STRANGLED - the unofficial Stranglers site – and
home to The Burning Up Times PDF. Born on Friday
16th September 2005 to house debut issue ‘In The
Shadows’, Strangled.co.uk has gone from strength
to strength, thanks to submissions from the
loyal fans of The Stranglers. Did you know that
Issue 2 ‘Second Coming’ received a staggering
2,700 hits in its first 24 hours online!? With
five exclusive free-to-download PDFs now
complete – plus live reviews, images and
features elsewhere - Strangled is fast
approaching an incredible 500,000 hits. I’d like
to take this opportunity to thank everyone who
helped and for all the kind words, support and
enthusiasm you’ve shown over the past five
having survived as a non-profit making
labour-of-love, webhosting costs have almost
doubled in this time period. At first it was
never an issue, and in fairness, some of this
increase is attributable to extra webspace
purchased to house increased webcontent in
recent times. But with costs escalating, it’s
only reasonable to let site visitors have the
chance to make a small donation to keep
Strangled going, rather than one person forking
out. And it doesn’t have to be much: if 40 fans
sent the price of a pint, Strangled will remain
afloat until 2012.
So if you’ve never
donated (or contributed for that matter) but
have been meaning to, now is the time. For
PayPal account holders, it’s simple. Just click
the button. For other methods, please email me.
Once again, thank you for your continued support
- thank you also to those visitors who have
previously donated - and let’s hope unofficial
Strangling continues. Your editor-at-large,
Tuesday 7th January
Never To Look Back: the Video Collection
This latest Stranglers DVD features a
comprehensive collection of all of the
promotional videos from the Feline album
onwards plus rare and unreleased footage
including some great live appearances.
All this for just £15.00 plus postage
and a Suite XVI tour poster included.
This is a must for all Stranglers fans.
DVD - Region 0 - worldwide compatible.
Available from the official merchandiser
JJ on Vintage TV
you may have witnessed JJ in an hour
long programme - Neil McCormick’s Needle
Time – on Christmas Eve. Originally
broadcast on Vintage TV in the UK, the
show can also be viewed
Rennie 1967–2013: rest in peace…
I AM SURE
MANY OF YOU ARE AWARE THAT Stranglers
fan Graeme Rennie has sadly passed away.
He was well-known in the Stranglers
fraternity but to me, he became a true
friend. Graeme was smart man,
intelligent, inspirational, witty and
warm. He was also someone who heroically
kicked prostate cancer into touch on two
occasions. Unfortunately, it was not
third time lucky, and it was a rare,
unfortunate complication that Graeme
finally succumbed to on Saturday. But
even so, all through, right to the end,
Graeme always braved it out - Braveheart
himself - with his immensely positive
attitude. It is hard to realise that
just weeks ago, I was enjoying a
marathon catch-up telephone call from
this legend who I will never forget.
Edinburgh-born Graeme immigrated to Western Australia
some years back with Nichola, who Stranglers fans may
remember working at the SIS in Kingston some years back.
I knew of Graeme – or Griff as he was also known - but
it wasn’t until we eventually met that our friendship
grew. Griff returned to Blighty after visiting his
sister, and squeezes in a Stranglers gig before heading
for the airport. So when I’m loitering in the lobby of
the Brighton Dome in 2010, chatting with a pal by the
merch stall, I’m suddenly greeted by a man in black in a
beanie hat and a James Bond - Sean Connery voice:
Kent, good evening!”
I’m both shaken and stirred. We hit it off. All three of
us that night. We see the gig, we laugh, we joke, chew
the cud and these three amigos stretch out the night at
a nearby restaurant until late: it was like Griff and I
had known each other for a decade. Well, we had really.
But that night, we became mates. Little did I know that
we’d never meet again, nor will Griff ever see the band
again. Post-grub, Griff dashes to his early morning
flight. I snap us all in St. James Street, and get one
of Griff. Little did anyone know that precisely three
years to the day of this photo, Griff would slip away
from us, from Nichola, from everyone who knew him and
loved him. But boy did he put up a fight.
His rock was Nichola: he’d told me so many times in
emails and phone calls. Having just spoken with her, I
see his point entirely. She’s clearly heartbroken, but
she is doing her best, as ever. She tells me that she
loves the photo, taken on their old Brighton stomping
ground. She adds: “If you look closely, you’ll see a
mark on Griff’s nose. It’s not a bogey, it’s from when
his sister’s dog who decided to take a bite of him
earlier that day!”
