The band’s 18 date tour across Britain revisiting the Black And White album is less than a month away. They have been entrenched in their west country rehearsal rooms honing what promises to be a blistering set. Ticket wise, the Glasgow and Perth dates have already sold out and other gigs are very close to doing so. Don’t hang around to secure your tickets! A full range of Black And White themed merch is being worked on and we will shortly be bringing you news of two exciting Black And White related releases. See you in March…
Today marks the 35th anniversary of the release of the band’s fifth studio album The Gospel According To The Meninblack in February 1981. Please click on the album cover image to hear the full album on Spotify…
Recorded in studios in Munich, Paris & Rome, the album was mixed with Steve Churchyard and, with drum loops and synthesizers, it illustrated just how experimental the band’s music had become since their Rattus debut four years before. The album’s subject matter was inspired by the bible, UFOs and the phenomenon of the Meninblack themselves, shadowy characters that visit people who have witnessed alien activity. The concept of the album was developed during band members’ spells of incarceration during 1980. It is widely considered by fans to be the most challenging album by the band during their time with UA/Liberty although it remains a firm favourite of JJ himself. Two singles were released from the album, Thrown Away (which saw the band appear on Top Of The Pops here) and then Just Like Nothing On Earth. The album’s opener Waltzinblack has heralded the band’s arrival onstage at gigs for many years now…
BBC Alba screened a 25 minute highlights programme of the band’s appearance at the Belladrum festival in Scotland 2015 last night. The footage, featuring tracks from (Get A) Grip (On Yourself) to Time Was Once On My Side, is now available on BBC iPlayer here
Baz has taken time out of rehearsals to write a retrospective ratter blog looking back at the busy year that the band had in 2015, with numerous festivals, UK and European tours, motorcycle adventures, TV appearances and a freezing New Year’s appearance in Poland. Read it here
BBC4 are screening the third in their series Music Moguls on Friday 29th January at 10pm which focuses on the PR side of the music business. The programme is narrated by the band’s PR man from their early days, Alan Edwards, and features interviews with both JJ and Hugh talking about how Alan helped to ‘craft a provocative image for the band’ during those heady days of Punk. More details on the programme can be found here and there’s a short clip (featuring JJ, Hugh & Alan) here Update 30/1- This programme is now available on BBC iPlayer here
I first recall meeting Lemmy at about 3am when I answered a rather insistent knock on the door of the flat I shared with Wilko. My room was nearest to the front door and Wilko wasn’t in. He said he was a friend and could he just sit down for a while. He said he would let himself out. It was obvious the guy was totally wired.
Over the next few years our paths crossed and he would always have an envious dig about us doing TOTP.
We arranged a cricket match against the press one day and he was supposed to play. He turned up with a doctor’s note. He had a verruca.
A few years back I bumped into him backstage at Guilfest surrounded by one armed bandits and I said it didn’t look quite right that his beard and hair were all jet black but he replied that’s what was expected of him.
Last summer we had the pleasure of playing with Motörhead at the Eden project. After we came off he came over to me and graciously said that they should have been supporting us!
I thought then that I didn’t think he wasn’t long for this world. His look was distant, the life force was dimmed.
He was always gracious to me. A class act. A huge presence in the pantheon of rock.
J.J. Burnel 29th December 2015
Season’s greetings and best wishes for the new year to the familyinblack around the world from the band & all at Stranglers HQ. Thanks for your support in ’15 and see you on the road in 2016…
We’ve just heard that the band’s Auckland show at the Powerstation has now totally sold out! Tickets for the Wellington & Christchurch gigs and all five Australian dates are selling well…
For many years fans have travelled to see the band across Europe, either individually or via organised coach trips, and the level of dedication shown has always impressed band members. In recent years, official coach trips, which have become known as the ‘Wonky Bus’ (due to a hydraulics issue on the 2009 trip causing the coach to tilt!), have transported up to 80 fans across the Channel to the band’s gigs. This year, the fifth Wonky took in the band’s gigs in Eindhoven and Leiden and JJ was so impressed with the turnout of Brits at the gigs that he wrote a brief ratter blog about these coachbound invaders. Read it here…
To complement the previously announced Australian shows, we can now confirm that the band will play a trio of gigs in New Zealand in April next year. The three gigs take place at the Powerstation in Auckland on Wednesday 13th April, Wellington Opera House on Thursday 14th and the Horncastle Arena in Christchurch on Friday 15th.
Tickets for the gigs go on general sale from 9am on Wednesday 9th December through links in the gig listing. Support for the NZ dates comes from The Saints’ former co-founder Ed Kuepper.