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PATTI SMITH GROUP & THE STRANGLERS, ROUNDHOUSE, MAY 17TH 1976

Posted by dst-admin | Oct 3, 2020 

There’s something going on, I’m not sure it’s what people have paid their hard earned for, but the rising tension is impossible to ignore. The singer in the support act had been playing on the crowd’s impatience. Taunting and winding them up mercilessly. Now all of a sudden he was bathed in a sickly green spotlight, looking like he’d been dipped in nuclear waste, before starting to mime throttling himself in slow motion. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Summer of 1976 is rightly remembered for its drought and intense heat, as well as being the year of punk’s breakthrough. May already felt like July or August as I’d struggle into work on the cramped sweaty tube and back again in the evening. We lived not too far up the hill from the Roundhouse, and I could see the place every day as I came out of Chalk Farm tube. The Roundhouse had mapped a few significant times in my life – wild eyed Family tearing the place apart as ginormous canvas breasts inflated behind them disgorging white gunk, 1970 maybe. An earlier school outing to see Hamlet, redeemed by transparently nightie’d Marianne Faithfull as Ophelia.

The last time we’d been, almost exactly a year before to see Man – a guaranteed cool early 70’s band – with legendary Quicksilver Messenger Service guitar hero John Cipollina. It should have been a great evening, but the sound was crap, the place was rammed and stuffy, and maybe expectations were a bit too high. In addition it was often hard to see the stage for the massed hangers on either side. A few years earlier they’d have looked the epitome of California cool, but now the cowboy hats, fringed jackets, unisex ponytails, long dress’n’baby ensembles looked more like the residue of a scene that was in the process of winding up & moving on.

By contrast it felt like we’d been in training for the Patti Smith gig since the winter before. “Horses” came out in winter 1975, but as avid scourers of mags like “Creem” & “Andy Warhol’s Interview”, she’d been on our radar for a while. When our friend Andrew went to New York in the New Year, we begged him to bring back any tangible Patti product. Sure enough he returned with signed copies of “Seventh Heaven” and “Witt” (not that they lasted long before being nicked).

There were other little hints that she was going to be more than another passing musical flavour for us. Blue Oyster Cult were one of the outfits who saw us through the early 70’s gap years before punk. Leaning to the hard rock side of metal, they combined strange lyrics with a powerful sound that had nothing to do with the bluesy plod of most British rockers. Moreover she was credited on some of their songs. Thus we found that she was involved with the group’s Allen Lanier. Imagine our excitement at one of Blue Oyster Cult’s Hammersmith gigs when we spotted a familiar figure dancing down the front in her trademark black leather jacket. We so wanted to go and say hi, but torn between respect for her space and our own nerves, the moment was soon gone.

But that was the thing, the big difference – she might be a published poet and involved with rock stars, but Patti was a Fan, just like us. Lots of people put down the 60’s at that time, but she had that fan’s talent for infallibly homing in on the jewels among the crap. As shown by her choice of cover versions. Sure, we’d all dug “My Generation,” but it took a real savant to know about the treasures that lurked in soul & Tamla, like “Hunter Gets Captured By The Game” or the original “Time Is On My Side”.

Finally “Horses” came out in November 1975. We’d immerse ourselves word perfect in the album, along with the other meagre pre-punk pickings like “On the Beach”, “No Other”, Iggy, John Cale, Steely Dan. After that there were usually snippets in the NME to help build the anticipation, so we were aware that apart from the music she trailed all manner of hip connections and references, like Burroughs, Ginsberg. No flares, astrology or 60’s tie-dye granola trips there, just a spiritual link to the original Beat Generation, back again but Blank this time. And when she did reference the previous decade, especially in music, it was with an innate instinct for the Cool. Jimi, Brian Jones, Dylan, Velvet Underground, classic Stones.

Eventually I was able to escape the windowless back room office, and made my way home. My partner Jan had been building up to a crescendo of pre gig excitement all day, getting her hair just so, then going through yet another costume change, or suddenly asking me, “Should I wear a bra?”, closely checking Patti’s figure on the Horses cover

Then there were the drugs. I take no pride in it now, but our seemingly cool and carefree lives were controlled by our heroin addiction, and as you’ll see it’s relevant to the story later on. Still, we were on an upswing that summer and even had some coke as a treat. Jan quickly did her narcotic origami, fashioning 4 neat packets to receive our separate supplies for the night, and after a last intake we were off down the hill.

Camden was a different entity to the Notting Hill replica it now resembles. Even though we were up the opposite end from the grimy pubs and street drinkers around the tube station, there was always a layer of grime and a smell of traffic jams and overground railways. True, there were a couple of minor landmarks like Marine Ices, Dingwalls and Compendium books but overall the place was static and decaying. The council had long ago lost control of its housing stock, and despite grandiose names like Royal Hospital Avenue, whole blocks were squatted. We used to joke about “The Hampstead Triangle”, an area notionally bounded by Adelaide Road to the South, with Haverstock Hill & Fitzjohn’s Avenue forming long tapering sides that met up around Hampstead Village. This area was heavily squatted and rife with dealers and dopers of every description, although a couple of would-be communes held on as Sixties’ die hards with their macramé, meditation rooms and cooking rotas.

For once we got to a gig early, making our way through the usual touts outside and up the stairs to the main concourse, if that isn’t too grandiose a term. The door staff were surlier than usual, maybe put out by the different punk crowd compared to the usual Sunday beer, Mandrax and greatcoat crowd. Still we were in, and what’s more there was still loads of room. I was trying to decide on  a vantage point half way back, where hopefully sound & vision would be just so, when Jan tugged my arm, “I don’t want to stand there. Let’s go down the front”

“I don’t want to stand there. Let’s go down the front”

Before long the place started to fill up. We assessed the situation and made a rapid trip to the toilets for a top up. Soon we were enclosed on all sides as people pressed round us. But no matter, we’d heard the key phrase and electric crackle, “Testing 1-2-3”. Music was imminent…

I’d noticed the Stranglers’ name as regulars on the live gig pages but that was about it. Looking back now – sadly a few days after the death of keyboard maestro Dave Greenfield – it’s striking that although it was still nearly a year to their first Top 20 hits like “Peaches”, “Go Buddy Go” & “Grip”, their set showed that all the key components of “Rattus Norvegicus IV” & “No More Heroes” were already in place. Soon we were nodding to each other in approval. Hey, the support act is really good too, whaddya know? At such close range Jean Jacques Burnel’s strident punchy bass lines were like a constant prod in the diaphragm at such close range, while Hugh Cornwell roved the stage like he belonged there, no humble newbie at the bottom of the ladder. A wash of Doorsian keyboards completed the picture as one future hit followed another, “Choosie Susie”, “Princess of the Streets” and our favourite, “Hanging Around”.

It was probably during the lascivious chorus of “Peaches” that I noticed our enthusiasm wasn’t shared generally. There were Stranglers fans there of course, but it was clear that most of the crowd were there for the main act and no-one else. During one of the between song tuning-up breaks, voices started to ring out, “Oi, get on with it!” along with ragged attempts at a slow handclap. Suddenly Jean Jacques bristled visibly & took the mic, “Get on with what?” The response stalled the heckler, but another voice took up the thread, “What you’re supposed to be doing!” “And that is…?” “Playing some bloody music!” “So that’s why we’re here in your opinion – we’ve got to play music for you? It’s our job to be your entertainers?”

Then Hugh joined in, deconstructing the argument further and dissecting the inane impatience, before announcing with a laugh,

“This is getting really dialectical!”

More cries and sneers burst forth from the crowd, less articulate this time.

For a while a song the crowd knew – “Walk on By” – pacified things. But it didn’t last long. I forget which song it was – “I Feel Like a ***”, “Tits”, “Peasant in the Big Shitty” maybe, and yes, they could be very provocative when they wanted to. You could even say that it was a bit adolescent, shock-the-parents stuff, especially for a couple of uni graduates but it was needed in the age of “Olias of Sunhillow” and Olivia Newton John.

