Music News

The Stranglers – The Meninblack are back!

The Stranglers bed themselves in for a full UK tour by completing 7 dates in France

The band successfully completed their 7 date French tour yesterday with packed gigs in Valenciennes, Dijon, Lyon, Montpellier, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes. Covid measures were still evident with sanitary pass checks and the vast majority of crowds being masked up but that didn’t stop the ardent fans travelling from far and wide to see their “heroes”!

The career-spanning set included five tracks from Dark Matters: Water, Last Men On The Moon, This Song, the epic White Stallion and the acoustic beauty of The Lines.  Audience response to every gig has been fantastic throughout the tour. The new keyboard player, Toby Hounsham has been really thrown in at the deep end and has impressed night after night.

The band return to the UK and will commence their tour at the end of January.

The first single from the album was, ‘And If You Should See Dave…’; an honest tribute to their much-missed keyboard player Dave Greenfield, who tragically passed away a year ago from Covid-19, and who features on many of the tracks recorded for the album.
“A year ago, on May 3rd my great friend and colleague of 45 years, Dave Greenfield, passed away, another victim of the pandemic.” says JJ Burnel.

“We had already recorded most of the album with him and during the lockdowns our only wish was to complete it as a fitting tribute to his life and work. I consider this to be one of our finest recordings.”
Surviving Stranglers band members, JJ Burnel and Baz Warne completed Dark Matters remotely during lockdowns, making it their first album since 2012. Adding to it a fitting tribute in ‘And If You Should See Dave…’, the first single from the album – a contemplative but uplifting dose of sixties sunshine-drenched rock.
Greenfield himself features on 8 of the 11 tracks, which were made over the course of two years at the band’s studios in the rural idylls of Somerset, and in Southern France, produced by long-time collaborator Louie Nicastro.
A key member of The Stranglers for 45 years, Dave was a highly acclaimed keyboardist whose unique approach and instantly identifiable playing style massively contributed to the group’s inimitable sound.  His contributions set the band apart from their peers and his skills are imprinted across Dark Matters.
First formed in 1974, The Stranglers no bull***t attitude was embraced by the punk movement of the late 70s.  But their musicianship and menace transcended the genre, creating a sound unique to themselves.  With their first three albums (Rattus Norvegicus, No More Heroes and Black and White) being released within an astonishing 13 months of each other, scoring hit singles with ‘Peaches’, ‘No More Heroes’ and ‘Walk On By’. Further success was to follow with ‘Always The Sun’, ‘Strange Little Girl’ and the mercurial ‘Golden Brown’, amongst many others, earning the group 24 Top 40 singles and 18 Top 40 albums in a career spanning six different decades.

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Raymond Thomson - Deputy Editor

I am a photographer/musician/engineer living in Scotland. My passion is music and motocross and I share my work on facebook/punk4RT and facebook/madmaxmedia. When not attending gigs across Scotland and UK, I cover local and national race meetings. Shooting video and recording bands, either live or in my home studio, also keeps me busy. I love the challenge of capturing the essenceof events that I’m involved with. Music is my passion, being a musician, engineer and photographer, I love to understand the technical side but use that to capture the essence of the performance. I am not a click and shoot kind of person, I like to research my subject and do my best to express how the artists would want to be portrayed. I do like a bit of throw back to the heydays of the 60’s/70’s/80’s when it comes to taking shots of bands. I grew up on the music papers (NME/Sounds/Melody Maker) and drew influence from Pennie Smith/Jill Furmanovsky/Anton Corbijn/Bob Gruen/Adrian Boot/Charles Peterson.
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