We were like brothers - like two old women on the phone
- gassing about The Stranglers, music in general,
anything, as well as ideas of hooking up in Aus this
year or the next. He trained for his Taekwondo Black
Belt after his all-clear in 2012, and by December, Griff
and Nichola set out on a holiday to the other side of
Australia to coincide with the handful of Stranglers
concerts. A review is promised, but it never gets
written. Because in the airport departure lounge,
tragedy strikes. Griff suffers a fit. A scan reveals
that this disease has spread to his meninges. More chemo
fails to dampen his spirit. He is determined to win this
battle for the third time. At the hospice, he stoically
clings on to life, clinging to his rock, Nichola. All
the time, he never lets on to me how much pain he is in.
He never says how uncomfortable he is. He just remains
so positive, right to the end of the trail. The man was
amazing. If I was Griff’s leveller, Griff was my
confidant and adviser. The brother I never had. It was
Griff who first hears a problem that up until then, no
one is aware of except me. To that, I receive not just
empathy and sympathy, but above all, he is there for me
with heartfelt, sensible advice while he himself goes
through a lot worse. I shall never forget you, Graeme
Rennie, 007 and Earl of Hibernia. Three years wasn’t
long enough. If only we could stretch this out a little
bit longer… Slange, my friend.
A POEM FOR
GRAEME RENNIE BY ALAN HILLIER
I know you now as Einherjar, my brother
not in sleep
Shield maidens and such Valkyries your
soul desire to keep
And as they speed you gently on,
Valhalla’s doors swing wide
To deliver you where you belong to take
your seat inside.
You’ll feast on Sæhrímnir, drink mead
Brave warrior steadfast and true, you
are now Odin’s son.
Prepare my steadfast brother, but wait
not listlessly for me
My bow for the battle at Vígríðr still
lives within its tree.
But on that day, stand by my side, for
Ragnarök we’ll ride
Our destiny fulfilled at last with
ravens by our side.
With brothers we will fight again but
not again to die
Eternal is our kinship, immortal is our
We have but one great battle left when
Odin is denied
Our vengeance wrought upon Fenrir once
more again we’ll ride.
There is no maiden’s love you’ve lost,
eternal is that flame.
Forever she will hear your thunder roar
and bathe amid your rain.
Timeless is your dignity, you’ll live
where legends lye,
My sword is yours, my shield and more,
your memory divine.
It has been
announced the band are to play V Festival this
August following their V debut in 2008. Tickets
go on sale this Friday for the 18th and 19th
August weekender at Chelmsford’s Hyland’s Park
and Staffordshire’s Weston Park. Rabar Weston
Park. Rabarock Festival in Estonia is also
confirmed for 16th June.
JJ on TV...
JJ is appearing on
the One Show on BBC1 Friday evening.
As we approach
the 35th anniversary of debut album Rattus
Norvegicus, The Stranglers are set to
release their 17th album called Giants,
which is due out early March. However, fans
quick to purchase the forthcoming
Weekendinblack Convention DVD Box Set will
have their own Giants ahead of the rest,
lucky them! Already sizeable hype heralds
the unleashing of Giants, following-up
2006’s Suite XVI with what JJ has described
as their most eclectic album ever. Readers
may recall JJ’s teaser several months back
when he revealed this album was:
‘Stranglers-Motown, a typical Stranglers
album, with lots of weird time-signatures,
interesting subject matter and virtuoso
music.’ Intriguing..! The album comprises
ten tracks, notably featuring ‘a heavy metal
tango’ sung in Spanish! But perhaps even
more fascinating is that Giants kicks off
with the band's first instrumental opener
since Waltzinblack. The track listing is as
I A N
ANOTHER CAMDEN AFTERNOON
FREEDOM IS INSANE
MY FICKLE RESOLVE
TIME WAS ONCE ON MY SIDE
ADIOS [TANGO] 15
Written amid tours and
festivals, Giants is almost three years in the making.
It comes after a gigantic 5 year album hiatus, bar the
odd compilation album. One of which - Decades Apart -
brought us two new tracks, I Don’t See The World Like
You Do and the punchy Retro Rockets back in 2010.
The first two tracks on Giants originate from before all
that: once a contender for Suite XVI, Freedom Is Insane
broke ice in its present form last March when it slipped
into the Black And Blue Tour set list. Many sensed
enough quirk and distinctive Strangleriness to tick
boxes and press buttons, although it has to be said that
some fans were divided at first. However, it was warmly
received by the time of November’s Weekendinblack
Convention, along with the other newbies they performed
live, such as Lowlands, Boom Boom, My Fickle Resolve and
the eponymous track.
