While it may or may not have been the early hours of Saturday morning, the great adventurer Antro rolled down primrose hill. Checking in with MI6 for a mission briefing before collecting EiTC from the wilds of Battersea and heading west to the even wilders of Stanwell for SiB. Now, the triumvirate complete, they set off on an epic trek to the Rain Forests of Cornwall…
Deep in the jungle, the three came upon an alien landscape within a valley; here there were huge geodesic domes reminiscent of some strange insectoid cocoons. Closer inspection revealed an array of exotic Flora and Fauna (lots and lots of ants) housed within these giant structures…
Around and about, two great native tribes were gathered to witness a ceremonial ritual display from the revered tribal elders of the respective clans.
Arriving somewhere near the centre of the barrier, the three became five with the addition of Megabus Elaine and Mr T. Then they were three again as Antro and Sib broke off to explore further. Shortly thereafter the evening’s proceedings kicked off…
First up locals King Creature proved their mettle with a solid set of well-crafted heavy rock. Along with some very enthusiastic female fans at the front, the crowd very quickly warmed to what was an excellent display of their craft. Excellent, talented and well worth a listen…
Then, a dimming of lights and Waltzinblack heralded the arrival of The Stranglers.
The crowd suddenly came to life as Jean Jacques Burnel fired up his trademark growling bass for the epic Toiler On The Sea. And growl it did, and Dave, Baz and Jim kicked in, hurtling along at a fair old tempo.
Clarity! Yes that’s it! All became clear, in an eternal yet brief serendipitous moment… The sound that is! Crystal! The sound really was spot on tonight in this huge reclaimed clay pit/amphitheatre!
The bass growled, the Keyboards swirled, the Tele bit, the Drums pounded and the vocals combined to bring it all together – perfection and precision!
Toiler gave way to a mighty Grip. Then a classic Sleazy which saw JJ and Baz providing some menace down at the front of the stage…
No let up as they gave us a soaring Relentless (great to see a not specifically Stranglers crowd really responding to numbers like this) and an epic 5 Minutes.
Then it was hits time with uber crowd pleasers Golden Brown and Always The Sun before returning to the rockers.
Walk on By sounded superb, especially the subtly frantic stand-out bass work on the (excellent) solo sections. A pristine Peaches continued the fine form and crowd delight as Jim nailed the drums! Time Was Once On My Side (another relatively newish song well received).Then another crowd pleaser in a delightful Duchess. More well recieved modern era goods with Norfolk Coast before the classic Hanging Around.
JJ’s Bass beating signalled the intro to No More Heroes, also signalling the end of the set and a swift exit leaving the huge crowd satiated yet hungry for more.
In a seeming blur, the stage was radically cleared and redressed in preparation for Motorhead and the crowd packed in tighter.
Motorhead took the stage with Lemmy announcing ‘We are Motorhead and we play Rock and Roll!’ And they proceeded to deliver the (Heavy) goods. The sound while not as clear as for The MiB was certainly a tad or two louder (this is Motorhead after all!)…
Kicking off with a set consisting of; We Are Motorhead, Damage Case, Stay Clean, Metropolis and Over The Top, it really was fantastic to see Lemmy up on stage continuing his recovery and the crowd agreed as they showed their appreciation and adulation and packed in ever tighter.
Lemmy and Drummer Mikkey Dee exited leaving guitarist Phil Campbell up on stage then an atmospheric synth pad backing fired up, affording him the space to stretch his musical legs with a superb bluesy solo.
The boys returned and it was up another notch as the main set continued with; The Chase Is Better Than The Catch, Rock It, Lost Woman Blues and Doctor Rock at the end of which Phil and Lemmy disappeared to leave Mikkey Dee firing off a huge salvo of a drum solo from his mega-Hi-rise drum riser.
And the crowd packed in tighter. By now people were beginning to suffer a little as quite a number fainted or blacked out and had to be rescued by the excellent security team who were bang on the case, add to this the crowd surfers and they certainly had their hands full!
Phil and Lemmy returned to delight the crowd once more with Orgasmatron and Going To Brazil. And the crowd packed in tighter, in time for the closing number Ace Of Spades.
And the tightly packed crowd yelled, screamed and whistled for more before packing in tighter and being rewarded with an extended Overkill then over…
After hunkering down in a nearby encampment for the night we made a detour on our homeward journey finding ourselves at Carlyon Bay former home to the St Austell Coliseum host of many a gig in its day but now flattened and gone. We were approached by some locals (and a London Lady among them) who chatted with us about the gig and how great The Stranglers and Motorhead were.
It seems that everywhere we went we encountered Motorhead T-shirt after Motorhead T-shirt. At Exeter services a father and son engaged us in conversation where the dad misty eyed (and a hardcore Motorhead-head) told us how blown away he was by The Stranglers and that he hadn’t seen them since the No More Heroes tour but would definitely be seeing them again. A not unfamiliar scenario in regard to the Stranglers continuing renaissance (and a testament to how brilliant they sounded)!
Conclusion: Two Superb Legendary bands in a fantastic location with excellent company.
Photos: Mr T, K V Antro & EiTC.
More Photos by Mr T:
Stranglers soared, over a thousand very lucky, and very vocal fans in Belfast. May 1st 2015. All 4 played a stunner of a gig, with JJ and Dave more ear catching, with the two sounds, and sights many fans grew up with. Burnel blew the years away, and anyone who had questioned how relevant they are 40 years on. JJ Burnel`s playing was faster, harder, when needed, and razor sharp throughout. Baz really gave it his all, and is brilliant, cocky too, and rightly so. JMac was worked hard, and was not found wanting. Like the big lad Black, he sweated his way through the ultimate workout. an awesome gig for us, a huge FixinblacK. The Stranglers lifted us all, newbies and oul hands alike, a pun?? We hope we surprised and lifted them too. The Belfast gig will be very much on their radar, for times to come. Hallow MIB. Fly Straight. x
Wow! Like a Russian Doll Gig Review – A review of another gig in the comment of a gig review….
Nice one Doyler!