The Engine Shed in Lincoln on the 7th of March 2017 was the setting for the first live performance in a string of many, making up the Classic Collection tour for legendary Guildford four piece The Stranglers. The iconic post punk outfit took to the stage and absolutely blew the crowd away for a solid hour and a half, playing as tight as any band could ever be expected to play and keeping the crowd in attendance engaged and entertained throughout. Musically they were loud and brash, but clean and precise at the same time. Vocally, maturity and age has only added to the punk growl required to pull off such a performance and as far as production went, including sound and lighting, The Engine Shed was performing at an all time personal best.
As mentioned, the 21 date Classic Collection tour features, basically, a set filled with The Stranglers greatest hits, which for any rainy Tuesday evening is exactly what the crowd was asking for. The supporting act on the night and for the rest of the tour was The Ruts, or Ruts DC as some of you may know them and they warmed the place up nicely, especially with their blistering rendition of their hit ‘Babylon’s Burning’ before leaving us waiting for the main attraction. With one hell of a back catalogue, there was no time for messing around and aside from a couple of mentions of Lincoln City football club’s current performance in the FA cup (Up the Imps) The Stranglers kicked off with a ferocious and flying start. Well known hits like ‘Peaches’ and ‘Skin Deep’ sent the packed room into a frenzy and they had everyone in the palm of their hands in no time at all. ‘Always The Sun’ had the entire room singing along, with arms in the air. ‘Golden Brown’ featured an amazing light show to suit the track which in a live setting stands out even further as one of the most unique tracks of modern times, with it’s off beat rhythm and insanely unique riff. ‘No More Heroes’ capped off the night as the second track of the encore and even featured revised lyrics, mentioning Donald Trump’s presidency.
Sound wise, the band sound as accomplished as any other you’ve seen or heard before and despite age or length of career, they sounded modern due to the revival and new appreciation of retro music. Even the synths which just scream 80’s sounded incredible and would be welcome on any modern track released tomorrow. The Stranglers may just have begun a new tour at exactly the right time. If they’re booked to land in your town over the next six months of the tour, I sincerely suggest you make the effort to leave the house that night, and go and enjoy one of the finest bands touring this year.
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)