Dead Loss Angeles
Shah Shah A Go Go
Down In The Sewer
Bring On The Nubiles
editor Tony Moon already predicts the rise of Mod in the
issue I got at my first gig – JJ’s Euroband at Ilford –
and this fourteen year old finds himself on a three hour
train journey to Wembley Stadium with his Mod mates from
the arse-end of Kent (no reference to this web editor!)
here for The Who – and me, for The Stranglers.
It’s a hot summer’s day when we arrive: other acts
include Nils Lofgren, famed for playing guitar bouncing
on a trampoline and unknown Aussie rockers AC/DC who are
so loud, they blow the speakers. Third-on-the-bill The
Stranglers take the stage at seven as the taped intro of
Meninblack fills the hall. As a young UFOlogist I’d just
read an article on MiBs a couple of weeks earlier -
shades of parallel development between The Stranglers
and me – something that continues to this very day. It’s
the first day of the footie season and we’re here at
Wembley – and Hugh cannot resist a footie quip:
‘Any Brighton fans here? Well - you lost 4-0. Any
In reference to AC/DC perhaps? Or the ferocious opening
number Nuclear Device?! Seguing into the sci-fi sounding
Genetix, Dave’s vocals are eerie. I just wish he’d sing
more, especially as I’ve never seen Peasant live. Next
up is the bright and breezy, whimsical forthcoming album
title track, The Raven. JJ alludes to this track in
Strangled when he says the next Stranglers animal is
heavily connected to the Vikings and imbued their spirit
of exploration and adventure. (The track still haunts
and inspires me to today which is why I have a full
Raven tattoo on my right arm.) Also, it says the other
two tracks are aired in Japan. So now it’s three songs
into my inaugural MiB gig and three singers! What an
introduction! Now it’s another newie - Dead Loss Angeles
– and once again it appears in Strangled. But seeing
both Hugh and JJ play bass guitars on this track is mind
Now I’m really looking forward to The Raven LP out in
six weeks time as everything so far is simply awesome.
Then – another new track - Baroque Bordello – whose
picturesque decay fills the stadium with lilting guitar
and melodic keyboards soaring into every corner and
crevice. Tank breaks the run of new songs and it’s a
vicious rendition that takes a scattergun to the crowd
and hammers mercilessly to surrender. The urban decay of
Threatened with darkness to come in the political
musings of Hugh’s Iranian history lesson - Shah Shah A
Go Go - which in turn melts into Ice - a song that
changes my life forever. I get the book that inspires
the song straight afterwards, influencing the way I live
my life ever now. At the time, I mistake ‘hagakure with
perfume’ for ‘the cat was wearing perfume’! Down In The
Sewer - my all time favourite Stranglers track – with
Hugh shouting; ‘YOU CAN SEE THE WHITES OF THEIR EYES -
ABOUT 80,000 OF 'EM!’ It twists and turns almost
classically with epic neo-Wagnerian keyboards. (This
song is sorely missed by fans of late, although Hugh
does wonders in the absence of keys.) Suddenly fighting
breaks out in the terraces – JJ catches sight of it –
and points out to Hugh, who sends out a warning:
‘If you want some bother on the terraces - go to a
football match.’ With a mock walky-talky in his hand, he
adds: ‘Right - the police have told me it’s all over on
the radio so…’ Hugh continues in an accent attuned to a
German SS officer accent: ‘BRING ON ZE NUBILES!!!’
Dave's takes control with his keyboards as the band fire
on all cylinders for a frenzied, bitchy rendition of
Nubiles. New single; ‘About My Ol’ Dutch…’ is Duchess,
and familiar to the crowd who welcome it warmly. Hugh
points to Wembley’s scoreboard displaying next song as
Hanging Around. A cheer goes up – and the band play
Toiler! Ebbing and flowing round the tide of humanity,
drowning in their sheer artistry and all round
brilliance. They blow The Who away on two counts:
firstly by the firework explosion that is so loud,
locals complain and ban the headliners from a similar
pyrotechnics display. And secondly, by a triumphant show
of The Stranglers in full flow – airing virtually the
entirety of their forthcoming fourth LP.
The night ends with The Raven logo lit up to the sound
the bird calling in the night. Rave reviews ensue...
ACDC’s Bon Scott dies… Nils Lofgren joins Bruce
Springsteen’s E Street Band (spruce spring clean?)… I
get a Raven tattood on my upper arm… while The
Stranglers are in their thirty-fourth year with 16
studio albums ender their belt… Baroque Bordello is
underrated, so I agree with JJ. It’s also
underperformed! Pete Townshend must resent The
Stranglers, as he disses them thereafter – but The Who
just couldn’t measure up on the day. 1-0 to the
underdogs! You could also say - The Stranglers take on
the favourites to walk away with the honours. Personally
– as my first Stranglers gig - it was an eventful and
inspiring initiation into the world of The Stranglers
that day at Wembley. Thank you, lads.
PS. I understand Hanging Around was originally in the
Strangled thanks Steve Churchyard,
Chris Gabrin, Neil Horgan, Steve Howard, Donald MacKay, Dominic
Pilgrim, Martin Rushent, Stubsinblack, Mark Tall & the X-File.
Apologies to anyone we have omitted.
1984 and 1986 demos uploaded
in the 80’s!
Stranglers hit the mid-80’s, did the Meninblack also hit a
midlife crisis? Clearly the music proliferating around them
jarred: the Aural Sculpture Manifesto free with 7th album Feline
became testament to that: ‘the musicians of our time are
harlots and charlatans…’ Big words - but could The
Stranglers come up with the goods?
on a follow-up, the band demoed Skin Deep; this came about in
the classic Stranglers way, originating with JJ’s bass and
melody and Hugh’s lyrics, the soft R&B flavoured Punch & Judy,
Hugh’s Head On The Line (an anti-drug song) – plus In One Door,
Hitman (written about a photographer), Shakin’ Like A Leaf and
The Beast. The Hitman demo contains some pretty soulless gated
noises off the drum machine while Skin Deep was always the
brightest and strongest of the seven tracks. CBS Records MD Muff
Winwood suggested they use Paul Young’s producer Laurie Latham
(Steve Churchyard was in the throes of moving to the US) who
listened to the demo and agreed he could do something with Skin
Deep. This song triggered the recording at ICP Studios in
Brussels during 1984 (working on keyboards first with Dave)
where it was agreed that Laurie should continue work on the
bands eighth album thereafter.
