow Down, Rockabilly Boogie, Shim Sham Shimmy and Stray Cat Strut. Catch them live in a town near you (possibly on The South Coast).

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By this time the sun machine really was coming down on a fantastic day…

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And all too soon it was time for the grand finale as Straighten Out took the stage and entertained all and sundry with their patented blend of MK1 Stranglers Magic. Once more, close your eyes and it’s as if you’ve time travelled back to the late 70’s. Authentic doesn’t even begin to cover it! On a par with the real deal for sure etc Etc EiTC… And we all loved it!

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As the crowd warmed up and had a good ol’ boogie (woogie!). Phil busted his A string, so Shaggy made an appeal for someone to re-string, I duly volunteered and soon had him back up and running. A couple of numbers later his D went and once more I was happy to oblige.

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Black Angel

We had rat-walking, swirling Hammond, growling Precision, biting Tele and pounding relentless Drumbeats a true fix of IBM… in-Black Magic!

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Did you ever have a day where you lived every moment?

That day was today!

It was like being present in every second and fraction thereof. For a short while, yet also for an infinity, time became non-linear in a day that was truly…

Magical

Magic

Live every moment

Crystallised in time.

Over…

Words and Pictures: EiTC.

Bonus: EiTC.

Stranglers:

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Heathfest Artistes:

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Wickham:

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Heathfest:

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White Angel
White Angel

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The Day After…

Before
Before
After
After

Video: Dreadinblack.

Gig Review – Dead Ringers – The Tropic – Ruislip – 27-5-16

Archeologists recently uncovered some ancient runes located around the conjunction of major Ley Lines situated to the North and West of the great sprawling Metropolis. What they discovered upon decryption of the messages held within will astound and amaze you! The full transcription follows below, so spark up the kettle pull up a pouffe and enjoy...

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Accept No Substitutes?

I’m no slave to big brand loyalty. I’m perfectly happy to test out shops’ own brands and alternatives. But then there was Sellotape. It had to be Sellotape, I stood no nonsense with inferior varieties that would not tear smoothly, I bypassed these for the one true adhesive tape. Oh but curses upon the school art project or the helpful birthday child wrapping their own pass-the-parcel that used up a whole roll of the precious tape. Salvation was at hand though. Did you know that the pound shop sells bundles of sticky tape rolls with a handy dispenser thrown in? Happy wrapping resulted.

The Tropic in Ruislip had booked the well renown Stranglers tribute band Straighten Out, a very acceptable alternative to the original (and let us bow away for now from discussion over line ups and recipe changes in relation to that big brand). A tried, tested and trusted brand was anticipated for the start to the late May bank holiday weekend until disaster struck in the form of guitarist Phil’s finger fracture. As Facebook filled up with best wishes for a speedy recovery so too did the eyes of those who looked to the Tropic for Strangular entertainment. Now I’d hate to suggest that Philip at the Tropic headed to the pound shop for a solution but an alternative was certainly sought and a resolution found. Step forward the Dead Ringers from Peterborough. Who bring us Nick Moon on guitar and vocals, Geoff Hayward on bass and vocals, Scott White on drums and backing vocals, and on keyboards is Rob Poynton (a young Jet Black lookalike, one might risk saying a dead ringer).

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A bank holiday crowd can be unpredictable in numbers and apparently many of the Tropic’s regulars had splashed out in search of sun depleting the audience somewhat. Those that had splashed into Tropic made full use of the space available and were quickly on their feet as Dead Ringers took the stage. A largish room, small audience and a band that had only played about half a dozen gigs together? Sometimes these things gel in their own special way. Indeed Sometimes began the show.

Sometimes you can spend ages searching for the end of the sticky tape. You carefully hold the roll to the light and ease your fingernail over the surface at snail pace to catch the contour ripple. You hold yourself in anticipation of the tape splitting as the strip is raised. For a moment you are nervous and tense. Is the beat going to hit the right tempo? Are the keyboards going to swirl? Will there be tune but no passion? How will the voices sound? And damn it, will the bass growl sufficiently?

