The Stranglers - On Stage/Screen Review
Being a product of the 1960's baby boom, I sat idly by on the kerb during those long hot summers as the 1970's passed by.
Along with the era went many fashions and fads. Hot pants. Mini skirts. Punk rock.
Being a red blooded, curious young lad, I took a lot of notice of the first two but paid lip service to the music scene. Punk always brings back memories for me of spiky haired teenagers jumping up and down in a hot sweaty night clubs to what can only be called a racket. Most punk bands of the time were actually proud to proclaim that if they made enough money from selling records, they would even learn to play their instruments! I ask you, where's the fun in that...? As the punk era passed, most of the band members went to earning a proper living and most were never heard of again.
There were one or two exceptions though - bands that actually produced something resembling a tune. One such band was the Stranglers.
Their secret was that they moved with the times. Yes, there was the odd pogo inducing track like all of the day and all of the night - but the anarchist side just wasn't there like it was with bands like The Sex Pistols. Look at any video footage of old Stranglers concerts and missing is the spiky hair, tartan trousers and the ripped denim jackets.
In the twenty odd years since the band last made it big in the charts, those fans, along with band, have grown up a bit. And this is evident in the latest concert release from Eureka Video which shows The Stranglers live in concert at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London in October 2004. The concert was unique because it actually contained a film premiere at the same time.
The film Norfolk Coast, starring Jean Jaque Burnel from the band was shown before the concert itself. The concert was then split into two sections - the “Live” set and the “Acoustic” set. I think the film is a kind of “extra” so I'll cover that a little later in the extras section of the review.
From the off it's obvious that group has lost none of its appeal to the band of loyal fans. The hysteria is there for everyone to see and the band lap it up - and quite rightly so.
During the Acoustic set, they gets to show off their talents for different styles of music. During this set, a lot of material reminded me lot of The Doors and all the thought of punk and everything that goes with it went out the window.
Acclaimed by many fans as the bands best ever concert, I have to admit that, not being a fan, I probably enjoyed 50% of what I saw - and most of those were in the acoustic set. However, I must put my hand up to breaking into a smile as the band finished with a brilliant rendition of No More Heroes from the album of the same name. However, fans of the band will love everything that's on here. A complete track list is as follows.
Waltzinblack (intro), Norfolk Coast, All Day And All Of The Night, Big Thing Coming, Peaches, Skin Deep, Always The Sun, Long Black Veil, I've Been Waiting, Lost Control, Goodbye Toulouse, Summat Outanowt, Walk On By, Duchess, Burning Up Time, Toiler On the Sea, Time To Die, Tank, Mine All Mine, No More Heroes
Instead Of This, Southern Mountains, Dutch moon, Tuckers grave, Strange Little girl, Santfe Kuss, Still Life
Highly recommended for fans of the band but casual listeners may want to rent first - however, If I'm honest...I could actually listen to the acoustic all night..