As I awkwardly attempt to navigate my way toward Birmingham’s O2 Academy, it becomes very obvious that there’s going to be a strong crowd present.
Hives of rowdy, balding Stranglers fans (uncomfortably bundled into their favourite 80’s memorabilia t-shirts) stagger toward the turnstiles and present their tickets to the door staff – absolutely proud as punch.
The Stranglers, who have been sighted as the longest surviving ‘continuously successful’ group, to have emerged from the British punk scene, take to the stage. Their greeted with rapturous applause from the fans that never left their side.
As the group are now touring on the back of their 18th album release ‘Giants’, I wasn’t expecting them to bring any of the golden oldies I’d grown to know as a little boy to the table – but they didn’t disappoint. ‘Peaches’, ‘Golden Brown’ and even their well established cover of Dionne Warwick’s song ‘Walk On By’ were performed with sheer charm.
Guitarist ‘Baz’ (joined the band in 2000), played directly to the crowd – one foot on a wedge amp, Fender held comfortably like battle axe. He hit every single one of the original notes on the head, properly doing the original line up proud.
Dave Greenfield who’s been the band’s keyboardist since 1975 didn’t drop a note, even in the overwhelmingly long keys solo in ‘Walk On By’ – a truly underrated musician.
If you have the chance to see The Stranglers before they pack up (that is, if they ever do), I can highly recommend it.