With Louis Nicastro at the mixing console, Convention
compere John Robb says that Giants production is key:
‘It’s sharp, energetic and raw.’ A fan insider says the
distinctive trademark bass lines and synth runs feature
heavily, as do strapping melodies and some odd time sigs
for good measure. Baz adds adjectives like ‘very greasy,
very British… nice guitar riffs… JJ’s best vocal
performances ever… a lovely swirling keyboard riff… and
Dave’s solo at the end is sublime.’
You may also remember it is JJ’s intention for this to
be the best album they’ve done, and album expectation
has rarely been higher. But could it be their last?
Potential focus track Time Was Once On My Side is said
to be a hark back to their punchy punk past, with its
theme alluding to no one getting any younger. Yet Jet
Black – tagged the oldest man in British rock at the
ripe old age of 73 – shows few signs of retirement. But
just how long can both he and the band carry on?
Heroically battling his various health issues, as much
as he says he enjoys touring, it is understandably
gruelling, as are making albums. But you cannot help
wonder how many other bands can withstand a whopping 38
years on the road? And still remain sane? And alive?! On
the subject of Jet, according to one recent interview,
JJ says Jet shows few signs of winding down: ‘I think he
wants to carry on until he dies onstage.’
Hopefully, that won’t be the case as the band prepare
for their 41-date Tour of UK and Europe, starting in
Leeds on March 1st – with London’s Roundhouse already a
sell-out – with plans afoot to perform in South America
for the first time in their career.
Until then, it all hangs on Giants… at least until the
follow-up! Due out on March 5th, Giants will also come
in a limited 2CD pack which will feature the Convention
acoustic set, plus there will be a limited edition vinyl
LP too. And what do we think of the cover art? Hanging
around? Four noosemen of the Apocalypse? The jury is
still out here at Strangled!
Saturday 20th August 2011
Finchley Boy Al
Hillier has been in touch with news of a charity
Heaven or Elpee
Tuesday 26th July 2011
Word reaches us
that 1991’s Stranglers In The Night album is to
be re-released in mid-August featuring re-jigged
artwork (an improved version of the white cover)
plus bonus tracks of the b-sides Coffee Shop and
So Uncool. At the moment we don’t know if there
are any other tracks featured. The source is
thought to be European company and will be a
very limited edition. Delving further back into
the 80s catalogue, a Dutch company is to release
two (double) LPs in vinyl format: Aural
Sculpture and Feline both have bonus tracks
Tuesday 7th June 2011
Martin Rushent has died
the myth: producer Martin Rushent has
passed away. To anyone who knows
anything about studios – in fact, anyone
with a pair of eyes and ears – it was
blatantly clear that Martin was the king
of the control room. I witnessed some of
his wizardry at his state-of-the-art
home studio in an upstairs room in a
house in Upper Basildon, mixing,
twiddling, EQ-ing, fading. He was a
sorcerer. He said his job was to make
dreams come true in the studio. The
dreams of the many, many musicians he
worked with. Bassey, Bolan, Stranglers,
Buzzcocks, Visage, Human League; the
things that dreams are made of. The list
is endless. He told jokes – bad ones at
that – and filled the studio, the pub or
his own back garden with life. You see,
Martin was larger than life. He swore
like swearing was going out of fashion
and he smoked like a trooper. A bon
vivant sucking on Camels and knocking
back Rioja like there was a drought on.
A talented, chatty, friendly, helpful
He was also honest
to a fault, had an opinion on everything, and
knew how everything worked. The Red Lion was his
favourite local where we supped and chatted.
Most of it was published! But then I took out my
camera to snap him. Suddenly the control freak
in him came out. He insisted on doctoring his
photos for publication in The Burning Up Times,
but I also insisted I could do that perfectly
well, and I told him: ‘You don’t need Paint
Shop – you’re already beautiful… inside.’ He
filled the bar with laughter and more cigarette
smoke and got another round in. After, we headed
back to his home, his studio, and he made me
part of his family. As a person whose hobby is
music, I heard mixes that had yet to see the
light of day, and my humble opinions were
genuinely valued by the great man. But Martin
was also the best interviewee anybody could ever
imagine interviewing, and I came away from his
home that sunny Sunday afternoon on cloud nine,
not just with a Dictaphone jam-packed with
facts, but because he had treated me, looked
after me and entertained me non stop. We got on.
He had plans to nurture me in the skills of a
studio engineer. What better person to teach me,
I remember saying over and over on the way home.