 It was probably “School Marm” that did it, Jean Jacques announcing,

“If you didn’t like that one, you’re going to really hate this”

Then Hugh snarling and contorting as he spat out the words, culminating in the auto strangulation/green spotlight moment.

A palpable disquiet and tension filled the air. A well-modulated voice cried out,

“This is rubbish! Get them off”

Followed by jeers of assent and counter cries from group loyalists. I’d seen the scenario so many times before – fans of headline act barracking the support, but this felt different. I’d never seen anyone react before by turning the ritual baiting into a dialectical debate. We’d commented to each other a few times at previous gigs how the audience acted like they were sat at home watching television – now there was a group stepping through the screen and defying their allotted role.

Was this what the Pit of an Elizabethan theatre had been like? None of the impenetrable invisible barrier that had so put me off theatre as a kid. Clearly the objectors would have preferred a trip to somewhere nicer like the ICA, rather than hauling out to the grimy old Roundhouse. Briefly the air crackled with confrontation, only dissipating when the Stranglers quit the stage, job done. They were back supporting the Clash a few months later. Not long after that they became chart regulars, with their first album coming out 11 months after we’d seen them. Most of the songs had already been in place and road tested for a long time, unlike many of their punk contemporaries who were caught between the demand of getting out there playing gigs and trying to come up with new material at the same time.

We took advantage of the between sets moving around to slip off for a discreet top up in one of the many dark dank recesses of the Roundhouse, half expecting to find the skeletal remains of a lost Pink Fairy. We forced our way thru the thickening crowd back to our place down the front, tension and expectation mounting all the time.

Finally Patti Smith arrived, beaming and overflowing with words. Ivan Kral took up position directly in front of us, looking cool and decadent with his feather cut hair and a sharp pale suit, topped off with a very cool silver horse badge on his lapel. Once he’d plugged in, the first firmly struck chord hit us like a wave on the beach, the first taste of a night doused in rippling swathes of glorious surf guitar. Forgive me for not being able to remember exactly what she was wearing nearly 50 years later, tho I’m pretty sure it was the white top and black pants as on the album cover, or for not recalling the exact topics of her between song hyper excited raps, ideas and words tumbling over each other in their rush to get out, a crazy COOL Babel cut up of Patty Hearst, Watergate, Wilhelm Reich and other hip bush telegraph stuff, Radio Ethiopia made flesh.

The group started with their usual warm up number and scene-setter, a lively chug through the Velvet Underground’s “We’re Going To Have a Real Good Time Together” – a perfect reference number for where they were from and what they aspired to. Cover versions were a big part of the group’s make up. Sadly we weren’t to hear their take on “Pale Blue Eyes”, or “Time Is On My Side” (a great cover choice, so evocative of playing the Stones’ first album in my bedroom as a kid).

From then on things got faster and more intense, a lope through “Redondo Beach” quickly followed by our favourite, “Free Money”. Jan’s eyes sparkled in rapture as Patti skipped from side to side of the stage while Lenny Kaye held down the music, while looking almost the least punk in the house with his long hair and glasses. The Punk Uniform police were still in the future. Another impeccably hip 60’s reference came with “Privilege”, nodding to the Paul Jones/Chrissie Shrimpton rock’n’politix film.

Then we moved into less familiar space with four tracks from the next album, “Radio Ethiopia” – “Pissing in a River”, “Pumping”,” Ain’t It Strange” & “Radio Ethiopia” itself. The previous night’s set had only featured the title track, leaning much more on “Horses” & covers. By now I was starting to enjoy the sheer physicality of the music so close to the front of the stage. Every time Ivan Kral stepped forward to hit an FX pedal oh so stylishly it felt like having a bucket of sound wash over us. From our position the other musicians were hard to see but Patti was practically in touching distance most of the time.

I’d become desensitized by the crush, but gradually realised Jan was nudging me in the side and trying to make eye contact. As ever she was after More Drugs. But the stash was stuck fast in my shirt pocket, inaccessible. I shrugged my shoulders as much as was possible & tried to indicate with downcast eyes what the problem was. There was no way I was going to be involved in another battle through the crowd and shouted into her ear to forget it. She looked crestfallen for a second, then managed to turn enough to free one of her arms and reach up to my shirt pocket, skilfully slipping a couple of fingers in & extracting a couple of the wraps.

We looked at each other, then at the dusty bit of stage in front of us. No choice. If we’re going to do it, this is it. No mirrors, razor blades or fancy coke spoons tonight. Just tip a couple of heaps out into the stagedust, fashion a straw from one of our tickets, hoover it up and try not to think too much of the crap hitting our synapses.

Then suddenly out of the corner of my eye I noticed a dervish like swirl of movement heading our way, and for the briefest wondrous moment our eyes and minds connected as Patti swooped our way, made visceral eye contact, beaming madly at our dedication to getting high whatever the obstacles.

We got our breath back with a brief return to “Horses” in the shape of “Land”, but even that soon mutated into a reprise of “Ain’t It Strange”. And then a final assault on the walls of the city, with a joyous and raucous assault on “Gloria” and “My Generation”, Van Morrison and Pete Townshend repurposed and dragged from the nostalgia zone through the barbed wire and born again for the new decade. It was one of those transcendent times when music provides a kind of out of body experience, a collective loss of ego by the audience, a fleeting escape from mundanity and obligation… and then they were gone. House lights soon turning the magical stage powder back to plain old dust.

We staggered out into the clammy night, pausing at the top of the Roundhouse stairs long enough to gather ourselves before returning to the world of traffic lights and timetables. There was no need to talk or analyse, we both knew we’d witnessed something truly out of the ordinary.

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The Stranglers – Black And White, Ugly But Nice

Record Mirror, May 13, 1978.

Tim Lott 4/5

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Hugh Cornwell, Auckland NZ, 2019

Hugh Cornwell
3rd May 2019
Powerstation, Auckland, New Zealand.

Review and photography by Sarah Kidd.

Hugh Cornwell descended upon Auckland’s Powerstation last night as part of his Monster tour, which promised to deliver an evening of both his solo work and of course Stranglers hits that his name will forever be synonymous with.

Local duo The MurderChord however were the first to consecrate the stage with their idiosyncratic brand of ‘punkrock on a piano’. Fronted by Dave Hine of Missing Teeth on vocals and a keyboard that shook harder than grans jelly, The MurderChord also featured Sims Ross –  who those in the know would recognise from his time with Yebiisu on drums.

Smashing out a set that was both humorous as it was punk, Dave and Sims demonstrated just how well a duo can fill the space around them; tracks such as ‘I am Dave, He is Sims’ self-explanatory in their delivery with tongue firmly in cheek. Sage advice to a former flatmate was expounded in ‘Fill Up The Tin’, Hine pausing periodically to invite people to come further forward, kiwi audiences often frustratingly hugging the shadows during support acts.

In spite of it The MurderChord just became more frenetic as the end drew near, Hines fingerless gloved hands gesticulating with purpose during a fierce version of ‘Pale Blue Dot’ that elicited cheers from those who were fans and people who knew a good thing when they damn well heard it. Brilliant in both every sense and definition of the word.

Splitting the evening into two sets, Hugh Cornwell ambled out in his usual black attire, nothing less expected from punks Dark Lord himself. Accompanied by a two piece band – Cornwell often stating that he loves the sound and dynamics of a trio – they wasted no time in getting straight into it, ‘Evel’ from his latest and critically acclaimed solo album Monster sliding into ‘Leave Me Alone’ and the rather London sound of ‘I Want One of Those’ from his Totem and Taboo album.

Staring down the barrel of his seventieth birthday, Cornwell’s vocals have lost nothing, the familiarity of them embraced by the audience, his guitar solo’s where he would step back from the microphone and immerse himself in his instrument watched with a mix of respect and satisfaction.

Cornwell’s accompanying musicians were excellent, Scottish drummer Windsor McGilvray who has worked with artists such as Blondie and John Cooper Clarke holding down percussion while the exceptional bass playing and backing vocals of Pat Hughes of Headnoise and The Disoriented gave tracks such as ‘Bilko’ and ‘Black Hair, Black Eyes, Black Suit’ the extra oomph they needed in the live setting. Finishing on the quirky ‘Duce Coochie Man’ Cornwell ushered in a short intermission promising to return with “something you might have heard before”.

