February 8, 2018
As a teenage delinquent in his early stages of punk socialization searching for the next kick in the local record store, I came across The Stranglers and was impressed by the band name. Expecting an assault along the lines of The Exploited’s emission, I was more mildly underwhelmed and confused by the new wave-y, art rock with gothic tinges.
Fast forward a couple of years, a bit of maturity, appreciation of musical virtuosity, the company of ladies and a deep interest in Jean Jacques Burnel’s thoughtful lyrics, and The Stranglers and their more psychedelic songs fell on more fertile ground.
Witnessing The Stranglers’ on their “The classic collection” tour in 2018 translates to a setlist brimming with hits, anthems and classics that were frenetically welcomed by the sold out house.
Forty years into their existence, The Stranglers bring a tight show that borders pitch perfection, effortlessly holding the audience in the palm of their hand with their charisma and displaying that their secret sauces could never be simmered down to neither singular musical styles nor the sum of its ingredients – what makes them is their idiosyncratic x-factor that pervades each of their ditties, no matter which genre is most prominent.
Evenings that from start to finish was a celebration of The Stranglers’ musical prowess, relevance and timelessness of their musical catalogue.
Photos by KAVV