But Martin was
always busy, but often on Facebook: last week he
was looking for more artists to record. I think
he loved meeting people as much as he loved
mixing their music. He asked Facebookers what
the going rate was, as he’d have to charge
something. A couple of weeks before, he
announced there was a beer festival in July at
the Red Lion, and tied it up with his upcoming
birthday by telling everyone that if they knew
him – or wanted to say hello – they could come
down and join in with the festivities. The event
was getting near – I wanted to go – so me and
the missus were on the verge of making
arrangements to get down there for that upcoming
weekend, when… I discover on Facebook of
Martin’s passing. Time ran out. From one sunny,
funny Sunday to a gloom-filled Sunday with the
rain pissing down outside as I try to read those
words over and over again… Martin Rushent has
passed away. He’s probably having a nice glass
of red now. And I think of all the things I
never got to ask him... and I rue the
opportunity that fell apart to work alongside
him. I will miss the old bugger. Once met,
you’ll never forget Martin Rushent. Rest in
peace. And as far as The Stranglers go, they
sounded best when Martin was in the chair. Fact.
My poker face...
Monday 15th November
You can find the
latest images of the band to promote next years
Black And Blue tour
Following on from
the UK tour, the band play a handful of acoustic
dates in Holland and Belgium in April with
percussionist Neil Sparkes. See Strangled
Black and Blues...
Sunday 3rd October
Fantastic news for R&B fans: Wilko Johnson -
former Dr. Feelgood guitarist and star of Oil
City Confidential - will be providing the
support on The Stranglers Black And Blue Tour.
Anyone who has seen Wilko in action will already
know his shows are not to be missed, so get down
the front early!
Monday 13th September
Monday 16th August
There’s more activity in
the live pipe for 2011 when the band go off once again
round the UK. The tour is expected to extend to 15 dates
during March, although details have yet to be confirmed.
Strangled is wet with anticipation of hearing new
material planned for the shows. Meanwhile…
New Stranglers site...
Strangled has a new addition…
you didn’t know, there’s a Strangled.co.uk
Facebook. Stranglers fans can indulge in
even more online Stranglers, share photos,
add comments… and you might even get to find
out what goes on behind the scenes of this
very website! Who’s writing what about whom
and when, as well as news updates and stuff.
Spread the word - click
Wednesday 14th July
With some summer festivals
under their belts, The Stranglers appearance at T in the
Park on Sunday seems to have been an unmitigated
success, just like all the other dates. JJ:
now completed the big ones. Slovakia was great – Ireland
and Scotland were slightly wet and mudfests. But
everyone had a good time nevertheless. Glastonbury was
Meanwhile, Baz appears in the latest video interview
from our French friends Anne-Marie and Bernard of
JJ's last 24
Wednesday 24th March
Robin from ClashMusic, here’s JJ’s take
on his last day on earth
Rumours of the upcoming London date being filmed are
true: the Hammersmith Apollo gig is to be recorded for a
DVD release set for May. You can pre-order your copy
More summer festivals have
also been added, including Greece, Bulgaria and a return
trip to T in the Park in Scotland. All this, in the week
that download-only single Retro Rockets takes off into
the public domain… have you got yours yet?
Radio interviews -
Saturday 20th February
Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable featuring JJ now on BBC
And JJ also appears on
Planet Rock with Nicky Horne: the Hugh reformation is
addressed, and JJ announces some exciting news re:
Retro track from
1979 unearthed - new 2010 track revealed!
Saturday 13th February
Is this a palimpsest? I
bet we’ve all tried to find the original version of
Yellowcake UF6? You know, Nuclear Device’s instrumental
b-side spun in reverse on the turntable. Now we get to
finally witness the Raven-era song as it was intended –
spun the correct way this time – only now with the
original vocals! All thanks to Amazon’s preview!
While you’re there, check out the newest Stranglers
In the run up to the UK tour kicking off in Glasgow on
the 26th, the band remains busy in the studio during
February. But JJ finds time to tease us with ‘lots on
interesting things are in the pipeline…’ but refuses
point blank to divulge! Sounds exciting… While on the
subject of the upcoming dates, JJ adds: ‘Jet seems to
be on form so I’m hopeful he will do the tour. He didn't
come to Greece, which was just as well because the
amount of smoke there would have caused problems for
him. However, those three shows went down very well.’
to the moon...