It takes a few songs to get used to the changes, to become attuned yourself, to ease the audience in. Wisely the band don’t relent on the pace as Straighten Out and Nuclear Device follow. Geoff slides into vocals with London Lady sounding particularly like JJ. Nick announces that next will be a slow one and produces expert pub rock guitar work on Mean to Me. These guys mean business. The audience responds, the applause pitches higher and the dancing gets crazier as the night wears on.

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We are treated to Tank, Sleazy, ATS and Curfew before the first half is wound up with three in a row from NMH: Bitching, Dagenham Dave and Heroes itself. As Parrot Boy says they’re playing as a very tight unit with all the bass and lead solos being well executed and the keyboards are making quite a difference, being rather special.

I have to admit that at the start I was not convinced by Nick’s voice but it really was only a matter of time before my ears adjusted. By the time we hit Always the Sun I was sold on it. You can’t talk Stranglers without some discussion of Hugh/Paul/Baz vocals and a tribute is no exception. I was however particularly pleased with the singing on Duchess, a favourite of mine and one that really only Hugh’s voice can usually provide the polish to for me.

After the well-earned break the audience is on its feet and looking for more while the band are looking confident and ready to banter. Longships and The Raven give way to Grip. There is mention from the stage that a Facebook comment hoped that Golden Brown be omitted, they apologise and play it anyway. This elicits a snigger and a groan from my companion as the author of the aforementioned comment. For me GB is the weakest track of the night, could it be the keyboard sound? We aren’t given time to dwell on such matters as Dead Ringers storm through Duchess, Peaches and Toiler. Scott comments on his admiration for Jet continuing to play Toiler into his seventies. Parrot Boy singles Peaches out as a highlight of the evening “spot on”. Sweden, Five Minutes, Hanging Around, Something Better Change (the dancers are going wild by now). Geoff pulls off Ugly (sorry, thought about rewriting that but what the heck).

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The set finishes with a decent length Sewer. There’s nothing worse than a band skimping on Sewer and this is so good that you don’t want it to end.

Encores are in order. I may have to take cover when I say that I yawn when the Stranglers start Walk On By but these chaps made me fall in love with the track all over again. An achievement as they say before starting it that they’ve not played it on stage other than at the sound check. Go Buddy Go brings the evening to an exhausting end.

Nick, Geoff, Scott and Rob are gracious in their acknowledgement that they are on stage tonight because of Straighten Out’s misfortune and they wish Phil well. The audience are with them in echoing those best wishes but are equally keen to show Dead Ringers of their appreciation for the entertainment provided tonight. At the end we spy Leigh Heggarty from Ruts DC in the house looking like he’s been enjoying the set. My trip back to Guildford takes half the time that it did to get there but it was worth the journey. I promise to demonstrate proper crazy dancing next time (without air guitar).

Just as my Sellotape substitute has proved effective I like to think that Dead Ringers will stick around too.

Brand loyalty, brand awareness, working with a product like the Stranglers’ output is a high standard to attain but give Dead Ringers a go. The fansinblack aren’t so old that they’re stuck in their ways, are they?

Over…

Words: Guildford Lil.

Photos and Ejaculations: Parrot Boy.

 

Way Down Under… The Stranglers in Australia 2016 – A brace of reviews…

This just in from way down under - A superb brace of reviews from the recent Australian Tour courtesy of Meanie who regales us with tales of his antipodean adventures - Including transhemispheric double-decker submarine buses! For real! - Brilliant!!!...

Strangled in The Great Southern Land

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It was with some trepidation that I agreed to accept the honourable task of reporting on The Meninblackdownunder Tour (title blatantly stolen from the tour shirt). Being neither a literary genius, nor a great storyteller, I will endeavour to provide you with a blow by blow account from my perspective.