To be fair while the crowd were attentive during the first set, it was the second they were all waiting for, Cornwell’s legacy with The Stranglers still his biggest drawcard despite having left the band almost three decades ago.

‘Always The Sun’ was like a shot of adrenaline to the room, the audience immediately beginning to dance as they heartily joined in on singing the chorus before the tantilizing dirty bass line of Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’ permeated the room. Where as the first set saw Cornwell provide interesting anecdotes as introductions to tracks such as ‘Monster’ written about the creator of Dynamation and inspirator to George Lucas, Ray Harryhausen, the second half of the evening was all about the music, each Stranglers track celebrated by a crowd thirsty for more.

Despite the wealth of talent on stage, some tracks suffered from the lack of performers; ‘Golden Brown’ while still charming was left wanting of the memorable harpsichord style keys; ‘No More Heroes’ fortunately storming in afterwards and keeping the flow buoyant.

Not one for encores Cornwell jokingly asked the fans where their flag of surrender was, his faux disbelief of the audience not yet having enough of Stranglers songs prompting him to announce with a smile that instead of retreating backstage for a cup of tea that they would deliver a couple more to close the night; ‘Tank’ taking everyone back to 1978.

Nostalgia the winning hand of the night.

Were you there at the Powerstation to witness this alternative post-punk / punk rock show? Or have you seen Hugh Cornwell perform live somewhere else before? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Setlist:
  1. Pure Evel
  2. Leave Me Alone
  3. I Want One Of Those
  4. Monster
  5. Stuck In Daily Mail Land
  6. Get Involved
  7. The Most Beautiful Girl In Hollywood
  8. The Prison’s Going Down
  9. Bilko
  10. Black Hair Black Eyes Black Suit
  11. Mothra
  12. Duce Coochie Man
  13. Always The Sun
  14. Nice ‘n’ Sleazy
  15. Peaches
  16. Strange Little Girl
  17. Golden Brown
  18. No More Heroes
  19. No Mercy
  20. Skin Deep
  21. 5 Mintues
  22. Grip
  23. Goodbye Toulouse
  24. Tank
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The Stranglers, Auckland NZ, 2020

The Stranglers
15th February 2020
The Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand.

Review by Mike Beck. Photography by Mark Derricutt.

With a slight reprieve from the run of humid evenings and rainless days recently, Auckland kept it cool and stacked em in tight last night for two bands who are beloved in this corner of the world. Happy to be filling the support slot, a reformed and revamped Mi-Sex (which now seems more Oz strong than Kiwi in band membership) teamed up with one of their contemporaries, and post punk heavyweights, England’s own The Stranglers.

Confidently led out by ex Noiseworks bassist turned lead vocalist Steve Balbi, Mi-Sex took the stage to rapturous applause; their songs delivered with just the right touch of pomposity, helped along by Balbi’s steam punk/goth rocker mashup look.

Since reforming, Mi-Sex have morphed from a line-up containing a substantial percentage of first phase members, into a noticeably next-generation unit, the current line-up featuring James Van Cooper on guitar, Jordan McDonald on drums, and Travis New on bass. Only keyboardist Murray Burns remains from the original formation.

With its lyrical ambiguity and allusion to depression, ‘Blue Day’ is one of Mi-Sex’s most sought after numbers, as well as their last significant hit. Introducing the song, Balbi acknowledged those no longer here, or with the band. Original members vocalist Steve Gilpin (who tragically passed away following a car crash in 1992) and late guitarist Kevin Stanton got a special mention, along with bassist Don Martin who recently departed the group. But perhaps the bluest note of the night was the absence or mention of New Zealand drumming legend Paul Dunningham, who was a significant part of the group during both their heyday and their return.

Seminal hit ‘Computer Games’ had the house jumping high to its disco/synth sixteenth note groove, while the ahead of its time ‘People’ which critiques genetic engineering and the potential ushering in of human cloning gave Balbi the opportunity to lift the crowd with cries of “aren’t you glad to be alive!?” It was a dashing, full-force set, powered along consistently, but surprisingly short at a close to forty-five minute timeslot. No wonder they went for it.

The interim break was drawn out much longer than usual, giving punters permission to purchase plenty of beverages and visit amenities, while also allowing some added anticipation to manifest for the feature act.

Strolling out casually, for what has been heralded as their final tour, The Stranglers looked and sounded the part from the outset. With both the stage and themselves dressed in black, the lads proceeded to rattle off hum-dinging versions of the majority of their many hits. Opening up with the swirling synth-driven ‘Get a Grip on Yourself’, the post-punk Brit darlings had minimal diminish with the subtraction of original frontman, Hugh Cornwell.

Newest and youngest member of the group, drummer Jim Macaulay (replacing the retired Jet Black), appropriately got a cameo feature on ‘5 Minutes’; the time-themed tune ending with Macaulay replicating the ticking of a clock by playing the rims of his drums.

Their delicate baroque ode to heroin ‘Golden Brown’, got off to a shaky start, but was laughed off in true geezer charm by the group collectively. Its ¾ arrangement and odd bar variations, coupled with a just as odd packaging of subject matter, making it one of the more unique songs to hit the airwaves in the latter part of twentieth century.

Special mention must be given to Baz Warne, who did a fantastic job fronting the group. His co-ordination to manage lead vocals, all guitar parts and navigate difficult riffs while singing syncopated vocal lines was immense, not to mention his relentless energy; he’s undoubtedly had some scraps to get that edge.

All in attendance rose to the hopeful ‘Always the Sun’, a beacon of light in their repertoire. ‘Skin Deep’, a male masculinity awareness anthem, hit its emotional target, heralding in a stronger audience voice and bodily movement from the men in attendance. But that was exceeded by ‘Peaches’, its chauvinistic blatancy no deterrent to the sprinkling of women in the great hall from raising their voices in song. Proof yet again that music breaks barriers and brings people together.

At one point Warne took five to have a dig at The Black Caps, coming in hard at the throwers of plastic cups who couldn’t cope with his sharp tongue and cheek; upping the ante he then encouraged his guitar tech to “show them your arse”, to which Dave obliged with no apparent loss of dignity.

Therein the raw version of the Dionne Warwick classic ‘Walk on By’ got an extended rendering, with lengthy back to back Doors-esque synth and guitar solos, the former from original keyboardist Dave Greenfield. A nod here too to the sound techs for the exceptional bass sound reproduction on the night, proving vital for founding member Jean-Jacques Burnel to do his thing, and giving ‘Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’ an intensity that only comes about when all the elements are working in alignment.

Their generous set was compounded with a two song encore, Warne enlightening all with the backstory of the band, coming up as a pub rock group in 1970’s London. “It was a tough scene” he scorned, before breaking into ‘Go Buddy Go’, the first song they wrote (by a then fifteen year old Burnel). Closer ‘No More Heroes’, surmised The Stranglers as a band that not only calls it straight, but one that is unafraid to be outspoken, and delivers their music with an honesty and hard-working ethos. Yes, they keep it real.

The thing with The Stranglers, and most notable last night in a live context, is that they have a unique way of combining their eclectic musical influences, crafting them all together with intelligible lyrics and catchy choruses and riffs to make music that is just as meaningful as it is accessible. Drawing from a pool of genres which include punk, ska, rockabilly, jazz, reggae, country (think Johnny Cash with regards to an outlaw identifier/black thematic attire), rock n roll and even classical, this is no easy feat.

Tag on the most excellent and compatibly suited support of Mi-Sex to the first half of the evening, and what was delivered proved to be a truly illustrious night out of soulful rock n roll for all.

