It is the 40th anniversary of The Stranglers’ first ever recorded album Rattus Norvegicus and they have been touring up and down the country, showcasing their phenomenal catalogue. Having released 18 albums, spanning over 35 years, The Stranglers really are at the heart of the British rock/punk scene. Now living in Leeds themselves, they turned up to O2 Academy, to give a crowd of all ages a performance of what the band has achieved.
The idiosyncratic group provided nothing but fun. From start to finish they kept the audience moving and laughing. They knew their fans and they played exactly what they were looking for, as they smashed their hits, with extreme precision. I was amazed, as I heard ‘Peaches’ sound almost identically to the original which came out 40 years ago. They then had the whole crowd singing along to ‘Always the Sun’, and ‘Walk on By’. They really demonstrated how long they had been around for by displaying how to play a gig.
The quintessential part of the evening, was when the entire crowd went quiet, the room lit up gold and brown, the only sound to be heard was the beautiful melodic sound of David Greenfield’s keyboard. There was not a mobile phone in sight.
The new wave punk group finished the night, with the same energy they started with. As Jean-Jacques Burnel, smashed his bass guitar with his fist, for at least a minute or so, before releasing his famous bass riff which begins ‘No More Heroes’. The group managed to keep their sound so tight, as the difference between their performance and the studio version was minute. It was genuine act, from the beginning to end, you knew they loved what they do, and it carried through in their music.
(Image: Local Sound Focus)