as a single, Skin Deep got to number 15 in the UK chart. In
November, the Aural Sculpture album reached 14 – and contained
some fine moments - but what happened to the other demo
tracksOnly ? Punch & Judy survived the passage to LP, while the
rest - In One Door, Hitman and Head On The Line – became
b-sides; JJ unhappy about the way The Beast turned out was
recycled as an instrumental for his 2nd solo album; Shakin’ Like
A Leaf disappeared all together, ending up on 9th album
Dreamtime, released in 1986.
between the 1984 demos and the ICP sessions, the band came up
some punchy new tunes. Who can argue the songsmithery of No
Mercy, Uptown, Souls, Let Me Down Easy, Spain, Northwinds,
Laughing, Mad Hatter and sheer cool of Ice Queen, written about
Hugh’s American fiancée? The Stranglers had pulled one out of
the bag – but Laurie added not just backing vocalists and brass
players, but sheen and studio sparkle, turning demos into
diamonds. Unfortunately, Dreamtime wasn’t going to happen in
quite the same way…
demoed Mayan Skies, Nice In Nice, Always The Sun, Ghost Train
and You, The Stranglers were booked in with Laurie once again
during 1986. By now, the band worked in two halves: Hugh would
record songs at his West Country home while JJ and Dave worked
from JJ’s bungalow in Cambridgeshire. There had also been a
defining moment in the Hugh-JJ relationship which must have
affected the band: during the Aural Sculpture European tour, JJ
had a spat with Hugh in Rome; ‘I put Hugh through a wall… I
shouldn’t have done that… I left chocolates and flowers outside
his door to say sorry.’ For Hugh, it showed a side to JJ that he
didn’t like. Was this the beginning of the end? Technology
hadn’t helped the pair to work together in preliminary stages of
songs as it was all too easy to switch on the ubiquitous ‘80’s
synth, the Yamaha DX-7 and a drum machine. Songs ended up being
sent to each other by post – a far cry from those Chiddingfold
summer afternoons sitting in the garden, jamming on acoustic
of Always The Sun is sonically, the most alien compared to the
finished product. Hugh has since conceded the band weren’t ready
to return to the studio as the material wasn’t strong enough.
One strong song rejected early was One In A Million, a beautiful
piece of melody Hugh released as a solo single on Portrait
Records the previous September.
reconvened with Laurie in Brussels once more, the sessions
became problematic: an entire week was spent recording You, an
ambitious, lacklustre track that never made any album. Laurie
believed the songs were half-baked, with demos that were sketchy
and with little pre-production. He suggested the band regroup
when they have better material as he felt he was being left to
turn these tracks into songs. Meanwhile, songs were penned in
the studio, increasing the studio expense sheet. Studio trickery
altered the demos into shapelier models, and at one point, the
snare used for the sessions was an amalgam of samples taken from
Bowie’s Let’s Dance and Otis Redding’s Dock Of The Bay. Things
came to a head during Always The Sun during it’s commercial
metamorphosis when Jet told Laurie they’d had enough of working
on the ‘Laurie Latham album.’ It didn’t take long before rumours
began filtering through to the music press that CBS were
unimpressed with their fruits - and ordered some serious
re-workings. Another story laid the blame on lost tapes causing
months of Always The Sun continued, but the band were now back
in Blighty, minus their producer. Replacement Mike Kemp was
based at Spaceward Studio close to JJ and Dave, where the
Dreamtime sessions continued in earnest: Was It You?, You’ll
Always Reap What You Sow and the eponymous track helped bring up
the rear in the song department, along with the sprawling Too
Precious. Chart-wise, Nice In Nice was a return to singles form
in the same way as Skin Deep two years prior, but only reached a
disappointing number 30 in September. Newly improved Always The
Sun also stalled at 30, despite massive media exposure and the
brace of cool promo videos. Was there no justice in this world?
Or was the world simply running out of patience for The
Stranglers? Big In America followed, but failed to dent the Top
40 singles despite Paul McCartney’s thumbs up on Saturday
morning kids telly. A re-jigging of 1984 demo, Shakin’ Like A
Leaf followed as another 45, but suffered the same fate. The
Dreamtime album peaked at number 16, spending just six weeks in
the charts, and for the four horsemen, the apocalypse was on the
horizon. They rode the eighties ‘style over content’ ethos and
stayed together as a unit – but for how long? Answers on a
A very different Guildford
Four where creating some incendiary noises back in 1974.
The earliest songs from The Stranglers’ set – Charlie
Boy, I Know It, Make You Mine and Chinatown - were
committed to ferrous oxide that very year, forming their
first demos ever. Thanks to a recent discovery in an
attic by one of our readers, we dusted it down and made
them available to you... All you have to do is find them
cut demos with Ian Gomm.
Gary Kent tracks
Gomm with the
GIG CARTEL OF 1975 was slowly but surely being infiltrated by
The Stranglers. This came about after signing up with Albion
Management’s Dai Davies and Derek Savage in a deal lubed by Hugh
Cornwell’s cunning cartoon campaign aimed at the duo’s Putney
office. With sticky headline slots at the Nashville Rooms, Red
Cow and Hope & Anchor by night - writing and rehearsing by day -
a nascent Stranglers honed the tunes that would later become
their first two hit LP’s, spawning three Top 10 forty-fives,
including the chart smash, Peaches.
demo already under their belts, (Wasted, Strange Little Girl and
My Young Dreams recorded in 1974 with Alan Winstanley at TW
Studios), the all-important recording contract remained elusive.
Punk was to prove the catalyst for The Stranglers success, but
yet to ignite. Meanwhile, they struggled amid the existing
middle-of-the-road mould set by fellow pub- rockers on the live
circuit. Early in 1976, they packed their gear into drummer Jet
Black’s ice cream van and set off for a recording studio in the
wilderness - mid-Wales to be precise - in the verdant valleys of
Welshpool. Here lay Foel’s Studio which partly set up by Ian
Gomm - erstwhile guitarist of Brinsley Schwarz – a band whom
music hacks first tag ‘pub-rock’.
Burning Up Times was keen to test Ian’s Stranglers recall: first
time we called, he was on his way out to a piano-tuning – and a
second occasion he was outside, up a ladder on a very breezy
autumnal day painting the conservatory of his Welsh abode. Hence
the dubious strapline – which also happens to be Ian’s 1979 solo
LP in the States.
with the wind is a good title - or Going, Going, Gomm!” Quips a
chipper Ian during our third time lucky later that day. “…Or
even Gomm but not forgotten!” The Burning Up Times certainly
hadn’t forgotten him.