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A quick bit of background, when I moved to Australia, I didn’t think I would ever attend another Stranglers gig again, you know, bus timetables and all that, apparently there are no aquatic buses to The UK after 6PM on weekdays. I had been lucky enough to be around for the ‘Glory Days’ and was not at all keen on MKII. It was a case of tried that and didn’t like it, I was happy to remain loyal to the ‘old stuff’ and I had more than enough dodgy boots to keep me sustained. Then in 2009 I decided to dip the preverbial toe in the water when I saw that The Boys were playing a venue called The Roundhouse, at Sydney Uni, the temptation was too much, the name of the venue alone was enough to prise $1000 from me to get there, and what a night!!! Hooked again completely. I thought that would be the last time I ever saw the band and that I would die happy after the previous incarnation. For the record, I now see every Stranglers gig that I attend, as possibly the last time that I will ever see them, so it’s kind of emotional for me, I’m not ashamed to admit it. Fortunately, I have seen them seven ‘last times’ since Sydney.

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So, on to the matter at hand. Back to September 2015, my phone beeps…. SMS…. a link and a question…… are you going? I click the link, it’s a heads up on ticket sales for The Stranglers tour in April……..”Am I going???”, what kind of question is that? Of course I’m going, boot computer and register for the old early bird heads up thingo. Within days I’ve pawned the family jewels and got tickets, flights and accommodation……..now we wait, and wait and wait, I post “is it April yet” regularly on Facebook. Finally it’s April and we are packing for Brisbane 1000km round trip of open road interspersed every 10km by the dicks with sticks, that’s my term of endearment for those stout yeoman who wield the stop/go signs, I swear half the working population of Australia are dicks with sticks.

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The Tivoli – Brisbane

After a quick tour of family we set the GPS for Coniston Street in search of The Tivoli, we hit Brisbane at rush hour and become slightly quizzical of the GPS when it suggests that we turn left 8 times in succession, we abandon the car, I feed the meter and we set off on foot in search of the venue and then the pub, The Jubilee, to meet fellow Fansinblack. We wander in, spot a few Stranglers shirts milling about, we order drinks and sit down. I spot a few familiar faces and soon tables are being drawn together like some medieval banquet and the black knights and their ladies are seated reminiscing about old times, past gigs, football and the old country. It was great to meet some of those who had made the long and perilous journey to New Zealand and then on to Aus for the tour. I took particular delight in watching Chris Foulkes squirm as I told him the story about the brown snake in our bathroom, there is no innuendo whatsoever in that, real snake.

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We sculled a few and then all set off to wait for the doors to open, it was still pretty hot, so nobody had a problem with standing outside waiting for the doors to open ten minutes after the tickets stated, which is the norm. As soon as I entered the venue memories came flooding back of the venues I had seen The Stranglers play so many years ago, before the advent of the concrete and metal insincere buildings they call concert halls, all owned by the same money grabbing company. It felt like I had come home, I grabbed my tour shirt and stubby holder post hastily as I know how quickly those things sell out here. We found a great spot and I made the obligatory trip to the bar as is customary at such occasions, beer in a bottle, not one of those plastic cups, living the high life, we were.

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Support was provided by some nong with a laptop who stood like someone who wasn’t sure whether he’d peed on his white trousers and was desperately looking to see in the dimly lit venue, at the beginning we were lured into a false sense of security as he played tunes by the old skool punk elite at the beginning of his ‘set’, by the time he’d reached a painful near two hour marathon, Jo was ready to beat him to death with his laptop and she made that VERY clear. And two hours passed, the sound was pretty dire, the nong never uttered a word, remaining stooped over his gadgetry while we waited, somewhat impatiently. By 9PM the crowd were getting toey as we’d been told that there was a curfew and this dick was eating into gig time, sure enough he eventually disappeared, then the obligatory last minute adjustments started in the dark. I remember chuckling to myself as Jo stated “For fucks sake, they’ve had all day to fiddle about with that stuff!” Then, thank the maker……..

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Waltzinblack, Toiler, Grip, you know the story. The band looked tired but they worked hard and played many of the standards, they made a rotten job of a couple but were totally forgiven, Skin Deep was dismal and really out of tune, Dave took the piss out of Baz on a number of occasions, which I had been told he’d done for the previous few gigs and Baz took the piss out of Australians and Brits alike, throwing in the odd Acca Dacca riff to demonstrate ”I can play fuckin’ anything me.” We watched people skate by on the multiple discarded beer bottles and laughed at the group next to us who firmly planted cotton wool in their ears when the lights went down. It wasn’t the best gig I’ve ever been to but it was still brilliant and we left sated. We steered the beast for Coffs Harbour, and home the next morning for one day at home before heading south to Adelaide.