Tuesday 26th January
New song Retro
Rockets will be out on February 22nd as a
download only single, tying in with the latest
compilation album, Decades Apart, which is due
out on March 1st on CD. Interestingly, this new
compo differs from the other 300 inasmuch that
it features each incarnation of the band, and is
top ‘n’ tailed with two great new tunes, I Don’t
See The World Like You Do and the aforementioned
Retro Rockets. Top ‘n’ tailed… carrot… dangle,
Get A Grip On Yourself
Go Buddy Go
Something Better Change
No More Heroes
Nice ‘n’ Sleazy
Walk On By
Strange Little Girl
Always The Sun
Nice In Nice
All Day and All Of The Night
Heaven Or Hell
Time to Die
Lies and Deception
In Heaven She Walks
Coup de Grace
Big Thing Coming
Long Black Veil
Spectre of Love
I Don't See The World Like
Meanwhile here’s the latest radio
interview JJ and Baz did:
Thursday 21st January
They aired Retro Rockets live in Leamington - now a
teaser of the studio version
Live in Europe
Monday 9th November 2009
The Jet Black Appreciation Society on MySpace has some
news regarding next years live concerts: ‘Our sources
tell us that the Stranglers ‘Decades Apart’ UK tour 2010
will continue with a short European leg before heading
off to Japan for three gigs. Get ready to tango in
Paris, Leuven and Amsterdam at the end of March! The
Paris gig has been confirmed as March 25th at La
Bataclan, however, the other two dates are as yet
UNCONFIRMED, but would be the two days following the
JJ Burnel talked to The Burning Up Times this week with
news The Stranglers will be camped out in Bath this
winter creating their next album. No details are
forthcoming as yet, and he is content with the way
things are going. In Japan with three of his Shidokan
karate students, one of whom is competing in the All
Japan Tournament this week, he tells us: “The summer
festival season is over and on my return in October we
will be starting work on the next album. I will have a
week before going to Bath for the winter.” The late
summer non-festival UK gigs were a particular highlight,
especially with the continued healthy return of drummer
Mr Black: “Jet acquitted himself very well and I
suspect the re-introduction of material which wasn’t
necessarily Greatest Hits gave us a bit of a boost.”
Quizzed on the recently un-earthed footage of the band
back in 1977 from
French TV he declares: “Where was it filmed? No
idea where, but the TV presenter became huge in France,
called Yves Mourroussi. A very young Burnel indeed and
quite an aggressive little bastard at the time!”
Here’s hoping he hasn’t totally lost his edge for the
recordings that will spring forth over the coming
Wednesday 9th September 2009
budget-priced Stranglers compilation has caught
our eye at Strangled. Decade features songs from
1981 to 1990 and includes nine singles and seven
album tracks, some of which are compilation
2 - Strange Little Girl
3 - European Female
4 - All Roads Lead To Rome
5 - Skin Deep
6 - No Mercy
7 - Spain
8 - North Winds
9 - Always The Sun
10 - Nice In Nice
11 - Was It You?
12 - All Day & All Of The Night
13 - 96 Tears
14 - You'll Always Reap What You Sow
15 - Never Say Goodbye
16 - Never To Look Back
That’s not all. According to an insider, Sony Music are
releasing a five CD box set on 28th September. This
comes after the company failed to release the 4240
Greatest Hits last year.
Paul Roberts is appearing in a London stage musical
performing classic American show songs at the New End
Theatre, 27 New End, Hampstead, London NW3 1JD until
13th September. Some may have seen him on BBC TV
promoting the show. We at Strangled wish our erstwhile
Strangler all the very best with the latest project.
While we’re on the subject, just in case you didn’t
catch it, Paul shows off his comedic bent in a short
promo for one of his recent shows:
completely right,’ says JJ, ’and after
that I had total respect for him. It was a good
lesson and it reminded us not to get above
Features, we unearth a rare Jet Black radio
interview given on the day Hugh was sentenced
for drug possession.
Sunday Express Supplement (05.06.09,
p.57) is JJ’s favourite photograph – our
bass man with Ian Dury backstage at The
Rainbow – when guests filled when Hugh
was inside. We sent along the shot which
originally appeared in Strangled
magazine and cleaned it up for
publication. It may have been used? But
in the text, JJ recalls the Rainbow
event, and also their first encounter
while filming the 5 Minutes video. Ian
was also filming there, and the band
interrupted his shoot by being loud in
the dressing room. After tearing them
off a strip, Ian walked out and The
Stranglers were left looking at each
other in astonishment.
