Hundreds of dad’s, many balding, made their way to Brighton’s Dome on Friday night to see 70s punk rock band The Stranglers.Many youngsters might think that they don’t know the band, but that’s where they’re wrong. These guys have had 23 top 40 singles and 17 top 40 albums throughout their career, which is still going with the impending release of their new album Giants. So they probably do know them.
And they’ve had pretty much the same line up since the mid 70s, with the exception of Baz Warne who joined the band in 2000. The original lead guitarist and singer Hugh Cornwell left in ’90 when he felt the band had gone as far as they could go artistically.
Which is quite possibly true, but that doesn’t prevent The Stranglers from being an enjoyable live band with a lot of material to choose from. Baz seemed perfectly at home in the band and if you weren’t aware that he hadn’t been with the band all along you may well assume that he had been.
Another notable absence was drummer Jet Black who had been taken ill earlier in the week and was being temporarily replaced by a guy named Ian, who did a fine job.
The band played many of their old favourites as well as a couple of tracks from the new record. Jean-Jaques-Burnell’s melodic bass still sounded vibrant and Dave Greenfield got funky on the keys, something that he sort of pioneered at a time when keyboards weren’t particularly cool. They’re not exactly the first instrument that comes to mind when you think of punk rock….
There were some young guys moshing with older guys in the 90 percent male crowd, which was quite entertaining, particularly when they finally gave it a rest for a bit of arm-swaying when the band played their hit Golden Brown.
There were times when The Stranglers did seem to be a bit of a tribute act to themselves, especially since their new material didn’t seem to be a massive departure from their other stuff. If anything it was the earlier songs Peaches, Golden Brown and No More Heroes that sounded the freshest, which I think is a sort of testament to them really.
On the whole though some quality songs, a very good performance musically, a great crowd and an entertaining evening. I’m quite sure that about 2,000 dads had a great time and, although I wouldn’t rush out to see them again, I enjoyed it too.
Originally published on Guide 2 Brighton.