Thu 21 Mar 2019
Cliffs Pavilion, Southend
Artists watched: Stranglers
At the start of the year I had a few bands on my hitlist of people to see, but I never thought I'd end up seeing the Stranglers live.
I was never a massive fan of the band - but I was a fan enough to have some of the singles and know them pretty well.
I was just starting secondary school in the Stranglers' heyday of the late 70s/early 80s. Back then people - well certainly all my friends - were much more attuned to what was happening musically and I had one friend in particular who was a big fan of the Stranglers, playing their music all the time, so they're a band that reminds me very much of my youth.
Back to the present and I had an opportunity to interview Jean-Jacques Burnel a few weeks before the gig. Even though I was talking to him on the phone, I was a little bit nervous as I've read the stories of what he did to journalists who have mildly disagreed with him in the past.
Having said that I'm not a journalist - I interview people for fun, not because I want to say something snarky about them to get a reputation, so I was fairly hopeful I wouldn't be tied up and thrown in the boot of his car.
And JJ turned out to be utterly charming and a pleasure to chat to, so I managed to wangle my way onto the guest list for this local show.
Sacriligiously I missed support act Dr Feelgood - their (almost) hometown gig too. At that time I was successfully arranging to swap my free downstairs tickets for a couple of free upstairs tickets with seats. I had a long day at work and I'm getting old ...
The Stranglers were never a punk band to me - just a pop group who had some great tunes. I never thought much about pigeonholing and I wasn't really old enough first time round to appreciate the lyrics.
They're very tight musically and Dave Greenfield is still an amazing keyboard player - his obvious love of endless arpeggios always set them about from other bands at the time. It's hard to believe he's 70 years old at the end of this month.
A pretty much sold out crowd and from what I can tell, lots of satisfied customers too.
- I've Been Wild
- (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
- Baroque Bordello
- Bring On The Nubiles
- Man on the Moon
- Princess of the Streets
- Ice Queen
- Golden Brown
- Always the Sun
- The Raven
- This Song
- Something Better Change
- 5 Minutes
- Hey! (Rise of the Robots)
- Down in the Sewer
- Time To Die
- No More Heroes