Monday, 31 August 2015

The Stranglers @ Fuzz Club

30 years after Rock In Athens 85, The Stranglers were back in Greece. They had been back several times of course, one of them was 5 years ago when I had seen them playing with Billy Idol. This time it was going to be a bit different and more personal, since, having arrived at Fuzz Club early, I managed to secure a place at the very first row (As I did the last time at Fuzz Club with Saint Etienne).
A few minutes later we realized that we were standing next to the grandmother of the lead singer of MOAN, the support band. She gave us some information on the band which made us more eager to see them. Eventually we got to meet both her mother and the singer herself!
And indeed Moan were a lovely an unexpected surprise. Fronted by Olga-Maria with her amazing voice and stage presence they are immediately classified as "indie" or "alternative". Her voice reminded some of Bjork, my opinion is she has that cat-like voice which reminds me not only of Bjork but of several other female singers (Mazzy Star comes to my mind. Or The Primitives). On top of that, hers is not the only lead voice in the band as you can see from the video. They played for about half an hour and I can say that they were amazing and a great warm-up for the main event.
Then The Stranglers came on stage. First things first: The absence of Hugh Cornwell is obvious as I had first noted 5 years ago. More than obvious in fact. It's not that Baz Warne is a bad vocalist, it's just that his voice is different to the one we were used to all those years ago. He pulls it through though in my opinion, that's what made the gig enjoyable, I have to admit though he's probably an acquired state since there are a lot of fans out there who dislike the "new look" Stranglers. 
Let's not forget though that Jean-Jacques Burnel still has his share of lead vocals as he did back in the 70's and 80's. 
 Oh, and another thing: Jet Black was absent as well, apparently because of his "rock'n'roll excesses" of the past...

So what did we get? The older favourites such as "Nice 'N' Sleazy", "Peaches", "(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)"  and "Golden Brown" where Baz and Jean-Jacques faked being overwhelmed by nostalgia and stared crying which turned to gales of laughter after a new seconds. 

Then there were the later favourites like "Skin Deep" and "Always The Sun".
But also their 21st century songs like "Norfolk Coast". 
And finally their favourite cover versions "Walk On By" and "All Day And All Of The Night" to top them all off. 
And they loved us so much they gave us not one, but two encores! To recap, I really did enjoy it this time, much more than 5 years ago when I didn't catch them from the beginning of their set and I was at the back of the arena. And they brought back memories of an era that was "unforgettable" as an friend from school characterized it when commenting about my Rock In Athens 85 post. I know it's not healthy to live in nostalgia, but there you go. Maybe I will now withdraw to a corner and start crying like Baz and Jean-Jacques did... NOT!

01. Intro (Waltzinblack)
02. Toiler on the Sea
03. Straighten out
04. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
05. I've Been Wild
06. Relentless
07. Nice 'N' Sleazy
08. Golden Brown
09. Always the Sun
10. Five Minutes
11. Freedom is Insane
12. Time to Die
13. Norfolk Coast
14. I Feel Like a Wog
15. Skin Deep
16. Peaches
17. Time Was Once on My Side
18. Lost Control
19. Duchess
20. Hanging Around
21. Walk On By (Dionne Warwick cover)
Encore 2:
22. All Day and All of the Night (The Kinks cover)
23. No More Heroes


Petros F said...

Πρώτα απ'όλα ο Baz έχει ταιριάξει πολύ με το υπόλοιπο συγκρότημα. Τολμώ να πω ότι είναι καλύτερος από τον Hugh. (αλήθεια έχεις δει τον Hugh τώρα τελευταία; Ψαξε στο ιντερνετ να δεις από περιέργεια). Δεύτερο σχόλιο σχετικά με την απουσία του Jett Black. Αντιμετωπίζει σοβαρά προβλήματα υγείας εδώ και χρόνια. Το 2014 που γιόρτασαν τα 40 χρόνια του συγκροτήματος έκανε μια-δυο εμφανίσεις μαζί με τους υπόλοιπους σε μερικά τραγούδια. Δεν έγραψες μια γραμμή για τον θρυλικό Dave Greenfield στα πλήκτρα και με το large ποτήρι μπύρας δίπλα του...
Τέλος ναι, Skin deep αγαπημένο!

PAP DX said...

Πρώτα απ'όλα χαίρομαι @Petros F που απάντησες με τον old school τρόπο, στα σχόλια του blog και όχι...ξέρεις που!
Τον Hugh δεν τον έχω δει τώρα τελευταία, έχω δει μονάχα ένα βιντεάκι όπου λέει γιατί οι Stranglers δεν πρέπει να επανασυνδεθούν, αλλά αυτό φαντάζομαι είναι παλιό. Το σχόλιο πάντως για τον Jett Black το έκανε ο Baz και δεν ήτανε δικό μου. Όσο για τον Dave Greenfield, η αλήθεια είναι πώς όπως μας είπε και ο ίδιος υπήρχαν προβλήματα με τον ήχο των keyboards στη συηκεκριμένη συναυλία (Αν δεις το βιντεάκι του Skin Deep θα διαπιστώσεις πως κάτι λείπει). Πάντως η (προσωπική) μου γνώμη ίναι ότι αυτός φαίνεται ο πιο γερασμένος απ'όλους (Θα θυμάσαι και το αστειάκι που έκανε κάποιος με ... πάνες ακράτειας όταν ανακοίνωσα ότι θα πάω να τους δω)