Were you there at The Auckland Town Hall for this brilliant post punk show? Or have you seen The Stranglers somewhere else before? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Setlist:
  1. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
  2. Norfolk Coast
  3. Duchess
  4. I’ve Been Wild
  5. No Mercy
  6. Nice ‘n’ Sleazy
  7. This Song Will Get Me Over You
  8. 5 Minutes
  9. Freedom Is Insane
  10. Golden Brown
  11. Always The Sun
  12. Time To Die
  13. Skin Deep
  14. Nuclear Device (The Wizard Of Aus)
  15. Peaches
  16. 15 Steps
  17. Walk On By [Dionne Warwick cover]
  18. Something Better Change
  19. Relentless
  20. Hanging Around
  21. Tank
  22. All Day And All Of The Night [The Kinks cover] [On setlist but unplayed]
  23. Go Buddy Go [encore]
  24. No More Heroes [encore]
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Win The Stranglers’ Dave Greenfield’s Keyboard

by The Stranglers in United Kingdom

In aid of Stagehand’s #ILoveLive campaign, The Stranglers are raising money for UK stage crew affected by the pandemic.

On 21st December 2020 we successfully raised £8,806 ( + est. £485.00  ) with 486 supporters in 12 days.

Win The Stranglers' Dave Greenfield's Keyboard

THE WINNER

Thank you for your support in helping us raise £8,806 for stage crew impacted by the pandemic.

Thanks to your generosity, the campaign has exceeded our expectations. We raised a total of £535,840 which will go directly to Stagehand Charity who will distribute the funds to stage crew who have suffered due to Covid-19.

Many congratulations to MG from Brussels, Belgium who won the prize draw. Thanks again and we hope to see you all again very soon.



Stage Crew Need Our Support

The Stranglers are raising money for stage crew charity Stagehand’s #ILoveLive campaign, which is providing financial help for all UK stage crew who are in the greatest need. Stage crew seem to be the forgotten ones in the current pandemic. They’re the unsung heroes of the live entertainment world. Without them shows just couldn’t happen.

The impact of Covid-19 has been devastating for the whole music industry but particularly for the stage techs, sound engineers, guitar techs, keyboard techs, drum techs, stage managers, production managers, tour managers and other live support personnel who make shows possible.

With no shows since March, crew’s income has been slashed with many finding that they are ineligible for any kind of government financial aid. Many are in desperate need and most are sitting with mental health issues.

Let’s help raise some money to support them this winter. It could literally save lives.

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The Prize Draw

The Stranglers are donating a Yamaha CS1x keyboard as used by the late great Dave Greenfield, handwritten lyrics and VIP tickets to this prize draw fundraising campaign. 

To be in with a chance of winning the keyboard, handwritten lyrics and VIP tickets we are holding a prize draw with each entry costing £5. You can enter multiple times. 

Entries can be purchased between Monday 7th December and Monday 21st December. The winner will be announced on Wednesday 23rd December.

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What’s the Prize?

Yamaha CS1x keyboard as used by the late great Dave Greenfield of The Stranglers who sadly died in May of this year from Covid.

It has been owned by The Stranglers for many years but received a full custom paint-job for the 2019 UK tour and from there it travelled with Dave throughout the world to Europe, USA, Australia and Japan and can be seen in any photos of those shows.

Although a decent digital synthesizer in its own right, Dave never used any of the built-in sounds. Instead it was employed as Dave’s first weapon of choice over anything else on the market used for him to deliver his legendary arpeggios and lightening-fast runs due to its light action and quick response from the keybed. 

This will also include handwritten signed lyrics from Jean Jacques Burnel of the bands 70’s hit „London Lady“ and 2 pairs of meet and greet tickets to any show on the bands UK tour.

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A message from JJ Burnel:

We couldn’t work without our crew. It couldn’t happen without them, without their professionalism, without their dedication.

When you see us you really only just witness the tip of the iceberg.

Not only are they ambassadors for us but also problem solvers, sometimes friends, always with our best interests at heart.

So during these unprecedented times, when work is rare, if at all, we mustn’t forget those invisible but vital cogs in bringing music and entertainment to the millions of people who appreciate it.

Please support our crews and technicians who do all the work while we get the glory.

1605713532_ilovelive-project_page_template.jpgHow do I enter the Prize Draw?

By buying at least one entry at £5 you will be entered into the prize draw. If you buy multiple entries you stand a higher chance of winning. To enter you must select one of the entry reward options on this page. You can also enter the prize draw without donating by post. See terms and conditions below for details. By donating and entering the prize draw you agree to the terms and conditions.

You can make a donation without entering the prize draw using the donation box toward the top of the page.
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Stagehand and The PSA

Founded in 1996, the PSA is the trade association for individuals and businesses providing technical production services to live events. A member funded, member focussed, organisation, the PSA membership consists of around 2000 self employed technicians and 300 memberships in technical supply businesses.

Stagehand is the public facing name of the PSA Welfare and Benevolent Fund; a registered charity launched over 2 decades ago with the aim of raising and distributing funds for members, former members and their families who fall on hard times through illness or injury. More recently, the trustees launched a ring-fenced fund to subsidise Mental Health First Aid training for self employed members, as part of our mission to improve our sector’s approach to mental health.

The Stagehand Covid-19 Crew Relief Fund

The crisis in our sector caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has shifted the focus to those unable to work due to the current crisis. Live production workers and businesses were amongst the first to be affected, it is now clear that many live production crews are reaching a critical point with basic living expenses outstripping income. This applies across the board, from those people that earn a living building and operating shows at grassroots level to those that work with the largest stadium artists.

Extensions to the Job Retention Scheme have come too late for many companies; they were forced to make redundancies in the summer. 20% of self employed workers fell through the cracks in support; these are the people we intend to support through this fund.

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Where is the money going?

Our immediate plan is to help the crew in most need, those who are close to losing the roof over their head, or those that are struggling to put food on the table. Grants will be considered to any UK crew worker who is working in the live music sector. They do not have to be PSA members.

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Terms and Conditions

  • Entrants must be over 18 years of age (parents can help here).
  • Open to anyone (over the age of 18) worldwide except employees of the Promoters, their families, agents or anyone professionally connected with the draw.  
  • Entries will be accepted between 07:00 am GMT Monday 7th Dec 2020 and 18:00 pm GMT Monday 21st Dec 2020.
  • Entrants may enter as many times as they like.
  • To enter, make a pledge on this project and select a reward when you make your pledge. Pledges which are donations without rewards will not be entered.
  • Entrants can pledge to this campaign without entering the prize draw.
  • To enter the draw without pledging, please send a postcard with the prize draw name, your name, address, email address and contact telephone number to: ILoveLive Prize Draw, c/o PSA, PO Box 2709, Bath, BA1 3YS, UK. Entries must be sent on a postcard or on or within an envelope. Entries received on anything other than a postcard or envelope will not be accepted. In the case of multiple entries received in a single envelope or postcard, only one entry will be entered into the promotion. Entries sent by post must be received by the closing date and time for receipt of entries. Postal entries without correct and sufficient postage paid will be invalid and will not be considered. Personal and hand deliveries will not be accepted.
  • Following the closing date, the winner will be chosen at random and contacted before 23rd December 2020. They will be contacted by email on how to claim their prize. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours of the initial email being sent, the next winner will be chosen at random and emailed within 1 week.
  • The winner will be sent their prize(s) in January 2021.
  • By entering this draw, all entrants consent to the use of their personal data by the Promoter only for the purposes of the administration of this draw and any other purposes to which the entrant has consented.
  • The Promoter will keep entrants’ personal details for a reasonable time so that it can send any prize that an entrant has won, to verify that these rules have been complied with, and for accounting purposes. 
  • The Promoter may disqualify any entrant whose entry does not comply with these terms and conditions (in Promoter’s sole opinion) or who, in Promoter’s sole determination, has acted in a manner that is fraudulent, dishonest or unjust to other entrants including, without limitation, tampering with the operation of the prize draw, manipulating or rigging votes, hacking, deceiving, cheating or by harassing or threatening other entrants or a representative of Promoter.
  • The Promoter is P.S.A Welfare and Benevolent Fund (Registered charity 1080524), at PO Box 2709, Bath, BA1 3YS, UK.
  • These terms and conditions are governed by English law and the courts of England will have exclusive jurisdiction.
  • By entering into this draw, each entrant consents to these terms and conditions.

