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The Stranglers 'Black and White' Tour 2016 | FESTIVALPHOTO
 

The Stranglers 'Black and White' Tour 2016

There is nothing like having two legendary bands on the same bill. The Stranglers and The Alarm invaded London's Brixton Academy on Friday 11th March and it was a night to remember, simply because it doesn't happen everyday to see two amazing bands going all out.
The gig was part of the massive Stranglers' "Black And White" tour with Mike Peters and the gang as very special guests. As far as I remember, it has been the first "entire album" tour in The Stranglers history apart from the "Greatest Hits" a few years ago. It was a great choice to put their third album as a main dish. For some fans, the best record the band has ever done. It is definitely still one of the finest moments in the history of 70's rock and post punk music.
After almost an hour-long set with the Welsh rockers of The Alarm, the headliner took the stage over and after the notorious "Waltzinblack" intro, there was no "Hello London!" welcome. Instead, The Stranglers kicked the crowd right in the face with "Tank" and "Nice'n'Sleazy" and the entire rest of the classic album afterwards. It was so so so good.
After delivering the astonishing set of “Black And White” in its entirety, the band carried on with some hits as well as some truly unexpected songs. “Get A Grip”, "Always The Sun" and "Something Better Change” were rather typical and always awaited classics but the setlist was also full of surprises. The Stranglers decided to serve us with some less played songs from their massive catalogue, so we had the rare pleasure to hear “Dead Ringer”, “Nuclear Device”, “London Lady”, a couple of excerpts from “Suite XVI” album and even “I’ve Been Wild” from the Paul Roberts era.
The encore set was a blast with “Peaches”, “Hanging Around”, “Go Buddy Go” and “ No More Heroes”. Any questions?
And the last word about the sound. I realise Brixton Academy has almost gained "cult" status throughout the years of hosting thousands of legendary gigs and the venue itself is utterly a beautiful place but I still can't cope with the sonic torments it provides. It wasn’t the first time that I was there and had to struggle with that unbearable cave-like blurred wall of sound instead of enjoying the brilliant gig. And it was a brilliant night indeed.
Next year will bring the 40th Anniversary of The Stranglers’ first two albums: “Rattus Norvegicus” and “No More Heroes”. Let’s hope the band decides to give us a double treat then, with another “full album” tour playing these two classics in their entirety. The hell will break loose and I’m already looking forward to it.

Text by Pete Vincent

Writer: Dave Zorg
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