Chiswick-born Ian spent much of his youth in bands – right
through his five year electronic engineering apprenticeship at
EMI Records at Hayes. “The Beatles paid our wages.” In 1970 he
quit the day job after answering a Melody Maker classified to
join Brinsley Schwarz: the following year, New Musical Express
brand him ‘best rhythm guitarist’. In 1973 the Brinsleys open up
the very first Old Grey Whistle Test - on bass, future Rockpiler
Nick Lowe – and turn down a Top Of The Pops appearance when
they’re not permitted to play live. After a dozen LP’s and a
staggering 21 singles over their five-year span with United
Artists Records. Manager Dave Robinson exits to form Stiff
Records and future Stranglers manager Dai Davies takes over.
Following a decision to relocate Stateside, (UA reject the plan
in favour of more UK vinyl), a final albums-worth of material is
unreleased. The band break up in 1975: two members join Graham
Parker’s Rumour, while Ian is left bandless and jobless. Ian:
Anderson used to help out Brinsley Schwarz. He played bass in
Hawkwind – Lemmy’s predecessor. He’d gone into partnership with
Lord Roote’s son to buy this old farmhouse - back when you could
pick up a farm and a cowshed for three and a half grand. It
needed wiring and finishing off. Of course, wiring up a studio
was what EMI trained me to do, so I knew how to do it. Even in
the band I brought along my toolbox to fix the Hammond C3 before
gigs. I was at a loose end and so I was the man for the job.”
his family with him, Ian embarked on the transformation into a
fully functional recording studio. He also learned how to
engineer and produce. Now all he needed was a band to test out
the workings. The phone goes. It’s Dai.
Ice cream men cometh…
he’d got this band called The Stranglers, and they wanted to do
some demos. He said he’d send them down, and so The Stranglers
became our first paying clients – not that they paid! That’s why
they drove 250 miles up to get there – because it was free! But
the funny thing was when they arrived - don’t forget we’re in
the middle of nowhere, surrounded by hills and sheep and the
road from the village runs down the side of the valley and drops
down quite steeply. I look up and there’s this ice cream van
coming. I thought someone can’t be selling ice creams here,
surely. I didn’t know it was The Stranglers until they parked up
and bundled out the back of the van. Jet was driving. I said:
‘what’s this all about? Have you borrowed it?’
said, “it’s my van!’
believe him at first - until he put the bloody jingle on! And
that sounded really weird in the middle of nowhere. It was very
Ian harnessed the sound of a band in their transitory stage
between punchy pub-rock and punk. The four songs – three of
which ended up on their first two LP’s – included the Top 10 hit
that broke the band:
“Peaches, Bitching - the one about the sewer - yes, Down In
The Seweeeer - and a song with JJ singing: ‘tell me why - tell
me why…’ in this upper class accent, Tomorrow Was, which didn’t
fit in at all. But the rest - especially Down In The Sewer – I
thought, fucking hell!
Foel’s demo of Sewer is shorter than the final vinyl version:
the song ends on a full stop as the last bit, Rat’s Rally, has
yet to be penned. As far as nailing the tunes, Ian faced a
“I didn’t know what to do with the band to be honest. So I
recorded them live so the songs turned out pretty
rough-sounding. I do remember the band as being very green -
embryonic, shall we say. When bands record for the first time,
wearing headphones can throw them. In Brinsley Schwarz we did a
lot of recording and Dave Edmunds produced us, so I learned a
few things along the way. But I hadn’t seen The Stranglers play
before. Even so the songs we did turned out quite close to how
they ended up on vinyl later. Very close – and this was early
1976, spring I’d guess. It definitely wasn’t winter, because the
ice cream van wouldn’t have made the steep driveway.”
“They’d have probably hit me later on –
or JJ would have done!”
Ian adopted a strange technique to drop-in and drop-out:
“They wanted to capture what they were doing, and they had
rehearsed these songs to death and so they were engrained in
their heads. They didn’t want to change them much in the studio.
So I recorded them as they were with vocals afterwards. During
one song, Hugh had a guitar overdub to do. I suggested he didn’t
play during the solo section, but he just couldn’t do it. He
kept playing in the bit he wasn’t supposed to. How we got round
it was I literally stood there next to him in the studio and
stopped him. I grabbed his wrist to pull his hand off the
strings so he couldn’t play. Then I let go off it for the part
he was supposed to come in. That shows you how embryonic they
were – they’d have probably hit me later on - or JJ would have
Foel’s studio set-up incorporated an old mixing desk that
used to belong to the BBC, a second hand MCI 16-track tape
recorder – and a Philips 2-track tape recorder to master – that
owner Dave ‘Hoover’ Anderson acquired from Small Faces’ Steve
Marriott’s and Ronnie Lane’s old home studio in Moreton, Essex.
Coincidentally, Ronnie moved to a cottage just a short distance
from Foel. Thirty-three years on, the studio is still going
strong, and proud of their current analogue set-up: a check on
their website shows they still have the MCI, and ‘the only
Trident B-series desk in Europe’ – a model similar to the old
one at TW?
“Maybe,” says Ian. “I recorded solo stuff at TW as well. That
was a bloody good studio - round the back of a launderette - but
it was very atmospheric. Martin Rushent produced with Alan
Winstanley. They were great. I don’t know if it was the same for
The Stranglers, but when I did my stuff there, Alan engineered
and Martin produced. I became friends with Martin – our kids
became friends – in fact, my eldest daughter had her first kiss
from Martin’s son. They’re still in touch today. Anyway, you
know what Martin’s like at selling himself and telling you how
brilliant he is! But during one of the early days recording at
TW he said to me: ‘hey - listen to what Alan’s just done,’ and
it was Amii Stewart’s ‘Knock On Wood’. It was only No. 1 in the
States – done at TW - behind a launderette!”
Ian recalls his own rocking days with fondness, having
supported the likes of Paul McCartney’s Wings for two UK tours
and Dire Straits in the States, as well as performing on the
opening night at London’s Hard Rock Café. He recorded Alexis
Korner and Peter Hammill, but his Brinsley days were never too
far away: Dai Davies and Derek Savage signed him to Albion -
“Savage and Ravage we called ‘em.” Single ‘Hold On’ reached No.
12 in the US while old bandmate Nick Lowe had a Top 10 hit with
‘Cruel To Be Kind’ – until then, an unreleased Gome/Lowe
collaboration. Dave Edmunds also reworked Ian’s ‘It’s Been So
Long’ in 1981, and Ian has had songs covered by Phil Everly and
While still quietly involved in music (he is currently
writing acoustic tracks) Ian tells us he is compiling film
footage from both his Brinsley and solo days for future release.
We rave about last night’s Later With,,, Jools Holland featuring
Glen Campbell but diss the host; ‘I’d like to slam that
boogie-woogie piano lid on Jool’s hands!’ Admitting to liking
the Kaiser Chiefs, Ian dismisses much of what he hears on the
airwaves – bar one track:
Anderson still owns the studio.