Thank you!


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Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

One prize draw entry

This buys you one entry into the prize draw to win Dave Greenfield’s keyboard, the handwritten lyrics and VIP tickets • You can buy multiple entries • T+C’s apply (see main description)

£10 or more

Two prize draw entries

This buys you two entries into the prize draw to win Dave Greenfield’s keyboard, the handwritten lyrics and VIP tickets • You can buy multiple entries • T+C’s apply (see main description)

£20 or more

Four prize draw entries

This buys you four entries into the prize draw to win Dave Greenfield’s keyboard, the handwritten lyrics and VIP tickets • You can buy multiple entries • T+C’s apply (see main description)

£50 or more

Ten prize draw entries

This buys you ten entries into the prize draw to win Dave Greenfield’s keyboard, the handwritten lyrics and VIP tickets • You can buy multiple entries • T+C’s apply (see main description)

£100 or more

Twenty prize draw entries

This buys you twenty entries into the prize draw to win Dave Greenfield’s keyboard, the handwritten lyrics and VIP tickets • You can buy multiple entries • 

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/win-the-stranglers-keyboard

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09 February 1981 – The Gospel According to the Meninblack

Band Name The Stranglers

Album Name The Gospel According to the Meninblack

Type Album

Released date 09 February 1981

Labels Liberty Records

Music Style New-Wave

Tracklist

Re-Issue in 2001 by EMI Records with 3 bonustracks
1. Waltzinblack03:37
2. Just Like Nothing on Earth03:34
3. Second Coming04:23
4. Waiting for the Meninblack03:44
5. Turn the Centuries, Turn04:34
6. Two Sunspots02:32
7. Four Horsemen03:40
8. Thrown Away03:30
9. Manna Machine03:17
10. Hallow to Our Men07:26
Bonustracks (Re-Issue 2001)
11. Top Secret03:27
12. Maninwhite04:25
13. Tomorrow Was Hereafter04:02
Total playing time39:07

1. WALTZ IN BLACK

(Instrumental)

2. JUST LIKE NOTHING ON EARTH

A woman in Wellington wet her whistle with a wild man
From way back when,
She sucked her thumb and she held her head for the man she didn’t ken
A Nip in Nippon napped a nod and knew a new nomad
Near the nearside window of his Mitsubishi
His kid was scared he said he thought it was something new

Just like nothing on earth
Just like nothing on earth
Just like nothing on earth
(Just like nothing on earth)
(Just like nothing on earth)

Just … like … nothing … on … earth
On … earth

Just like nothing on earth
Just like nothing on earth
Just like nothing on earth
(Just like nothing on, just like nothing on earth)

A man on the main motor mile mesmerised much monkey magic
Meandering piecemeal
You know UFOs utilise euphoric united ecstatic fantastic
Traumatic burning rubber blubber blackout checkout
For philandering sons of magic women
His brain was blazed and amazed he said he thought it was something new

Just like nothing on earth
Just like nothing on earth
Just like nothing on earth
(Just like nothing on earth)
(Just like nothing on earth)

Just … like … nothing … on … earth
On … earth

Just like nothing on earth
Just like nothing on earth
It was just like nothing on earth

3. SECOND COMING

Somewhere in Africa, somewhere in Rome
People are sleeping awake in their homes
Waiting for shepherds to attempt to their sheep
Their disappointments they’re piled in a corner

A second co – ming will come in (4)
(It will come in)

Turn on the sets and then wait for the show
Will he have blond hair and what will he know
Will he tell jokes or will he make us cry
If we write to him will he send back a reply

A second co – ming will come in (4)
(It will come in)

Like everybody I wait for the day
Like everybody I’ll send him away
He may be ugly and have problem hair
Even speak funny and make all the people stare

A second co – ming will come in (4)

Second coming (It will come in) (6)

Second coming (4)

Second coming (It It It will come in) (5)

4. WAITING FOR THE MENINBLACK

I’m waiting every day I’ve been watching from my chimney stack
I’m waiting every week I’ve been hoping that they’re coming back
I’m seeing all the signs and I’m learning how to bring them back
And I’m waiting for the Meninblack

(Waiting for the Maninblack)
(Waiting for the Meninblack)
(Seeking for the Loveinblack)
(Seeking for the Meninblack)
(Seeking for the Meninblack)
(Seeking for the Meninblack)

I’m standing on a hill and I’m looking for the glimpse of light
I’m clutching my teddy bear if I don’t I might die of fright

I’m reading all the signs and I’m learning how to bring them back
And I’m waiting for the Meninblack

(Standing)
(Looking)
(Watching)
(Staring)
(Looking)
(Clutching)
(Standing)
(Looking)
(Clutching) (8)

I’m standing on a hill
And I’m waiting for the Meninblack (4)
And I’m learning how to bring them back
And I’m waiting for the Meninblack (11)
And I’m waiting (for the meninblack) (6)

And I’m waiting

5. TURN THE CENTURIES, TURN

(Instrumental)

6. TWO SUNSPOTS

Two sunspots are staring at me
One to the left and one to the right of me
Never seen a heat so extraordinaire
Just two sunspots so so so scared
Just two sunspots
Just two sunspots
Just two sunspots

Spots are burning a hole in my eyes
Just two rough round red raw real sunspots
Rough to the touch and shy of the air
They start a little fire and the weather ain’t fair.

Just two sunspots
Just two sunspots
Just two sunspots

Just two sunspots
Just two sunspots
Just two sunspots

Better pull the blind down
Deny they exist
But anything you seen once
You’re just gonna miss
Just two sunspots
Just two sunspots
Just two sunspots
Just two
Just two (Just two sunspots)
Two more (Just two sunspots)
Two more sunspots (Just two sunspots)
Just two sunspots (Just two sunspots)
Just two sunspots (Just two sunspots)
Just two (Just two sunspots)
Just two (Just two sunspots)
Two more (Just two sunspots)
Two more (Just two sunspots)
Two more sunspots (Just two sunspots)
Just two sunspots (Just two sunspots)
Just two sunspots(Just two sunspots)
Just two sunspots(Just two sunspots)
Just two sunspots(Just two sunspots)

7. FOUR HORSEMEN

One reported long ago
No one heard and laughed as though
It twas some product of mad man’s minds
Not clear enough to cure the blind
And in all the corners of the globe
They’ll shield their eyes from shining robes

Defying science all the laws
The like of them not seen before
Their gifts much worse than the three kings
Rewriting future, changing thoughts
And all the battles that we fought
Are these the devil, are they four

8. THROWN AWAY

If ever you had counted
The centuries you threw away
And all the lies that you had started
And all the chances thrown away

If I set sail for new horizons
Could I still leave you waiting here
I would chase just one set of chances
The others would be thrown away

Even though we tried time wasn’t on our side
Then there came the day we threw it all away
Thrown away
Thrown away
Thrown away

My winter nights are so much colder
Than yours could ever be
I wish I hadn’t been a traveller
I would not have had to go away

When all is said and all is over
When all is just a memory
Our ships will stay for just a moment
Leaving false Gods and hypocrisy

Even though we tried time wasn’t on our side
Then there came the day we threw it all away
Thrown away
Thrown away
Thrown away

Even though we tried time wasn’t on our side
Then there came the day we threw it all away
Thrown away
Thrown away
Thrown away
Thrown away
Thrown away
Thrown away
Thrown away

9. MANNA MACHINE

After forty years and after forty nights
Making some food for the Israelites
Out on a limb inside the Heights
Lies a machine out of sight
Not much air, breathing still
Sleeping mummy who did you kill?

They closed your eyes and left you to rust
Many prayed for you to turn to dust
You need a man from hereabouts
To find where you are and dig you out
To find where you are and dig you out

And just one thing
If you’re let loose
Can you still make cookies in your caboose?

Sleeping mummy
Sleeping mummy
Sleeping mummy who did you kill?

