The Taming Of The Hugh: Live At Poole Arts Centre Volume One – The Stranglers

Back before the advent of CDs and then MP3s vinyl bootlegs or, as they are now known, unofficial live releases, were real things of beauty. Of course we had the live tape, but proper vinyl bootlegs were treasure and generally quite pricey. You could easily pay double for the bootleg compared to official live albums. Now it is just so easy, someone bungs you a bunch of MP3s from 1983 and you might listen to them once, then that’s it. When I bought this I played it everyday for a year. You have to remember we were living in the technological dark ages and anything new from your favourite band was cherished, and played everyday, every inch of the cover was scanned for detail (I still do that) and run off grooves were investigated for etchings, we were on a punk rock palimpsest. I never did find Volume 2, the second half of the gig, seeing how volume 1 cost 15-20 quid I don’t think I could have afforded it anyway.
Best track; Baroque Bordello
An aside; Simon Cowell reckons the reason why he doesn’t like rock music is because of The Stranglers, another reason to love this band.


Rattus Norvegicus – The Stranglers

When you are a fan of a band you can sometimes go to very dark places, I am not talking about Bob Dylan’s Christmas album (although I would be pushed, at this moment, to name anything scarier) I mean the dark corner of the internet that is, the band fan forum. I have graced these forums people, I have discussed alternate takes and remixes in the most shocking of detail, please forgive me. I have also been shown the door of said fan forums for not knowing my stuff. A couple of years ago I mentioned if anyone could remember the etchings on run-out grooves of albums, in particular A Porky Prime Cut which I said was on my copy of Rattus Norvegicus. Within 10 minutes there was a deluge of replies pointing out my error and stupidity, A Porky Prime Cut never graced the run-out groove of Rattus, but The Raven. I hung my head in shame at my error, how could I call myself a fan with this huge gap in my knowledge.
Listening to this tonight I wonder how anyone can claim to hate The Stranglers. All you need to do is listen to Hanging Around and realise they were one of the most innovative, exciting, provocative bands to grace any small orange transistor radio and change a young boys life.
An aside; I still go and see the band with their Sunderland singer. I swear he sings Grip with a Sunderland accent though, But the money’s nee guid, just gerra grip on yersell.
An Aside 2; I wrote this on an ipad and the auto-correct continually wanted me to write Rattus Norwegians.
Hidden gem; Sometimes