Gary Kent catches him on a rare night
touring with his band.
“Yes I remember them arriving in an ice cream van every
morning. We’d hear them coming across the moor playing
the Tonibell jingle to the sheep. The paint was still
wet on the walls when they arrived. I think they came to
do a one or two songs, but ended up doing some extra
tracks and I remember thinking wow - they are really
quite good. Peaches was obviously a hit - it had a great
sound - a catchy song with slightly naughty lyrics,
really good. I thought Tomorrow Was The Hereafter was a
really great song too, absolutely brilliant. I quite a
bit of time downstairs with Hugh going through guitar
bits and he was unsure of himself and the band. After
the recording they wanted to use our backline for gigs
because they liked the sound so much. They used to
belong to the Brinsleys and I bought them when they
split up - all Fender heads (amplifiers) and Allen
cabinets which we customised ourselves to make them more
durable –with this great sound. Paul McCartney liked
them too - and we built some for him for the Wings tour.
Anyway, The Stranglers had a gig at the Red Cow in
London, so I ran the gear down there – but only 20
people turned up. I think they had a residency and the
next time they had 200 there. It went on like that and
soon there must have been bordering on 2,000 one night.
The whole thing was building up really quickly and it
wasn’t long before the whole of Hammersmith roundabout
was besieged with punks. The thing that freaked me out
was the spitting at gigs - and getting back the
equipment that we’d painstakingly laboured over all
covered in gob! And they did have a punky sound. Their
energy was more punk than anything else I guess. It all
happened very quickly and it felt very special. One
minute they were borrowing gear - the next - in the
charts. I think we were a little disappointed they
didn’t come back and do the album at Foel’s –we’d
already captured the essence of their sound and given
the time to do things properly I think we would have
made a better album with a little polishing off. I
really like what they did all throughout their career
and they became a great pop band too. I couldn’t believe
it when Hugh left.”
Dave ‘Hoover’ Anderson is
touring with The Groundhogs on the Classic Legends of
Rock tour culminating at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 2nd
working on the conservatory today heard ‘Cruel To Be
Kind’ on the radio. ‘Hey – that’s one of yours, isn’t
it? He said. It was: I love that sound of the cash
helped singer Nick Lowe become one of the most sought after
producers. It was before a Brinsley gig in Liverpool, when a
young student approached Nick to help him out:
delayed in the bar. So we started the gig minus our bass player!
Nick ended up producing this guy called Declan McManus – and I
happened to be in Stiff Records’ office in Alexander Street the
day they renamed him Elvis Costello.”
Coincidences are a-plenty: not only was Ian signed to Albion, he
recorded for UA and once laid down a track called ‘Black And
White’ at TW with Martin Rushent and Alan Winstanley: he also
rehearsed at Bearshanks Lodge in 1978:
“It was owned
by Ruan O’Lochlainn who played for fellow pub-rockers Bees Make
Honey. We did two tours of Ireland together. Ruan liked his
drink. In Dublin, he got on the wrong side of the stage to get
to his spot – and with his solo coming up, he ended up walking
straight past, right to the other side. He went offstage, hit
something and fell over. I think he broke a bone in something
Stranglers suffered highs and lows following the Albion fallout.
At the same time, Ian remains unsurprised at the bands’
“I heard a
funny thing where they made more money from their Greatest Hits
album than when the songs themselves were hits back in the day.
Strange... I think a lot of people got ripped off years ago, and
there was a time when they almost packed it all in. If you have
success right away like they did - and you don’t know what the
game is - and you get ripped off, very few get the chance for a
second bite of the cherry. I liked them a lot - they were
different, even though there was a hint of Doors in there. It
must have been an influence. But they were raw and exciting, and
that’s what I liked about them. I met JJ a few times afterwards.
Once, at the Hope & Anchor - UA held a launch party for my first
solo LP in 1978 – and JJ turned up. There was some aggro…
trouble… and he was asked to leave!”
remember reading in Strangled magazine back in 1982 (Vol. 2; No.
12) how Hugh Cornwell was coerced (with a little help from Jet
Black) into making an appearance at a West Country Carnival – to
crown the newly-judged Malmesbury Carnival Queen. Not only Hugh
turned up – but so did the whole band – as local press clippings
of the day portray.
- an eye-witness account from Gloucestershire resident and
Stranglers fan, Simon Kent, who recalls the day twenty six years
Meninblack mania comes to Malmesbury!
‘Imagine reading your local paper and seeing the
lead singer-guitarist of your favourite band is
about to be making an appearance in a week's time at
a school just five minutes down the road from where
you live?! Best go along, this sixteen year-old
Stranglers fan thinks!
event was to crown the Carnival Queen, and so -
after what felt like the longest week ever - my
brother and I arrive at Malmesbury School – and it
was surely one of the strangest events in the band's
afternoon - and we’re early. Outside there’s a
healthy-sized crowd of youngsters waiting for their
first glimpse of the Meninblack. Inside the Assembly
Hall itself - it’s already half-full. We both get
seats with a good view and sit patiently among the
parents and kids. And not yet a Stranglers T-shirt
in sight - except mine of course. By 7pm it’s full.
At 7.30, Hugh takes the stage dressed in black,
alongside the local Mayor and Lisa McCullough - the
girl about to be crowned Carnival Queen. Hugh says a
few words into the mic and then gently places the
crown on top of her head. He looks rather bemused
standing in front of the strangest audience he’s had
to address in his 'punk' career. With the official
crowning done - Jet, Dave and JJ join Hugh onstage
for some photos with the Mayor and Lisa – now minus
her crown – because it is worn by JJ. As the press
cameras flash, I regret not bringing my camera.
band exit the school stage and make their way
outside to be mobbed by literally hundreds of
people, mainly youngsters, all wanting autographs. I
saw a couple more Stranglers T-shirts as the crowd
shout for JJ: it was like Beatlemania! But hardly
anyone is going over to Jet or Dave - so I take my
opportunity – and go over to get their autographs. I
end up having a quick chat with both of them about
forthcoming band activities. Regrettably, I miss out
on JJ and Hugh’s monikers, as they are still being
mobbed even after half an hour!
Eventually, the band - minus JJ – jump in a black
Cadillac – the very same car used by Hugh and Jet in
the BBC West TV documentary they made on the colour
black. Minders usher them inside and they drive off
to the nearby Bell Hotel where they apparently take
some more photographs and eat and drink…
Unfortunately, us Joe Publics are not allowed in –
and so it was home for me and my brother after a
very enjoyable - but nonetheless surreal - evening
in the company of the Meninblack.'