And one more thing
If you can hear
Don’t go out again and disappear

And one more thing
If you can hear
Don’t go out again and disappear
Disappear…

10. HALLOW TO OUR MEN

Our men which are above
Hallow to your craft
Your craft will come
You will have fun
On earth as you do above

Give us this day some of your manna
As this desert is no Savannah
Spare us today even if we are no good
For your world is better than ours

It’s got far more knowledge
It’s got far more power
You know the extent of your power
It will outlast ours

Give us this day some of your manna
As this desert is no Savannah
Spare us today even if we are no good
For your world is better than ours

For ever and ever
And ever and ever
And ever and ever
And ever and ever
For ever and ever
And ever and ever
And ever and ever
And ever and ever
And ever and ever
And ever and ever
And ever and ever
And ever and ever
For ever and ever (x14)
And ever and ever (x18)
For ever

BONUSTRACKS (RE-ISSUE 2001)

11. TOP SECRET

Sits in his room at night
Flits back and forth round the world
As he calls in the moonlight
Sees all the empires fall
Writes it all down with his pen
In free hand once for all

He sees something to tell but
He’s got no one to tell
The top secret
And he means it

All day his mind troubles
Him as he cures all the ills
Of the world with his knife
Centuries pass when he dies
And the answers get buried
And mistook for life

He sees something to tell but
He’s got no one to tell
The top secret
And he means it

All day his mind troubles
Him as he cures all the ills
Of the world…

12. MANINWHITE

Save a thought for the man in white
He keeps all the lovers lips shut tight
He’s staying up just to hear you praying tonight
Saving sinners
Just beginners

He’ll help to get you there
He’ll help to get you there
He’ll help to get you there when you die

Talks good and he looks the part
Got a PR job that’s very smart
Got God’s phone number stamped on his heart
Saving sinners
Just beginners

He’ll help to get you there
He’ll help to get you there
He’ll help to get you there when you die

Saving sinners
Just beginners

He’ll help to get you there
He’ll help to get you there
He’ll help to get you there when you die

He’s saving sinners
Just beginners

He’ll help to get you there
He’s almost there

13. TOMORROW WAS HEREAFTER

Can’t you see,
Can’t you see,
That you’re rocking the boat,
Can’t you see,
Can’t you see,
That there isn’t any hope,
Can’t you see,
Can’t you see,
That our time is growing near,
Other worlds other times,
Though beneath there hiding fear.

But i don’t care about tomorrow,
I just live for today,
I don’t know where we’re going,
But there’s only one way.

Tomorrow was

Ain’t you heard,
Ain’t you heard,
That bread ain’t worth a lot,
Ain’t you heard,
Ain’t you heard,
That were all going to pot

Ain’t you seen,
Ain’t you seen,
All the people’s misery,
What’s the point of doing nowt,
About all this agoraphy,
But i’m not beaten yet people,
I guess you’re not surprised,
I won’t take no for an answer,
You can bet your sweet eyes,

Tomorrow was the hereafter

Can’t you see,
Can’t you see,
That you’re rocking the boat,
Can’t you see,
Can’t you see,
That there isn’t any hope,
Can’t you see,
Can’t you see,
That our time is growing near,
Other worlds other times,
Though beneath there hiding fear.

But i don’t care about tomorrow,
I just live for today,
I don’t know where we’re going,
But there’s only one way.

Tomorrow was.

https://www.spirit-of-rock.com/en/album/The_Gospel_According_to_the_Meninblack/1635

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Nostalgia Central – The Stranglers

A science teacher, a karate black belt, an ex-ice-cream seller pushing 40, and a keyboard player who thought he was Ray Manzarek – you really couldn’t have made The Stranglers up . . .

Hugh Cornwell, Jean-Jacques Burnel and Brian Duffy (aka Jet Black) formed The Guildford Stranglers in 1974 to play gigs in Surrey, England. Two years later, the full line-up emerged, comprising Cornwell (vocals, guitar), Burnel (bass), Jet Black (drums) and Dave Greenfield (keyboards).

Following a tour supporting Patti Smith during 1976 and some favourable press reports (the first to bring comparisons to The Doors), the band were signed by United Artists Records.

Courting controversy from the outset, they caused a sensation and saw their date at London’s Roundhouse cut short when Cornwell wore an allegedly obscene T-shirt.

In February 1977 The Stranglers’ debut single, (Get A) Grip (On Yourself), reached #44 in the UK charts and inexplicably dropped out after only one week.

According to the chart compilers, the sales were inadvertently assigned to another record, but it was too late to rectify the damage.

Grip saw them at their early best – bathed in swirling organ and backed by a throbbing beat, the single displayed Cornwell’s gruff vocal to strong effect. The b-side, London Lady, was taken at a faster pace and revealed the first signs of an overbearing misogynist stance that would later see them fall foul of critics.

The track was reportedly partly inspired by an “unsatisfactory” sexual liaison with Melody Maker’s Caroline Coon.

Initially bracketed with punk, The Stranglers owed as much to their pub rock background and it soon emerged that they were older and more knowing than their teenage contemporaries.

Nevertheless, their first album, Rattus Norvegicus (1977), was greeted with enthusiasm by the rock press and sold extremely well. The album was recorded in just six days but the performance was very accomplished, leading the NME to declare that “virtually every track is a little masterpiece”.

The blasphemous lyrics of Hanging Around and the gruesome imagery of Down In The Sewer seemingly proved less acceptable than the women-baiting subject matter of their next single, Peaches.

Banned by BBC radio, the song still charted thanks to airplay for the b-side, Go Buddy Go.

stranglers_7

Rather than bowing to the feminist criticisms levelled against them, the band subsequently compounded the felony by introducing strippers at a Battersea Park concert in London (though male strippers were also present).

Journalists were treated in an even more cavalier fashion, and the band members were renowned for their violent antics against those who opposed them (karate black belt Burnel would attack writer Jon Savage after one unhelpful review).

Having alienated the press, their work was almost universally derided thereafter. The public kept the faith, however, and ensured that The Stranglers enjoyed a formidable run of hits over the next few years.

The lugubrious protest Something Better Change, and the faster-paced No More Heroes both reached the UK Top 10, while 5 Minutes and Nice ‘N’ Sleazy each entered the Top 20.

In the background, there were the usual slices of bad publicity. Burnel and Black were arrested for being drunk and disorderly before charges were dropped. Cornwell was not so fortunate and found himself sentenced to three months imprisonment on drugs charges in January 1980.

Within two months of his release, the band found themselves under arrest in Nice, France, after allegedly inciting a riot. Later that year they received a heavy fine in a French court.

The band’s uncompromising outlaw image tended to distract from subtle changes that had been occurring in their musical repertoire.

Their brave cover version of the Burt Bacharach/Hal David standard Walk On By reached #21 in spite of the fact that 100,000 copies of the record had already been issued gratis with Black And White.

Equally effective and contrasting was the melodic Duchess, which displayed The Stranglers’ plaintive edge to surprising effect. Their albums also revealed a new diversity, from The Raven (with its elaborate 3D cover) to the genuinely strange The Men In Black.

The latter was primarily Cornwell’s concept, and introduced the idea of extra-terrestrial hit-men who silence individuals that have witnessed UFO landings – an ever-vengeful music press delighted in pulling it to pieces.

For their next album, La Folie, the band was accompanied on tour by a ballet company. The album spawned The Strangler’s biggest hit, the evocative Golden Brown, with its startling, classical-influenced harpsichord arrangement. It reached the UK #2 spot, resting just behind Bucks Fizz‘s The Land Of Make Believe.

Even at their most melodic, The Stranglers ran into a minor furore when it was alleged that the song was concerned with heroin consumption. Fortunately, the theme was so lyrically obscure that the accusations failed to prove convincing enough to provoke a ban.

Another single from La Folie was the sentimental Strange Little Girl, which also climbed into the UK Top 10.

The melodic influence continued on European Female, but in spite of the hits, the band’s subsequent albums failed to attract serious critical attention.

As unremittingly ambitious as ever, The Stranglers’ 1986 album Dreamtime was inspired by Australian Aboriginal culture and complemented their outsider image.