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Thebarton Theatre – Adelaide

Early morning flight to Sydney followed by a short wait for our flight to Adelaide, nothing is close in Straya. Five hours later we’re in Adelaide, I really wanted to go to this gig as I’ve never been to South Australia. We arrive at our hotel and from the outside it looks like a lifesize prop from Gotham City, complete with Gargoyles, our room is on the tenth floor, it’s very luxurious and it’s black and white and we discover that there is a roof top bar…. Complete awesomeness. I found some amusement in sitting on top of a skyscraper, drinking a stout called King Kong while trying to balance on a bar stool overlooking the city.

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I had booked a few days in Adelaide to explore and I’m glad that I did, what a beautiful city, The City Of Churches. On Friday, gig day, we woke to the news that his royal purpleness, Prince, had died, the weather had turned and it was cold and pretty miserable. I did the sensible thing and booked a taxi to the pub nearest to the venue and after waiting for an hour in the cold and the rain for the invisible taxi, someone told me that it’s a waste of time booking a taxi on Friday or Saturday because they don’t turn up! Fortunately the boys in the hotel were onto it quickly and in no time we were whizzing along Henley Beach Road towards the venue, unfortunately we missed catching up with everyone at the pub as it was knocking on 7PM by the time we got there. There was none of the previous joviality outside the venue because the weather was nasty, Jo advised me “this is worse than queuing to get into a gig in England”, referring to the harsh weather. Twenty minutes later and we are inside, fantastic theatre, gloomy and old, just how I like them.

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Oh Nooooo, here we go again another nong with a laptop, this one looked like an extra from Waynes World but at least he was more animated, he walked about and flicked his long hair a lot whilst drinking from a bottle…. Talent or what????

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This geezer didn’t make us suffer as we had in Brisbane, an hour and a half and he was gone. Our cunning plan for being central to the stage came slightly undone when chromedome stinky appeared right in front of us with all of his bags and wind up mobile phone, it’s possible that Jo and I did not take more than a few breaths in 2 hours. Lights go down, Waltzinblack and the place was electric, it just had that buzz about it, it felt right. Toiler, Straighten Out, Grip, I’ve been Wild, Curfew (Andi et Al, sneaking about frantically on the stage)…. They’re smashing it, then, Jim’s drums spit the dummy and decide to part company with each other, the lights go up and people rush about the stage frantically Jim disappears for a while and Baz goes into comedy mode while repairs are made.

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Baz “People ask us if we bring all our gear on tour, you’re joking, it would cost a million fucking pounds to bring all of our shit to Australia, this is my guitar and that’s JJ’s guitar, come on show ‘em JJ, Dave brings a few bits and so does Jim, the rest is hired. Looks like we hired a shit drum kit though, it keeps falling apart”. Baz held it all together for a good five minutes while he and JJ treated us to a few short solos, even Dave chipped in with a few rare words on occasion, mostly aimed at mocking Baz. Then we’re up and running again……Relentless, Sleazy…. Firing on all cylinders and then some. 5 Minutes appeared in the set, as did Go Buddy Go in exchange for that eternal ‘crowd pleaser’ ADAAOTN.

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The announcement of GBG referenced pub rock, as it had on the B&W tour, but Baz threw in “You Aussies know all about that though, you probably fuckin’ invented it”. We finished with Heroes and could easily have gone another fifteen rounds. Then we all disappeared into the shadows, unaffected by the cold, warmed to the centre of our beings. To end my bit of the tour on such a high was all that I could ask for………… except maybe that they come back again next year, they know that they will pull a good crowd of ex-pats and with those of you mad enough to make the trek from the UK they’re always going to have fun.

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Thankyou and goodnight from the arse end of the world…. Who Wants It?

Meanie

Over…

Words and Pics: Meanie.

Bonus:

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