Malmesbury Carnival Times, August 1982
A Strangler in town - Strangler Hugh
Cornwell is helping the Malmesbury Carnival off to a flying
start. Will the others come too?? As we go to press, we
understand there is a good chance that the other three
Stranglers will come along with Hugh on Friday August 27th.
A member of a rock band with a record
in the Top 10 at this very moment is coming along to crown the
Malmesbury Carnival Queen on Friday August 27th at 7.30pm. Hugh
Cornwell, lead vocalist with The Stranglers, whose latest record
'Strange Little Girl' is heading for No. 1 if there is any
justice in this world, will be joining the stage party on Friday
to do his bit to get this year's Carnival off to a really good
start. Both Hugh and fellow Strangler Jet Black have houses in
the West Country, liking to retreat to this part of the world to
recover from hectic tour schedules or gruelling recording
sessions. The Stranglers are in fact rehearsing numbers for
their next album at the moment and are calling a temporary halt
to allow Hugh out on good behaviour so that he can come to
Malmesbury. Less than a week after our Crowning Ceremony, Hugh
and the other 'Meninblack' will be off to Brussels to start the
Daily Express, 28th August 1982
Stranglers' lead singer Hugh Cornwell
crowned 16 year-old Lisa McCullough the Carnival Queen of
Malmesbury. Hugh, who lives near Bath, admitted he felt nervous
before the ceremony. "I've opened and closed pubs and railway
lines before, but I've never crowned a carnival queen."
All three other members of The
Stranglers - JJ Burnel, Jet Black and Dave Greenfield - turned
up to support him. Lisa, of Great Somerford, near Malmesbury,
only entered after a joke with her mother. "I was surprised to
be chosen, but very please", she said. Later Lisa toured the
town centre in an open carriage before being guest of honour at
a Civic Centre dance.
Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard,
3rd September 1982
Sixteen-year-old Lisa McCullough was crowned last Friday as
Malmesbury Carnival Queen. Lisa, a student of Somerford Cottage,
was presented with her crown and cape by Hugh Cornwell, lead
singer with the top rock band The Stranglers. The ceremony,
which started 10 days of carnival festivities in the town, was
held in a packed hall at Corn Gaston's School. Youngsters queued
for the star's autograph and were also delighted to see two
other members of the band - JJ Burnel and Jet Black. After the
ceremony, the queen and her attendants rode on a float to the
town centre accompanied by Hullarington Majorette Troupe. A
barbeque was held at Cross Hayes and a Country & Western hoedown
at the Civic Centre with music by Dollars and Dimes.
Standard Times & Echo, 3rd September 1982
The people of Malmesbury were warned
anything could happen with The Stranglers in town for the
crowning of their Carnival Queen - but they didn't expect them
to steal the crowning glory!
Golden Crown… A
very big thank you to both Graeme and Simon for taking us back
to ’82… and work imminent on Feline – the bands seventh studio
album – yet still high in the UK singles charts with their fifth
Top 10 single, Strange Little Girl - band schedules and more
songs to write fails to deter The Stranglers from attending a
local event in celebration of… a European Female. (Ouch!) Here’s
a reminder of The Stranglers circa 1982.
Spiked 1978 Black And
White exclusives - not in The Burning Up Times…
All quiet on the Xmas
It was there in black and white: “We really
believe in this album,” insists Cornwell.
“It’s the best
thing The Stranglers have ever done.”
Gary Kent muses
the album that almost was.
T’S TEN DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS. Just look at
the faces of the oncoming commuters - cloaked in gloom,
choked with work, filled with doom. Enemy attempts to jam my
pathway are futile as I make sure the endless City bound
stampede scuff into my strategically placed shoulder-height
Adidas sports bag. They think I’m going the wrong way. I am
- home. I escape towards the light and leave a peppered
trail of ‘tut-tuts’ in the drab underpass. Fuck ‘em.
Unphased, I unclench a sweaty fist of pennies for Ray the
paper man in return for the New Musical Express. Folding
John Lydon’s face in two, I head back to an empty house and
I love bunking off from school. What
fifteen year old doesn’t? Back home, heating on, both bars.
Bag under bed, hi-fi whacked up, blaring out, loud as I
like. Doing what I want. The darkest side of Black And White
spins at thirty-three and a third revs as I peel off my
regulation white Henry Taylor shirt and blue Renvoize tie. I
mess up my hair and suddenly I’m JJ once more. The cream
anaglypta walls ignite with the warmth of the Battersea gig,
with chemistry rekindled as soon as ‘Curfew’ comes on. I’ve
got withdrawals… When’s the next tour? When’s the next
single? When’s the next album..?
I spread out the NME and examine with
forensic detail anything faintly Stranglers and filter out
everything prog-rock, Bob Dylan and Boney M. Such
conscientious study time wouldn’t have gone amiss in double
Physics, Maths, double English, History, Chemistry and R.I.
had I bothered to stay beyond registration. “The Cure are
to play in the capital, so too are The Clash… Peter Gabriel
wants to play with Tom Robinson... Queen want to play on
Centre Court... Quo want to play the UK... Kenny Jones wants
to play with The Who…” But what’s this on page 15? I
blink. I’m blurry-eyed. I blink again. It’s still there. The
Stranglers new album… and controversy… Eastern Front???
Black And White’s successor… but is it true what they say?
“We really believe in this album,”
insists Cornwell. “We honestly believe that it’s the best
thing The Stranglers have ever done.… the LP has just been
completed and The Stranglers want United Artists to release
it as soon as is humanly possibly, and above all in time for
Christmas… UA have informed Stranglers’ manager Ian Grant
that ‘in our expert opinion as a major record company it is
not feasible, viable or desirable to release this LP at this
particular point in time if we are going to be able to
maximise the ongoing commercial of the property concerned.”
My heart races as I absorb the prose, eyes
darting manically between mysterious new song titles: “The
track playing is Jean Jacques Burnel’s impassioned ‘Fuck My
Old Boots’: “Whip some skull on me, you reactionary old
dumper,” howls Burnel over wiry, vicious bass lines and
Dave Greenfield’s manically-spiralling organ phrases. Coming
straight in via a jarring segue from Cornwell’s startling
interpretation of Bacharach and David’s ‘Alfie’, it is one
of the most brutally effective moments in the band’s
recorded history. So which tracks are actually the
contentious ones? Is it ‘MiG’, Burnel’s gut-wrenching
warnings of Soviet military intentions in Eastern Europe? Or
‘Two Balls Are Better Than One (Any Day)’, a piece
calculated to infuriate any self-respecting male feminist?
Or is it the admittedly controversial ‘Only Faggots Hate The
Sight Of Blood’?”