Euroman Cometh PDF out on 09.05.09
Wednesday 29th April
are pleased to announce that May 9th will see
the latest in our free-to-download online
magazines. ‘Ode To Joy’ celebrates 30 years
since JJ’s Euroman Cometh album, and the
publication date is a particularly pertinent
one: it also happens to be Europe Day which, as
the Schuman Declaration proposed, was the start
of the creation of what we now know as the
European Union in 1950. However, in true
Europhile form, an Esperanto version of our
online magazine has been shelved!
Burning Up Times PDF
Monday 9th March
The next PDF will
be on JJ’s Euroman Cometh album. Publishing date
will be announced soon to coincide with
Euroman’s 30th anniversary celebration. For
this, we are looking for input from fans for the
regular section - 'What Euroman means to me…' –
where and when you bought the LP? What tracks
stand out? What does it remind you of nowadays?
Did you catch the Eurotour? Please email:
JJ met The Burning Up
Times at the weekend for our forthcoming feature on
Euroman Cometh due out in the next month or so, in time
for the 30th anniversary of its release. Fittingly, he
was about to leave for The Stranglers’ European Tour and
graciously agreed to be interviewed on his last day in
London before embarking on the tour bus for Belgium and
beyond. We found him looking relaxed and in great
spirits after a busy training session in the gym. Over a
couple of drinks, JJ had this to say:
the back of the amazing UK Tour we’re really looking
forward to playing Europe. But I can’t wait to get
working on the next album. The tour bus will enable us
to work on songs in between gigs because there are
various lounges within. So me and Baz will be taking our
acoustic guitars to work on new stuff.’
JJ was particularly eager to nail down the arrangement
for one song that remains close to his heart: ‘I’ve
written possibly the best song I’ve done. It’s quite a
long track - in acoustic form at the moment – and nine
months in the making. It’s called Goodbye – but don’t
read anything into that! I want this album recorded this
year and out in 2010.’
enthused on the remarkable chemistry within the band at
the moment and added: ’Jet has been fantastic and
Dave is playing his best keyboards. Baz is like he’s
been born a Strangler isn’t he? He’s a brilliant
guitarist and treats the old guitar lines with the
greatest respect, like a classical musician.’
Festivals are planned for the summer, but agreements
won’t be struck until March or so. And on the mooted big
name support slot, JJ said: ‘Nothing’s definite yet
but we’re top of the list. But then - the way we’re
playing right now - I wouldn’t want to follow us!’
As the Euroman Cometh feature being typed up as you read
this, meanwhile we expect some grand write-ups from our
correspondents on the European dates.
Sony BMG will not
be releasing greatest hits package 4240. JJ
Burnel tells The Burning Up Times: “Sony
have completely fucked up. A lot of effort was
put in getting licensing from EMI and what have
you, and there was going to be a DVD. At first
they said they weren’t going to release it for
the tour, so we said, well OK, sod you, we can
tour without the album. And we’ve just had the
most successful tour financially in 25 years.
Then Sony were going to put it out in January,
and now they’re saying they’re not releasing it
at all. Useless.” Clearly the credit crunch has
something to do with their decision. But JJ
appears unflustered by Sony’s attitude and is
optimistic about the whole Stranglers
enterprise. “We doubled our numbers on the last
outing. People are coming out to see us.” And
the feeling is they may have nabbed a few Pogues
fans after the recent gig in Manchester. They
are about to embark on a huge European tour, by
bus, and have been approached to play with one
of the world’s biggest acts in 2010. “We’re very
busy at the moment,” says Burnel. Sony are
definitely off the Christmas card list, then.
Monday 15th December
Don’t know about
the band, but we know Stranglers fans that are
still recovering from that storming UK tour! And
so now the final gig of the year has been
played, it seems like yesterday the band were
preparing for the summer festivals: what an
amazing year! And seeing Jet back behind the kit
has brought a smile (and the odd tear) to the
face of many a Stranglers fan – and now we all
look forward to next year’s European dates – and
also your live reviews and photos. 2008 saw not
one, but two issues of The Burning Up Times,
plus the odd interview – with some amazing demos
unearthed in the process. On behalf of the team,
we would like to wish all our readers a very
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year – and a big
thank you for your continued support.
Oh, and enjoy your
latest gift. Just call it a Xmas present from
JJ on Jet...
