I will begin by categorically holding my hands up and surrendering to the fact I was by far the least qualified person in Rock City to be reviewing the Stranglers. I felt about 30 years too young standing surrounded by leathered, tattooed men with grey spiked hair and earrings; the true Stranglers fans whom I jokingly dubbed ‘The Notts Mafia’.

That isn’t to say I couldn’t appreciate the energy of the band as Baz shouted to us as “the busiest Nottingham crowd yet” – no small feat considering they have been touring solidly since the late seventies.

Some serious moshing ensued when the band launched into songs such as ‘Tank’, ‘Toiler on the Sea’ and ‘Nice n’ Sleazy’ from their Black and White album (which has been reissued on a limited edition vinyl for those of us who weren’t alive to buy it in 1978). I was particularly impressed by Dave’s psychedelic skills on his quadruple stacked keyboards during the band’s punk rock cover of ‘Walk on By.’

Two hours of anticipation and awkwardly pogoing to songs I didn’t really know seemed to be leading to one thing and one thing only. JJ, Dave and their ‘newbie’ band members Baz Warne (guitar and vocals, joined 2000) and Jim MacAulay (drums, joined 2013) absolutely killed the encore of ‘Peaches’, ‘No More Heroes’ and so I was more than a little bit disappointed when they didn’t play ‘Golden Brown,’ which I had been looking forward to all evening.

All in all a solid performance, but I obviously wasn’t as attached to the Black and White album as my fellow gig-goers. I guess I’ll just have to listen to the mellow riffs of ‘Golden Brown’ crying into my post-Rock-City McDonald’s.

Liz Newman

Image: Eddy BERTHIER via Flickr

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