CONCERT REVIEW : The Stranglers O2 Glasgow 28th January 2022

Photo Credit Stephen Wilson

THE STRANGLERS SHOW THE GLASGOW CROWD THAT NICE AND SLEAZY DOES IT, EVERYTIME!!

Veteran punk rockers The Stranglers brought their farewell tour to Glasgow for two nights, and turned back the clock playing a set splattered with hits and album tracks from an extensive back catalogue, leaving the crowd begging for more, even after 26 songs, two encores and a blistering two hours on stage.

Supporting the band on this tour were The Ruts, and they warmed the crowd up perfectly, playing tracks including Staring at the Rude Boys and big number Babylons Burning.  Their set was well received and they made way after a quick change for the main act.

The Guildford Stranglers, as they were originally known, took to the stage using their instrumental Waltzinblack from the 1981 album The Gospel According to the Meninblack as their usual walk on music, and the crowd went nuts as their heroes got ready to attack!  They launched into opener Toiler on the Sea, 5 Minutes and Sometimes, and the crowd were putty in their hands!   The setlist included all their top singles and album tracks from way back, from Rattus Norvegicus released in 1977, through to the bands eighteenth album Dark Matters from 2021. 

The current incarnation of The Stranglers band sees only Jean-Jacques Burnel on bass remain from the original 1974 line up, with long serving keyboard player Dave Greenfield having recently passed away in 2020, and Toby Hounsham standing in for him.  Drums are covered by Jim MacAulay, an able deputy for original member Jet Black.  Lead vocals these days are supplied by Baz Warne, who joined the band in 2000, having taken over after original front man Hugh Cornwell left in 1990 to pursue a solo career. And what a grand job he makes of being Cornwell’s replacement.

The set continued, including such Stranglers classic tracks as Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Peaches, Golden Brown, Walk On By, Straighten Out, a rip roaring version of Duchess and closing the first act with Hanging Around and The Last Men On The Moon, as the crowd went wild.  Another four tracks spread across two encores followed, which included The Lines and the bands tribute to keyboard player Greenfield with And If You Should See Dave.  A short break between encores sees the band return to the O2 stage once more for Tank and the 70’s classic No More Heroes, and the night was done. A magnificent evening of 70s punk nostalgia, packed with power, energy and aggression.

Time may be moving on for the guys on stage, and for most of the packed crowd also, but as the curtains close on the bands touring career the public will still fill the venues while they can.  Go see them while you still have the chance.  Long live The Stranglers!

Review and Photographs by Stephen Wilson