The Stranglers’ story, which began way back in the early 1970s, is both long and complex. And it’s one that is still being written.
The band are back on the road this spring, following the sell-out success of their of their Black and White tour last year. This time around they will present the Classic Collection to coincide with the re-release of the entire Stranglers back catalogue 1977-82.
“I guess we are the hardest working band – at the least the one that is on the road a lot!” said singer and guitarist Baz Warne. “ And the reason why we do it is just because we love it. If we get sick of it then we would stop going out on the road but for the time being it’s something we look forward to.
“It also give fans a chance to see our ugly mugs again! And we get to see them and that really is the best thing.”
One of the most influential British groups, the band continue to out-rock many on the live circuit. So what’s their secret?
“I believe that the reason why we have lasted as long as we have is the quality of our songs...and the fact that we put on a bloody good show!” laughed Baz. “And we do have fun out there and that comes across on stage. We’re not just going through the motions of being a band that has to do a few gigs to put money in our back pockets. We’ll continue to go out on the road until fans get sick of us or we drop down dead – whichever comes first!
“When you’re on stage it is the one place where you can truly be who you are. I just love the power of the music that we play and I love to see the enjoyment on people’s faces.
“You’ve got to remember this band has been going since 1974 – that’s 43 years for those that aren’t good at maths! There are still some original fans that come along to our shows and get a kick out of the music. Music is a powerful tool that brings people together. It’s nice to get out there, strap on a guitar and remember why you first picked it up.
The Stranglers’ latest tour sees them come to Scotland for dates in Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Glasgow.
“We want to make sure that it isn’t a nostalgic trip when we head off on tour, that’s important,” Baz continued. “We don’t want it to be us up there trying to capture the good old days. The Stranglers have never split up and while many bands have reformed and toured, that’s never been the case for us – the good old days are still happening!
“Our main priority of course is to make sure that fans have a cracking good night. We’ll mix it up a bit and include obscure stuff and some more recent songs in there which is always very well received, so it’s going to be a mixed bag.
“There’s some songs that we won’t get away with not playing such as ‘Golden Brown’ and we do a great version of Dionne Warwick’s ‘Walk on By’ which is almost like prog rock in a way. It allows us to step away from the mic and just play guitar and remind people of why we’re up there and to show people what we can do.”
This year also sees the Stranglers celebrate 40 years since the release of the band’s debut and second studio albums ‘Rattus Norvegicus’ and ‘No More Heroes’ back in 1977.
“We don’t really want to do anything that’s cheesy or comes off as being a bit naff but it was obviously an important part of our career and should be marked in some way,” Baz said of marking the occasion. “So if someone comes up with a great idea as to what, answers on a postcard! All joking aside, I think just being out and touring is enough for us. Watch this space though!
Catch the Stranglers Classic Collection tour at:
Aberdeen Beach Ballroom, March 9; Dunfermline Alhambra, March 10; Glasgow O2 Academy, March 11.
For tickets, visit www.thestranglers.net.