Gig Review: The Stranglers at Royal Concert Hall

Words: Michael Prince
Photos: Michael Prince
Saturday 30 March 2024
reading time: min, words
DSC 0865Michael Prince The Stranglers Michael Prince DSC 0865

Known as “The Old Men Of Punk” The Strangers transcended the genre's limitations and parody of itself both before and after the late 70s. Tonight was a celebration of 50 years of The Stranglers, or Guildford Stranglers as they were originally called. 

It’s clear that The Stranglers have an affection for their audience, and they received loyal fans in the crowd with open arms and lots of banter, noting that the Concert Hall is a step up from Rock City which “we all love”… but not the toilets. Yes, everyone has a Rock City story.

It was strange to have a sit down gig for The Stranglers, but then the audience are also showing their age. “Old punks don’t fade away they just get bigger with enlarges prostate,” they joked.

There were two sets, the first of newer stuff and then a break for the bar and a second for the hits. The night was a celebration of their songs over those fifty years and included their first ever song, a rough rock and roll tune.

Most people stayed seated during the first half but there was no stopping them later.  Not quite an eruption - more an Icelandic lava flow, no less passionate but just a lot slower with age. 

Hideously dark with biting sarcasm and insight, The Stranglers were always different, but hearing such a range of their songs tonight across their five decades, you realised just how different they were from other bands at the time and yet they fitted into the genres, if not entirely seamlessly. 

Unlike a lot of their contemporaries they were already accomplished musicians and songwriters, and played their strengths to the full.  Always the same, always different is an apt description stolen from  John Peel’s description of The Fall. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than with Peaches, a relentless dub funk, down-beat drawn, with the altered line “I could be on the end of a skewer in the toilets at Rock City." They clearly love the place really… 

"Here’s to the next 50,” they concluded.

We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.