Just as it seemed that their appeal was becoming merely cultish, they returned to their old style with a cover version of The Kinks‘ All Day And All Of The Night.

It was enough to provide them with their first Top 10 hit for five years.

Increasingly unpredictable, the band re-recorded their first single, Grip, which ironically fared better than the original, reaching the Top 40 in January 1989.

Despite their small handful of collaborative ventures, it seemed unlikely that either Cornwell or Burnel would ever consider abandoning The Stranglers for solo careers. Perpetual derision by the press finally took its cumulative toll on the lead singer, however, and in the summer of 1990 Cornwell announced that he was quitting.

The lacklustre 10 was written specifically for the American market, but failed to sell, in light of which Cornwell called time on his involvement.

Burnel, Black and Greenfield were left with the unenviable problem of finding an experienced replacement and deciding whether to retain The Stranglers name. The band recruited vocalist Paul Roberts and guitarist John Ellis (formerly of The Vibrators and a veteran of Burnel’s Purple Helmets side project).

Stranglers In The Night was arguably a return to form but still failed to recapture old glories. A second set with the band’s new line-up then emerged in 1995, with strong performances on tracks such as Golden Boy, but with Cornwell’s absence felt most acutely in the unadventurous songwriting. Written In Red, released in 1997, was a better effort.

The band celebrated their 21st anniversary with a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall, incongruously backed by a string section. Baz Warne replaced Ellis on guitar in March 2000.

Dave Greenfield died on 3 May 2020 having contracted the COVID-19 virus after a prolonged stay in hospital for heart problems. He was 71.

Hugh Cornwell 
Vocals, guitar
Jean-Jacques Burnel 

Bass, vocals
Jet Black (Brian Duffy)

Drums
Dave Greenfield
Keyboards
Paul Roberts 

Vocals
John Ellis 

Guitar
Baz Warne 

Guitar

Video

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THE STRANGLERS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM ‘DARK MATTERS’

ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM DARK MATTERS

RELEASE SINGLE ‘AND IF YOU SHOULD SEE DAVE…’

IN TRIBUTE TO DAVE GREENFIELD

PREMIERED ON BBC 6MUSIC

One of the great British bands, The Stranglers, have announced their brand-new album, Dark Matters, due for release on 10th September 2021. The first single, ‘And If You Should See Dave…’, is an honest tribute to their much-missed keyboard player Dave Greenfield, who tragically passed away a year ago from Covid-19, and who features on many of the tracks recorded for the album.

“A year ago, on May 3rd my great friend and colleague of 45 years, Dave Greenfield, passed away, another victim of the pandemic.” says JJ Burnel.

“We had already recorded most of the album with him and during the lockdowns our only wish was to complete it as a fitting tribute to his life and work. I consider this to be one of our finest recordings.”

Surviving Stranglers band members, JJ Burnel and Baz Warne completed Dark Matters remotely during lockdowns, making it their first album since 2012. Adding to it a fitting tribute in ‘And If You Should See Dave…’, the first single from the album – a contemplative but uplifting dose of sixties sunshine-drenched rock, which is available to stream from Friday 14th May.

Greenfield himself features on 8 of the 11 tracks, which were made over the course of two years at the band’s studios in the rural idylls of Somerset, and in Southern France, produced by long-time collaborator Louie Nicastro.

A key member of The Stranglers for 45 years, Dave was a highly acclaimed keyboardist whose unique approach and instantly identifiable playing style massively contributed to the group’s inimitable sound.  His contributions set the band apart from their peers and his skills are imprinted across Dark Matters.

First formed in 1974, The Stranglers no bull***t attitude was embraced by the punk movement of the late 70s. But their musicianship and menace transcended the genre, creating a sound unique to themselves.  With their first three albums (Rattus NorvegicusNo More Heroes and Black and White) being released within an astonishing 13 months of each other, scoring hit singles with ‘Peaches’, ‘No More Heroes’ and ‘Walk On By’. Further success was to follow with ‘Always The Sun’, ‘Strange Little Girl’ and the mercurial ‘Golden Brown’, amongst many others, earning the group 24 Top 40 singles and 18 Top 40 albums in a career spanning six different decades.

Dark Matters is out on 10th September 2021 on the band’s own Coursegood imprint, via Absolute, and is available to pre-order from all good record stores. The Stranglers official store hosts a variety of special items from a limited-edition cassette album to ‘red/black smoke’ coloured limited edition heavy-weight vinyl.

In addition, all pre-orders for the album (on any format) will receive a special bonus CD titled ‘Dave Greenfield – A Tribute’ through the official store. This bonus CD, featuring 8 unreleased live recordings, was selected by the surviving members with a view to celebrating Dave’s unique talent. It includes two of the new tracks performed by Dave, live versions of four Stranglers songs that Dave is famous for having performed vocals on, and one of the last ever recordings of the band from their 2019 Japanese tour. Pre-order now atwww.thestranglers.co.uk.

Dark Matters – Album Track listing

  1. Water
  2. This Song
  3. And If You Should See Dave…
  4. If Something’s Gonna Kill Me (It Might As Well Be Love)
  5. No Man’s Land
  6. The Lines
  7. Payday
  8. Down
  9. The Last Men On The Moon
  10. White Stallion
  11. Breathe

The Stranglers announced their ‘full final tour’ of the UK and Europe and have decided to proceed with the 47-date run which includes two sold out performances at Brixton Academy, in Dave’s memory.

Full Final Tour UK 2022 *dates added*

25 Jan               Engine Shed, Lincoln

27 Jan               Music Hall, Aberdeen

28 Jan               O2 Academy, Glasgow

29 Jan               O2 Academy, Glasgow – SOLD OUT

31 Jan               Victoria Hall, Stoke

1 Feb                UEA Nick Rayns, Norwich

3 Feb                G Live, Guildford – SOLD OUT

4 Feb                O2 Academy, Brixton

5 Feb                O2 Academy, Brixton – SOLD OUT

7 Feb                Parr Hall, Warrington

8 Feb                Rock City, Nottingham

10 Feb              Uni Great Hall, Cardiff

11 Feb              O2 Apollo, Manchester

12 Feb              O2 Academy, Leeds

14 Feb              Guildhall, Portsmouth

15 Feb              Cliffs Pavilion, Southend

17 Feb              Dome, Brighton

18 Feb              O2 City Hall, Newcastle

19 Feb              O2 Academy, Birmingham

21 Feb              O2 Academy, Bristol – SOLD OUT

22 Feb              Hexagon, Reading

24 Feb              City Hall, Sheffield

25 Feb              De Montfort Hall, Leicester

26 Feb              Corn Exchange, Cambridge – SOLD OUT

For full tour details and more information visit

https://rocknloadmag.com/news/the-stranglers-announce-new-album-dark-matters/#:~:text=For%20full%20tour%20details%20and%20more%20information%20visit%20www.thestranglers.co.uk

https://rocknloadmag.com/news/the-stranglers-announce-new-album-dark-matters/

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21 September 1979 – The Raven

Band Name The Stranglers

Album Name The Raven

Type Album

Released date21 September 1979

Labels United Artists Records

Music Style Punk-Rock

Tracklist

1. Longships
2. The Raven
3. Dead Loss Angeles
4. Ice
5. Baroque Bordello
6. Nuclear Device
7. Shah Shah a Go Go
8. Don’t Bring Harry
9. Duchess
10. Meninblack
11. Genetix

1. LONGSHIPS

Instrumental

*****

2. THE RAVEN

Fly straight with perfection
Find me a new direction
You never realised the things they said
We’ll never realise until we’re dead

The ebony embittered souls of children
We’ll seek another way before too long
But will you stop my wind before I’m gone

And when you find me all alone
Your world has never been my own

And when you find me
And when you find me all alone
Your world has never been my own

My friend you’re black and when you fly you’re wild
I am white sometimes I behave just like a child
The northern seas are cold but they’re our own
We’ll sail your southern seas before too long