“It certainly isn’t any of these
tracks,” retorts Cornwell. “UA loved those. They said
they were the purest expression of our art we’d ever bloody
recorded. No, the real reason is that Jean Jacques is going
to beat the living stools out of those miserable liberal
bastards when he gets back from his karate course what they
don’t realise we’ve got to get this album out in the next
ten days. There are two Christmas tracks on it which will be
obsolescent by the Spring – which is when they want to put
the thing out.”
Burnel doing on his course, we enquired, parenthetically.
“Oh, alright. Except he was a bit under
the weather last time I spoke to him,” admits Cornwell. “He
was apparently about to bite the head off a live chicken –
it was part of his Pink Belt exam – when it bit him first.
Just below the eye.”
“The Christmas tracks in question were both
over on the second side of ‘Eastern Front’, so we played
them next. ‘No More Santa’ draws arresting parallels between
the assassination of Salvador Allende and the Nativity.
“Let My Reindeer Be My Weapon And My Statement” is the
motif of ‘Jingle Balls’, an eerie chant accompanied only by
an effects tape of exploding Japanese carrier planes –
transformed Moroder-fashion, into an attractive light disco
“It’s our only compromise with disco so
far,” admits a shame-faced Cornwell. “…It’s a really
good album – far better than boring, monotonous, simplistic
load of half-baked sexist crap we released last time.”
I grab the page and lie back, fired up and
incredulous. I was taken in by it. Weren’t you?
SO, EASTERN FRONT was a fake and the
article, a spoof. Why? Was it to ‘top-up’ The Stranglers
controversy-o-meter? Don’t forget what a mischievous and
provocative band they were: earlier that year, they fought
Greater London Council to play Battersea, and then brought
on a troop of strippers onstage to outrage the status quo;
at the recording of BBC TV’s Rock Goes To College, they
stormed off following a row over ticket allocations; they
enraged Stateside record company moguls who planned an
amalgam LP of Rattus and Heroes by telegramming a typical
‘hands across the ocean’ goodwill caption, reading: “Get
fucked, love, The Stranglers.”
it was. It may not be quite on par with the hoax of the Loch
Ness Monster, the Hitler Diaries, or the Shroud of Turin.
Nor was it so much the Great Elmyra, more Banksy perhaps?
Incidentally, it was the Great Elmyra who took his own life
two years ago almost to the day. But this cunning piss-take
allowed The Stranglers to revel once more in some outrage
and rebellion without even lifting a finger. It smacks of a
publicist or journalist, especially since, several clued-up
references sit neatly within the text. Cited are: Walk On
By’s famous song writing pair, Bacharach and David; a
Stranglers cover version in the shape of ‘Alfie’, however
dubious-sounding; and familiar record company friction all
pointing to recurrent themes of the band. Even the titular
‘Eastern Front’ is swiped from Black And White’s ‘Sweden
(All Quiet On The Eastern Front)’ – itself once mooted for a
single release. Not forgetting the ‘weapon and my statement’
line from Death And Night And Blood; manager Ian Grant; and last but not
least, the Finchley Boys… It’s someone who knows The
Stranglers. Furthermore, JJ had returned from Japan where he
studied for his Black Belt, followed by an early December
weekend session at Eden to lay down new tune Two Sunspots –
yet another single never to see the light of day. So, like
all good falsehoods, it was actually based on fact.
Compounding all this, NME the week previous
published this: “The Stranglers, who have been keeping a low
profile since their bust-up with students after walking out
of a gig at Guildford Surrey University, have announced
major plans for the first half of the year – including two
albums, a new single, overseas tours and British dates. The
latest single – recorded last weekend, and co-produced by
Martin Rushent and the band themselves – is a brand new
song, not taken from any previous album, and is set for late
truth, The Stranglers required more than a phoney festive
half-page - they needed to pull a trick out of Santa’s sack:
momentum had waned in the light of punk and new wave’s
demise, bands were splitting and the knives were out for The
Stranglers. A single was the cure. Instead, the Two Sunspots
session became the catalyst for producer Rushent’s exit: he
disliked the changing direction of the band as they worked
on the b-side, ‘Meninblack’. The proposed late January
single idea was ditched, leaving a void in vinyl offerings:
it was to be a half-year hiatus from August’s ‘Walk On By’
until February 1979’s ‘Live (X-Cert)’. Live albums were such
a rare commodity in the late 70’s, and so the mix of the
capital’s Roundhouse and Battersea gigs
have got the juices going. Instead, many fans thought it was
rushed and scrappy. Hugh referred to the album as “the
end of an era,” which it was in a way, but it just
sounded ominous. JJ told fans not to buy it, adding “it’s
an inferior product,” while plans to release a live
single, or maybe an EP were scuppered.
Even the most ardent fan began to question
whether a wheel had come off The Stranglers’ wagon,
especially with the news of solo projects from the two front
men. But when Duchess came out that August, suddenly the
world seemed a better place. I bounced up to the counter at
Small Wonder Records where I still clearly envisage the look
of distain on hippie Pete Stennet’s face when I asked for
“You don’t want
that, do you? It’s shit.”
“Can you play it?”
“Why? It’s shit.”
Actually Pete, The Stranglers pulled it off
more like! Advertised as their first single in over a year,
and thanks to a newer commercial sound, it made No. 14 in
the UK charts and Top of the Pops. The shelved Two Sunspots
failed to make The Raven, instead finding it’s way onto the
next album, whereas ‘Meninblack’ left a trail to a future
black hole. Perhaps it was no coincidence to now discover a
double-page spread on disco-producer Giorgio Moroder and his
Bavarian studio complex just a few pages on from the Eastern
Front hoax? Fake author M.A. Choman must have been inspired,
but what came first - the art or the article? A Serge Clerc
‘google’ links to Eiffel Tower gaffer-tape JJ victim Phil
Manoeuvre. Perhaps he was the author?
Still no nearer the truth, an email arrives
from Belinda, a Stranglers fan and authority on Clerc’s
work. She verifies the authenticity of the sleeve design:
“The drawing is definitely by Serge Clerc. He is very well
known for his drawings of 1980's pop artists like Blondie,
Comateens and Joe Jackson. Both Serge Clerc and Yves Chaland
have made imaginary records and comic albums which created
quite some confusion amongst collectors.”
Is it a dog?
Bolton gets to the bottom
of Hugh’s top.
HUGH’S STRIKING T-SHIRT DESIGN -
what’s that all about? Last worn in the late 70s,
most famously at 1978’s Black And White-era
photo-shoot. More recently it appeared on the front
cover to Hugh’s book, ‘Song By Song’.