Monday 6th October 2008
JJ has been busy: “I
returned from Sri Lanka on Tuesday after we had won the
heavyweight and middleweight titles in a full contact
tournament only to fly back out to Dubai the following
day for The Stranglers gig.” With a full day of
newspaper interviews underway as you read this, JJ is
back at Charlton Farm for more rehearsals tomorrow in
preparation for the Autumn Tour: “Good news is that
Jet is likely to be fit for the first few shows,”
continues JJ, “ - and we’ll take it from there. If he
gets tired we’ll do it with Ian until he’s strong
In Paris – and Gent! Trip update…
Tuesday 30th September
confirmation of The Stranglers European tour
next year, details concerning the proposed coach
trip to see the band have emerged from trip
organiser Owen – with not one, but two concerts
Central London on Thursday 5th February 2009 and
returning on Saturday 7th - the itinerary will
include the Paris and Gent gigs - with a hotel
stop-off in between. The coach returns to London
on Saturday morning around 7am. This promises to
be a exciting opportunity to catch the band on
their penultimate and final European dates
before heading off to the Antipodes.
With costings of
the trip to be finalised, Owen is presently
ironing out seating logistics but will let you
know as soon as possible. If you haven’t already
(or if you have not received a reply) please get
in touch with Owen directly:
The Burning Up Times hears
that the Stranglers will be touring Australia after the
UK leg of the Hits tour. Details are not available to
us, but if you live in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne you
may be in for a treat!
Issue 3 part
Monday 15th September
The Burning Up Times
online magazine Issue 3, part 2 is now available to
download from the homepage. Enjoy.
Forty: last of the summer wine?
Sunday 24th August 2008
Sony BMG release a new
Stranglers compilation on Monday 15th September
called Forty Two Forty. Apparently the CD/DVD
pack includes all the promos from Epic Records - as
well as clips from the 2007’s Roundhouse concert.
This comes just a year since the last compo, The
Story So Far. It is also reportedly to be the
last while the band are still going. We take it the
definitive Greatest Hits package planned two years
ago isn’t happening…
Monday 30th June 2008
Never mind all the
Friday 20th June 2008
last weekend’s big festival event got underway at the Isle of
Wight, the Meninblack found themselves back in press hullabaloo.
During an interview with Virgin Radio’s Sarah Champion, JJ
refuelled the old rivalry with the Sex Pistols, albeit when
pushed, to comment on Lydon and co playing the same bill. In one
line, JJ mocked them for playing songs from a solitary LP:
thirty years to learn one album. People should look forward to
the fact they might be able to play it now.’
disturbed, Mr. Lydon swiftly counter-attacked in the Telegraph:
have run out of money for their hairpieces if they are slagging
me off.’ He said. ‘We only need to make one record, They’re
touring thirty records they could have put into one. The
Stranglers are jealous because they are idiotic, there’s nothing
there, they don’t stand for anything.
As far as
we at Burning Up Times are aware, none of The Stranglers
have donned hirsute appendages lately! Although we should note
The Stranglers – to their credit – successfully saw out 1977, as
seen in our latest PDF. As we went to press, Mr. Lydon was
unavailable for comment on rumours of making a follow-up Pistols
LP – a mere thirty one years on from Never Mind The Bollocks.
the Virgin interview - while linking to Jimi Hendrix’s famous
last major live appearance in 1970 - JJ added he was born in the
same hospital where Hendrix died. Baz talked of other bands
citing The Stranglers as influential, mentioning the Kaiser
Chiefs as being quite close at times to The Stranglers in terms
of sound, particularly in the keyboard department. But no
mention was made of Jet’s non-appearance at the gig. Drum
technician and stand-in, Ian Barnard once again gave an
impressive display at the back on the night.
The Stranglers at Isle of Wight
on YouTube – click
The Stranglers at Isle of Wight
images – click
JJ Burnel hit by
Friday 13th June
JJ Burnel has
had emergency surgery to save the sight in his
right eye. The drama started in the last week of
May when JJ awoke to the sensation of having
“vaseline smeared all over my eye”. When this
didn’t clear up a trip to a Harley Street
specialist confirmed that an emergency was
afoot. Within a couple days he was under the
knife for a vitrectomy, and spent the next few
days recovering with an eye patch.
Unable to drive, rehearsals down on the farm
stalled somewhat. It turned out the vitreous
jelly in his eye had collapsed, with the threat
of a subsequent detached retina. “It’s 35 years
of full contact karate that titled the balance,
basically,” said Burnel on the eve of the band’s
Isle of Wight show.
Luckily he’d recovered enough by last Monday and
the band spent the week honing the various sets
they’ll be playing in the coming months. All at
Burning Up Times wishes JJ well as he
continues to heal and The Stranglers storm their
way through the summer festival season.
Tuesday 6th May 2008
Thirty one years ago today, The Stranglers released
Today we have published part one of Issue 3 of The
Burning Up Times online magazine.
usual, it’s free to download from the Homepage. Enjoy.