When I was a viking
My friend he was the raven

*****

3. DEAD LOSS ANGELS

The plastic peaches there
On concrete beaches there
You see the leaches there
You see the leaches there
They’re soft marshmallow there
It’s oh so shallow there
In Dead Loss Angeles
In Dead Loss Angeles

The dedged up mastodon
Has got his glasses on
He’s never seen the shit
From the La Brea pit

The lunar base camp there
With burning midnight lamp
They call it frisbeeland
It’s just a disneyland
Android americans
Live in the ruins there
In Dead Loss Angeles
In Dead Loss Angeles

The dedged up mastodon
Has got his glasses on
He’s never seen the shit
From the La Brea pit

From the La Brea pit
From the La Brea pit
From the La Brea pit

From the La Brea pit
From the La Brea pit
From the La Brea pit

They get the tremors there
Been given Babylon
Plenty of companies
Such lonely company
I hear a symphony
Of lonely timpanis
In Dead Loss Angeles
In Dead Loss Angeles

The dedged up mastodon
Has got his glasses on
He’s never seen the shit
From the La Brea pit

*****

4. ICE

Die like cherry blossom
Hagakure with perfume
Deadly with make up on
But it just won’t do

I have ice instead of heartburn
She has ice on her fingers
We have ice in the oven
But it just won’t do

If there’s no reason for your words
Then your silence ain’t absurd
If there’s no reason for your breathing
Then it just won’t do

There is ice in my vision
There is ice always in season
I want cold air not your treason
It won’t do

Hagakure with perfume
Hagakure with perfume
Hagakure with perfume
Hagakure with perfume
Hagakure with perfume
Hagakure with perfume
Hagakure with perfume
Hagakure with perfume

*****

5. BAROQUE BORDELLO

See a picturesque decay there
Something for all time to tell
See the woman of your dreams there
In a baroque bordello

Swing doors and a blind venetian
Keep her in a walnut shell
Has to rub your eyes to bathe you
In a baroque bordello

All the words are written for you
Finds your heaven, finds your hell
Finds your love but keeps it hidden
In a baroque bordello

Seven days and seven nights spent
Sleeping in her wishing well
Climb her rope and find her trailer
In a baroque bordello
In a baroque bordello
In a baroque bordello
Baroque bordello
Baroque bordello
Baroque bordello
Baroque bordello
Baroque bordello

*****

6. NUCLEAR DEVICE

I’m the wizard of aus
And I’ve got it all planned
For my first nuclear device

I don’t really care about which way you vote
‘Cos my gerrymander works out fine
I sell desert stretches like a big rubber glove
To Japan for a nuclear device

Nuclear device
Nuclear device
Nuclear device

If I could get lucky I’d secede from the states
I’d buy the country at an incredible rate

Brisbane men stay at home at night
‘Cos I outlawed all of the vice (outlawed all of the vice)
I’m the wizard of aus
And I’ve rolled the streets
Dreaming of a nuclear device (nuclear device)

If I could get lucky I’d go out on my own
And sell Australia the rice (rest of aus’ their rice)

Nuclear device
Nuclear device
Nuclear device

If I could get lucky I’d secede from the states
I’d buy the country at an incredible rate
If I could get lucky I’d secede from the states
I’d buy the country at an incredible rate
If I could get lucky I’d secede from the states
I’d buy the country at an incredible rate
at an incredible rate
at an incredible rate
at an incredible rate
at an incredible rate
at an incredible rate
at an incredible rate
at an incredible rate
at an incredible rate

Way down under Australia (Australia)
Very different from over here (Australia)
Getting rid of Abo’s one by one (Australia)
Buy cheap land for uranium (Australia)
It reminds me of Sweden (Australia)
All the animals look so strange (Australia)
All victims of a testing range (Australia)
Of a testing range (Australia)
Of a testing range (Australia)
Of a testing range (Australia)
Of a testing range (Australia)
Of a testing range (Australia)

*****

7. SHAH SHAH A GO GO

Did you hear about the man
Used to live out in Iran
He was luxury’s greatest fan
People ate out of his hand
People ate out of his hand

Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go

Sold the English all their oil
Made the people work the soil
Thought his kind had got it made
But his kind just had to pay to fade
But his kind just had to fade

Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go

Then a priest in Paris France
Made the people get up and da da dance
Sold cassettes for 60p.
Said he’d set the people free
We shall see we shall see

Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go

Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go
Shah shah a go go

*****

8. DON’T BRING HARRY

Harry and me we live in a dream
With a friend like him I don’t need enemies

I don’t know where morning is
It might not come today
That’s the trouble when harry’s around
He forces me to play

I should have refused to meet this midnight cheat
He likes to prey on my mind with his own special treat

I don’t know when morning comes,
It might not come today.
Harry likes to play all night
I’ll do what harry says

Don’t bring harry I don’t need him around
Don’t bring harry I don’t need him around

Ah you’ve met harry – I can see by your eyes
If once there was life there, now there’s compromise

Harry is a beast of luxury
He just wants my body and soul – leaves the bones behind

Ah you’ve met harry – I can see by your eyes
If once there was action – Now there is no life

Don’t bring harry I don’t need him around
Don’t bring harry I don’t need him around

*****

9. DUCHESS

Duch of the terrace never grew up
I hope she never will
Broken down TV sits in the corner
Picture’s standing still
Standing still

Duch of the terrace knows all her heritage
Says she’s Henry’s kid
Knows all her history in the family
Needs a man God forbid!
God forbid!

And it sounds like an empty house
Standing still
And it’s quieter than a mouse
Standing still

Duch of the terrace never grew up
I hope she never will
Says she’s an heiress, sits in her terrace
Says she’s got time to kill
Time to kill

And the Rodney’s are queuing up
God forbid!
And they all want to win the cup
God forbid!

Duchess Duchess
Duchess Duchess
Duchess Duchess

And the Rodney’s are queuing up
God forbid!
And the Rodney’s are queuing up
God forbid!
And the Rodney’s are queuing up
God forbid!

*****

10. MENINBLACK

We’re not here to destroy
We are here to employ

We have come to make you function
So we can eat at our functions

We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack

Information can destroy
So we’ll treat you just like toys

Healthy livestock so we can eat
Human flesh is porky meat hee hee heeeeeeeeeeeeeee …

We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We don’t approve of artificial food
We grow you for our own good

First we gave you the wheel
Then we made you live to kill

So the best stock will survive
We eat you all alive

We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack

We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack
We are the meninblack

*****

11. GENETIX

See the little nuclei
Bursting full of information
There’s a need to regulate
Bring it down to cells and plasma

Tell you what they’re gonna do
Started doing it already
Got to find something new
Looking for it in genetix

Found a new game to play
Think it’s impossible to lose
Messing round at playing God
Easy way to play genetix

Gene regulation

„The first law of Segregation
States that any gamete male
Or female can carry the
Determinant gene of only one
Pair of alternative characteristics.
The second law of free assortment
States that in a cross involving
One pair of alternative characteristics,
The characteristics will segregate
In the second filial generation,
In the relative proportions of
9, 3, 3, 1″

https://www.spirit-of-rock.com/en/album/The_Raven/1633

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The Stranglers – The Lines (R̶a̶t̶ Track Chat)

Welcome to our next R̶a̶t̶ Track Chat, where we get a sneaky listen and behind the scenes insight from JJ, Baz and producer Louie Nicastro on tracks from the new album Dark Matters. Pre-order Dark Matters now: https://stranglers.tmstor.es/

The new album ‘Dark Matters’ by The Stranglers is out 10th Sept 2021. Order now: https://slinky.to/DarkMatters Lyrics: This one was my mum

This one my papa

This one when the kids stayed out too late in their first car

If you were to chase

The lines on my face

This one was from drinking

These two are from smoking

Those were my divorce

When everyone was fighting

There’s no hiding place

For the lines on my face

These are for the laughter I’ll take to the hereafter

Creases made by friends I had my ups and downs

There’s triumph and disgrace In the lines on my face

These are for the smiles

When I look upon your face

http://vevo.ly/TcEHnZ

Објављено под Интервју, Приче о песмама, Novosti, Uncategorized | Оставите коментар