But it was his ‘A Multitude of
Sins’ where he referred to it directly; “I
started to find great images to put onto T-shirts ….
one of a wolf bearing its fangs with some bloodhound
missiles in the background.”
Hugh may appear a little
unacquainted with its origin, but I can reveal the
precise source of the canine image. It’s taken from
a picture by Norwich artist Colin Self, titled
‘Guard Dog on a Missile Base, No.1.’
Self came to prominence with the
Pop Art scene of the 1960s. He is now recognised as
an important and innovative artist from the decade
of supposed free love. He first attended Norwich
School of Art and then Slade School of Fine Art
where David Hockney and Peter Blake first came in
contact with his work before becoming collectors.
Self’s engagement with the threat of nuclear war
gave his work a political edge that made it stand
out from the Pop Art mainstream. At the time Norfolk
would have apparently been one of the prime targets
for a nuclear attack (don’t ask me why!), and this
resonates in Self’s art. In fact, he was one of only
a few British artists to look at the horrors of the
Cold War and the nuclear threat. “It turned my
guts and floored me, destroyed my sensibility and
understanding of the world,” he explained.
Another defining image, ‘Nuclear Victim’ is on
permanent display at the Imperial War Museum.
‘Guard Dog…’ was drawn in 1965, and
purchased by the Tate in 1974. Its monochrome design
was a fittingly stark image for the album’s Black
And White period, particularly given some of the
LP’s content, particularly on the Black side:
opening track ‘Curfew’ paints a horrific picture of
the Cold War becoming reality, while closing number
‘Enough Time’ meddles in the fall-out of a nuclear
war. So, Stranglerphiles - the next time you pick up
‘Song By Song’ - or spot another picture of Hugh in
this T-shirt – or indeed, dig out Black And White…
spare a thought for the originator of the canine
design… and show some ‘Self’ respect!
Burning Up Times geometric collage featuring
Walk On By and a cult 60’s film took Gary Kent
park in southeast London
knew a delicious slice of 60’s music when they heard it: they
did their own mind-blowing version of the Dionne Warwick classic
Walk On By – and it’s still a hit in the present day live
sets of both The Stranglers and Hugh.
Originally part of the Guildford Stranglers pre-fame repertoire
of the mid-70s, The Stranglers finally laid down Bacharach and
David’s bittersweet symphony during the Black And White
sessions at TW Studios in March 1978. Following on from Nice
‘n’ Sleazy, Walk On By became the bands seventh 7” single,
reaching a creditable 21 in the UK charts that August - quite
an achievement considering three months before, 75,000 copies
were given away gratis with the album!
Unsurprisingly, the much-lamented and foremost DJ of the day
John Peel was the first to spin it one night in May, giving us a
tantalising prequel of to the groundbreaking third album. And
what a night it was! From the other side of London, this 15-year
old boy secretly tuned in under candlewick bedcovers, where
Walk On By brimmed with Dave’s fantasticly wicked keyboard
wizardry: he almost made the Hammond talk - in tongues,
naturally. Each arpeggio run transmitted icy shivers up my
backbone, and in just under six and a half minutes, I was
utterly and thoroughly hypnotised, mesmerised…. blown away. My
mind was awash with the riffing fluency, not to mention Hugh’s
scratchy Telecaster ripping through the track like a buzz saw
through balsa. Throbbing and pulsatile throughout, JJ’s
pernicious Precision chivvied and chased Jet’s freeform, no
frills, drum filling. It was an unforgettable experience.
Walk On By
was their calling card, their hallmark signature noise of the
bestest band in the land. But the cheek of it all - mauling up
an old rave from the grave, right on the crest of the post New
Wave nuance: it was light years ahead of Whitney’s favourite
aunt’s hit of 1964. The way Hugh mangles the vocal track, his
atonal, laconic timbre never sounded this threatening, menacing,
and nonchalantly splenetic – and this was a fucking love song!
Brooding yet ballsy, Hugh’s acidic vocal quirk is glued down
with Dave’s anodyne backing harmonies. But just before the
gorgeous instrumental passages kick off, Hugh suddenly lands his
leading line on the vocal track:
“…Just going for a stroll in the trees.”
I often wondered why Hugh sung that – it wasn’t in the original.
But here it is, right before the lysergic solos swallow him up.
It’s only now I think I might know. On the day it was decided on
an accompanying promotional video, film buff Hugh was the one
who jumped at the chance make it, and where it all starts to
unfold. In 2005, Hugh told me: “I based it on the film Blow
Up, which is one of my favourite pieces of cinema... It’s
Hugh’s photographer friend Chris Gabrin helped direct it using
low budget Super-8. “He took our very first photo on a record
sleeve – Get A Grip... For the Walk On By video we
used the exact same location they used for Blow Up – a
park in southeast London.” For the shoot they got a Dionne
Warwick lookalike to accompany larger-than-life jazzman George
Melly for the walk through the trees of Maryon Park in Charlton
in 1978 - and for the record sleeve: “That’s because we
couldn’t get the real Dionne Warwick!” Meanwhile,
mouth-organist and Southend jail-bird Lew Lewis leaps around
serenading the couple. Melly and Lewis also appear on the jazzy
tongue in cheek B-side, Old Codger.
Reminiscent of McCartney zooming off to Paris on his own to
shoot Fool On The Hill, I wonder how Hugh gained almost
full cinematic rein – in the light of the band’s Four Musketeers
democracy within. They evenly split song writing credits into
four, irrespective of who writes the songs. But the year
before, JJ posed for John Pasche for the front cover of No
More Heroes – on his own on top of Trotsky’s tomb. The band
rejected it and a red wreath was chosen in its place.
LOW UP was shot in London by Italian film maker Michelangelo
Antonioni in 1966. In the world of cinema, where the use of the
words ‘cult movie’ can sometimes be overused, Blow Up
really does deserve its mantle. When Mike Myers needed a
photographer for his Austin Powers pastiche, he borrowed an
ample piece of Blow Up’s main character, Thomas.
Antonioni selected the youthful and handsome David Hemmings for
Thomas, a successful and thoroughly arrogant fashion
photographer, in ‘Swinging 60’s London’.
Antonioni dabbles with our minds, messes with our perception –
much in the way our poor affluent photographer Thomas finds
himself transported. One afternoon, away from snapping at future
Twiggys and Shrimps, he ends up with his trusty
Nikon in the obscure, secluded Maryon Park. It is here he spots
Jane, played by the elegant Vanessa Redgrave, who appears to be
trying to playfully lure her elderly beau towards the trees…
a stroll in the trees… Thomas innocently captures the
couple on film from the glade until Jane sees him and suddenly
her mood changes. She runs up to confront Thomas and demands the
roll, accusing our voyeuristic snapper of invading her privacy.
