Review: The Stranglers, Rock City
FOR a band which began life operating above a Guildford off-licence almost 30 years ago, I was intrigued to see if grizzly punk rockers The Stranglers still packed a beery punch.
With more chart hits (when hits WERE hits) than you can shake a pair of black denim jeans at, The Stranglers' star, pleasingly, appears to be on the rise again.
Sadly, The Stranglers, much like a number of the waistlines on show, were a touch flabby here with lengthy renditions of lesser known tracks taking the edge off their true gems.
Openers Toiler On The Sea and Goodbye Toulouse meandered far too much for me and the majority of the crowd too, judging by the chit-chat which punctured their opening salvo.
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Thankfully, a mid-set flurry which included the sublime Peaches, Always The Sun and super melodic Duchess reminded everyone why they deserve their place at the British music altar - with co-frontman Baz Warne's dexterous vocals bending to suit the tone demanded.
You wouldn't expect the arrival of a septuagenarian drummer to give a gig fresh impetus, but the much-loved Jet Black defied all his 74 years putting on a drumming master class, only punctured by a dreamy rendition of Golden Brown - surely one of the most majestic melodies George Harrison never wrote.
As school night entertainment goes, The Strangers proffered enough to keep the masses happy and give Mr Black the reception his long-standing service, despite ill health, deserved.