The Stranglers Hampton Pool 6th July 2018
In more recent reviews, we’ve dispensed with the waffling pre-amble in an attempt to get down and get on with it and this is the case with this review also. However, in the interest of completeness and adhering to the bind of duty. At least a marginal attempt to piss off the grammar checking tool in this fangled word processor thingamajig (would you believe the spell checker corrected that? No not that! Thingamajig!), needs to be made in order to preserve the abstract soft focus first glance appearance of this here site etc Etc EiTC… Besides, it wouldn’t be right to just go straight in without any hello or how do you do? Would it? So… Down to business…
There’s a lot been written about The Stranglers (even done a bit of that me-self – EiTC). And, whilst trying not to cover too much old ground, there are certain things worth repeating. Not the least of which is; the relationship of this band with themselves and their fans and the relationship of the fans with themselves and the band. And it’s been said before but clichés exist for a reason, usually because they hold more than a modicum of reality about them and not least in this case vis a vis the Family in Black. Just like every family has its ups and downs there is almost always some way of finding a middle ground or acceptance. It is generally the perception of YT that, on the whole, in the words of The Ramones, ‘we’re a happy family’. And isn’t that something worth striving for?
And just as with kith and kin, there are comings and goings. In which light a recent going has had a profound effect on the FiB i.e. the shock bereavement of Uber-fan Rob Owen. The King of collectors, Rob was known to many and the band themselves. Having been fortunate enough to make acquaintance with Rob on a number of occasions, I was struck with an impression. That was, behind all of the outer layers, such as his unerring dedication to the band, his passion for collecting Stranglers records and memorabilia, Peroni lager, strong wit and dry sense of humour, his undying love for and loyalty to his family. Behind all of this, at his very foundation if you will, was a generous, genuine, good natured soul, that touched people’s lives. A sad loss for the whole family!
Waltzinblack of course heralded their imminent arrival and they kicked off firing on all four with an opening salvo of 5 minutes with Grip bringing up the rear.
A great festival style set list tonight full of classics, hits and crowd pleasers. The crowd lapped up every last morsel. The mighty Bear Cage still holding its own and proving its worth. 12” mix of Peaches with extended opening bass line.
And the following highlights:
1 JJ offered up his pick to the young pre-teen lad hanging off the barrier in front of him, he and his brother also received Jim’s sticks.
2 Baz paid heartfelt tribute to Rob Owen as he dedicated Walk on By to his memory, Poignant!
Fly Straight Sir!