Broadway Theatre, Peterborough
30th November, 2005
Reviewed by Cardinal Cox
The Stranglers CDs
Write Dope on Pnuk part 3
The Stranglers are one of the few bands of the punk era to still be going, if in not quite the original form. Three quarters of the founding line-up, J.J. Burnel, Dave Greenfield and Jet Grey, sorry Jet Black, are still there, augmented by Paul Roberts on vocals and relative newcomer Baz Warne on guitar.
Before the gig, while loitering in the foyer, I overheard one fan on the 'phone extolling the venue's virtues.
The gig started with a seven number acoustic set which included 'Strange Little Girl'. Unfortunately, the most interesting thing on stage was Burnel's amp. It had a little display, so if he played an A, an 'A' came up; if he played a G, a 'G' came up. Etc.
The main set was the full-on electric performance and amongst the old numbers were 'Goodbye Toulouse', 'Peaches', 'Always The Sun', and 'Duchess'. Two cover versions, that have long been in their repertoire, 'All Day And All Of The Night' and 'Walk On By', were also played. My problem with the night was the sound balance. While Burnel and Warne's backing vocals were perfectly clear, Paul Roberts sounded as though he'd swallowed a rolled-up pair of socks. Even between tracks I couldn't make out what he was saying. When someone shouted out the request 'Something Better Change', I added, "yes, the mix".
When the band went off stage, so confident were they that they'd be doing an encore that a couple of techs were plainly tuning the guitar and bass. A bass that had seldom been making the little letters appear as it detuned. The inevitable encore had two songs, including 'No More Heroes'. Despite the inability to hear the singer, most people were evidently happy with the gig from a band who'd played the Wirrina in Peterborough on 18 September 1978. For myself, I couldn't help but compare it to Hugh Cornwell's gig last year (see my diary pnukcrok), which I enjoyed more. Yes, this was good, but not brilliant.
© All work copyright of Cardinal Cox.