The Stranglers at the Roundhouse
Original punk rockers The Stranglers kicked off their international 2012 tour with a return to the Roundhouse in Camden, one of their favourite haunts in the Seventies and Eighties.
Walking into the main arena, we were met by a sea of skinheads, piercings and punk regalia from years gone by. Even those who were still suited from a day in the office looked suspiciously and indescribably punky. If they took off their Ted Baker attire, they’d probably have a tattoo of Sid Vicious lurking underneath.
At 23, my friend and I were certainly the youngest in the audience by at least two decades. I know there are young Stranglers fans out there, many of whom have sprung up after their recent tours and stints on the festival circuit, but the majority of the crowd were long-term followers; people who have diligently watched the band progress from the early days of Rattus Norvegicus, to playing the Roundhouse in 2012.
This is testament, not only to what good artists they are, but also to the dedication of their fans. I couldn’t quite believe that this was (at least) their third sell-out tour since 2000; that they were still filling venues with nostalgic gig-goers.
The Stranglers obviously understood this notion; their set was mainly dedicated to their older tracks. And these didn’t disappoint. The man next to me positively yelped with excitement when the melodic bass of Peaches began, whilst another whipped out some seriously suspect dance moves to Sometimes.
Personal favourites were definitely Hanging Around and Golden Brown, which were greeted with loud cheers and erratic bouncing from the crowd.
As for their new additions, Mercury Rising was a great track to hear live, as was the title track from their new album, Giants. Indeed, their sound really couldn’t be faulted. They sounded better than most bands a third of their age; though the energy was somewhat lacking.
Despite some occasional interaction, the band remained rather distant from the audience, and movement around the stage was limited. Still, with only one member of the current line-up under 60, we can’t have everything. Overall, the sound was great, the crowd loved them and I saw several men on the wrong side of 50 crawling out of the ‘mosh pit’ covered in sweat; so it must have been a good night.
The Stranglers are in the line-up for V Festival in August. For further information and future gigs visit their website here.
Watch the video for Golden Brown here: