Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Sunday 20 March 2011

The Stranglers: Self-Styled Meninblack Were In Full Attack @ Brighton Dome

Ah, nostalgia, it ain't what it used to be. You can never step in the same river twice, so I'm told. But what I did do on a chilly March night was see the Stranglers for the 23rd time.

Amazingly, up until a year ago, I hadn't seen the self-styled Meninblack for a quarter of a century.

Having waved goodbye to them at the Brighton Centre in 1985, I followed them in vinyl alone until their parting of the ways with singer, guitarist & co-songwriter Hugh Cornwell, on August 11th 1990.

From thereon-in they barely blipped on my radar until their collective & spiritual mojo returned with the release of 2004's hauntingly dark, stark & beautiful Norfolk Coast.

Add to their recent catalogue 2006's swaggering & punky collection, Suite XV1, and my radar was picking up on their signal once more.

Having been blown away by the band's performance at the Brighton Dome last year, it was with nothing less than stomach tingling anticipation that I awaited their 2011 return to the same venue.



This time around the audience were less reverential and more inclined to party like it was 1979.

Plus, having the added bonus of Wilko Johnson & Norman Watt-Roy as main support was a masterstroke.

They banged out those Canvey Island blues with all the sweat, hunger & intensity of men half their age.

Then it was to the well worn strains of Waltzinblack that the Stranglers emerged & crashed into the double whammy of I Feel Like A Wog & Was It You?



A promised more eclectic set than last year's Decades Apart hits led outing brought out dusted down gems the likes of Dead Loss Angeles, Sweden, (All Quiet on the Eastern Front), Baroque Bordello & Never To Look Back.

The twin front of stage attack of original Triumph Bonneville boy JJ Burnel & decade old Strangler Baz Warne were the prowling, menacing playoff to the eccentric back-up boys Jet Black & Dave Greenfield.

For every showstopping bass-run from Burnel came a cameo keyboard flourish from Greenfield .. and all the while 'the Ayatollah of rock 'n' roll' Black defied his 70-plus years providing the band's heartbeat.

Nice 'N' Sleazy, Peaches, Always The Sun, Golden Brown, Hanging Around & No More Heroes all played their part in making the 2011 model of The Stranglers just as vital, riverting & entertaining as their once 20-something selves."

by: Mike Cobley




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