He refuses, and smells a faint hint of rodent. Later on, Jane
tracks him down at his trendy West London studio, where Thomas
fobs her off with a different film. She leaves satisfied - and
Thomas is intrigued by both her and her motive. So he starts to
develop the real film from the park, and exposes something
sinister in the process.
In a quest for answers, Thomas blows up each scene, frame by
frame and hangs them up. Sleuth-like, he magnifies each dot
until he his gruesome find is confirmed. Thomas returns to the
park that night, where he is left with more questions than
answers. He returns to the studio to discover it has been
ransacked. The film has gone, and so too, have all the blow-ups.
Antonioni’s striking imagery combines the existential and
abstract, and reality becomes blurred by the surreal purpleness.
Many questions are posed, namely - do we really only see what we
want to see? And is it really true the camera never lies?
Antonioni also hints at a lower end subculture among the upper
classes. He is at odds to dodge the fashionable ‘Swinging
London’ zeitgeist characterised in the media. In the outside
scenes where Thomas drives through Central London, archetypical
red London buses are carefully dodged. So too are red telephone
boxes, pillar boxes and Big Ben, and as if the optical illusion
isn’t playful enough on the eyes, Antonioni jazzes up the
cinematographic visual tone: he has both sides of a High Street
shopping parade painted in bright red.
Ali Catterall and Simon Wells, authors of ‘Your Face Here’,
suggest the reddened Pride & Clarke shop fronts to have once
existed in Woolwich Road, prior to the redevelopment of the
through road. Admittedly it points to a likely location,
considering Charlton Football Club’s 1966 cup success, with
their Valley Ground literally overlooking Maryon Park, and whose
home kit happens to be red: the owners might have been willing
participants to the makeover. Contrastingly, on John and Brian
Tunstill’s website ‘Reel Streets’ the location is
revealed to be Stockwell Road, in Stockwell, just a few miles
off. Evidence shows the 1966 red grinning through today’s
flaking masonry paint.
But it’s beyond the black wrought-iron gates that the profound,
oblique intrigue harbours – as I was about to discover for
myself. As Thomas steps along the Tarmac pathway blackened by
Antonioni’s set handymen, we are faced with the possibility of
suffering from deceptive perception. Paths painted blacker?
Grass painted greener? Trees painted browner?
Shops painted red, and the overlooking backyards whitewashed –
Antonioni must have had a colourful time in London in
1966! Having so far researched from the confines of my computer,
I feel drawn to Maryon Park. I had to go there to see for
t’s an icy morning, over the Woolwich Ferry and along Woolwich
Road when I spot the daunting tree tops poking at the clear blue
sky over Charlton’s frosty rooftops. Up the dead-end and
through the gates, the path climbs a little, before Maryon Park
suddenly opens up, invitingly.
The well-kept secret garden reveals a brace of tennis courts in
the centre of a huge flat lawn that reaches out to the woody
periphery and rose beds. The courts are quiet today, like they
were when the rag-ball student mime artists perform their
surreal game of tennis minus balls and rackets in the closing
cuts of Blow Up. Taking a left up the steep steps leads
me to Cox’s Mount, the flattened out, grassy plateau where
Thomas makes his dark discovery. Little has changed since sorely
missed Hemmings hopped over the fence to secretly
click-click-click at the odd couple. The once whitewashed backs
of houses lie hidden behind overgrown trees over to my right,
and to my immediate left, One Canada Square dominates the City
skyline. It’s tranquil, yet the chilly ether is charged with a
profound melancholic calm. The rustling leaves overhead and the
muffled traffic below never quite match the motions of the trees
swaying above or the busy road I’ve just driven along below.
It’s as if the sound has been turned down, muted. Or at least,
that’s my cognizance. Deception is rife.
Upon my descent a geological clue lies to Maryon Park’s ancient
pre-existence as a chalk gravel pit, long since filled in and
levelled out. Before that? A Roman settlement. A shiver comes
crawling up my spine like the night I heard Walk On By
through the ether in the dead of night - when I’m told the
place has it’s own ghost. I also sense my privacy has been
silently and sneakily invaded… like I was being studiously
watched the whole time by Thomas, and his Nikon.
Suddenly a forthcoming and astute park keeper points me to a
place on the wall where a commemorative plaque once sat.
“Vandals...” he said, “they kept spoiling it so we took it down.
It was in our hut but I haven’t seen it for a while. We often
get people here because of the film... What was that
film called again?”
When I told Hugh during a Burning Up Times interview I
had been there, he was intrigued. He also added it was a shame
the Walk On By video was never shown, “apart from once at
the ICA, that is.” I momentarily relay the deceptive nature of
the trees in the park, and mention the one thing missing from
The Stranglers coolest promotional video – The Stranglers: “Oh -
they’re in it,” Hugh adds with tongue in cheek. “But only as
Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since the 60s - Ali
Catterall and Simon Wells (4th Estate) ISBN
On the eve of launching PDF issue one - I called JJB on his moby to
clarify the 5 Minutes French ad-libs for the final piece, and
left him a message. He duly got back to me that afternoon to spill the
beans, but then I had an idea to ask him some really cheesy questions.
In fact they were so aux fromages, Dom, nearly went and bought
some Jacobs Cream Crackers to go with them! Needless to say, my work
suffered the mighty editing sword. It was outed. So I stuck them on
here for you...
things you need to know about JJ Burnel while
he rips up the autoroutes in the south of France.
Out the way of get!
in your pockets right now?
Actually, nothing. I don’t have any pockets… I’m completely naked.
I’ve been skinny–dipping in a pool so I’m standing here dripping wet!
I’m on my holidays. After all the summer festivals, it’s holiday-time.
the last thing you bought?
A cup of coffee for 2 ½ Euros. Before that? Petrol.
your favourite tipple?
your favourite meal?
The first one I have with my mother when I return. Usually simple
Normandy fare: soup de Poisson with stuffed tomatoes with minced beef,
pork and veal, a big green salad with vinaigrette and a nice bottle of
the last book you read?
The Famous Five from my mother’s library, and The Unfettered Mind by
the last CD you played?
Manu Ciao when I was in Nantes.
your favourite place?
Inside a juicy ******! Ha! Don’t put that! Put on the seat of
your favourite motorcycle?
Triumph RS Sport, which is what I’ve got.
your favourite Stranglers song?
I usually say the one we’re working
on… but the one I think is very underrated is Baroque Bordello.
the ringtone on your mobile?
Something by Tchaikovsky, think. The other phone has gone now.
What was that ringtone?