Tuesday 18th March 2008
There’s a new book out
for musicians and
alike: ‘The Best Of The
Stranglers’ features the
lyrics and guitar tabs
to nineteen Stranglers
tunes including Grip,
Hanging Around, Nuclear
Device, Let Me Down Easy
and Norfolk Coast.
Priced at £19.45
(including UK postage
and packing) it is
Mojo magazine have just
published a Collector’s
Special Edition which
focuses on 1978. Apart
from The Stranglers,
many other New Wave acts
from the day are
Blondie, Elvis Costello,
The Skids, The Jam and
time for its silver anniversary
in April, Edsel Records are to
release - on CD for the first
time - JJ and Dave’s solo album,
Fire & Water. The 1983 LP formed
the basis of a film by Vincent
Coudanne entitled ‘Ecoutez Vos
Murs’. While reflecting the
experimental aspects of the post
Feline-era keyboard sound, it
includes one of the finest
Vladimir and Olga offerings
ever: here, Olga is confined to
the health resort against her
will while Vladimir enjoys time
with his new nautical friend,
Sergei. The very noir Detective
Privée explores moody Gallic
minimalism to great effect,
thanks to Dave’s evocative
keyboards and JJ’s polyglottics.
Pop comes in the shape of
Nuclear Power and Rain & Dole &
Tea (and Maggie Moon from Mike
Oldfield’s Moonlight Shadow).
There’s also the noxious Dino
Rap! The full track listing is
as follows: 1. Liberation; 2.
Rain & Dole & Tea; 3. Vladimir &
Sergei; 4. Le Soir; 5. Trois
Pedophiles Pour Eric Sabyr; 6.
Dino Rap; 7. Nuclear Power (Yes
Please); 8. Detective Privée; 9.
Consequences; 10. Rain & Dole &
News update; The
Burning Up Times PDF
Thursday 28th February 2008
This is short
notice - but we have a slot for an advertiser in the
PDF. Issue 2 had 3,500 hits from the first night-next
day alone! New readers are finding us each week. If you
wish to reach our worldwide readership, email us before
we change our mind:
email@example.com. Now - the interesting
stuff: with Issue 3’s content door now closed,
publication looks imminent as the final articles and
images are being crow-barred in. Word from the
Production Editor is that it’s the biggest one ever - so
size is everything after all. He’d also like to remind
everyone that 2008 is the best year to celebrate Rattus
rather than 2007 – after all, this year is the Chinese
Year of the Rat! Thank you for all your emails asking
about Issue 3 – and your patience.
You guessed it – it’s
no news week (again) in the world of The Stranglers. We
have to report there’s still no official word vis-à-vis
any further Stranglers appearances at UK festivals - not
that it really matters to fans when all the main
festivals have been sold out for months! In the
meantime, we are pleased to announce the winners (below)
of the Features section caption competition!
bottle – bottle, glass - just like
Nick, Dorset “Human flesh is porky meat – with a
nice Chianti. F-f-f-ff!”
Tony Hopkins, Surrey “JJ was expecting a little more when
he was introduced to a cheeky full
bodied French piece!” Jim, Yorkshire
the winner is: JJ: “200 happy campers – one of me? I
make that Pimm’s o’clock!”
Ray Creed, Hertfordshire
Europe a go go
- all aboard the Rat Bus!
Saturday 26th January 2008
on a coach to see The Stranglers play in Europe? Burning
Up Times contributor Owen Carne is planning such a
thing. Obviously, no European concerts have been
confirmed by the management to date, but it is hoped a
European tour will happen sometime 2008, preferably
summer or maybe autumn. The proposal is a return coach
trip, departing from Central London, then cross-Channel,
with a hotel stop-off for one night. The following night
is the gig itself, with the return to Blighty straight
after. Owen says this is an ideal opportunity for the
uninitiated to see the band abroad, but with an eye on
the logistics of travelling, he adds: “I’m hoping
will be a Northern European date, Northern France,
Belgium or Holland, and on a weekend,” while
reiterating a trip still hanging in the balance: “all
this depends on official word on the band’s live
Right now he needs to
gauge interest – just under 100 fans have already said
they’re up for it in principle - so if you haven’t put
your name down yet, and you are interested, or would
just like some more details, then Owen would like to
hear from you:
So, everything’s up in
the air until tour dates are published. Meanwhile, word
has reached us on a big festival date in the UK lined up
for the band this summer. It’s strictly rumour, and
gossip on festival line-ups is rife this time of year.
All the same, our lips are sealed, naturally, until
officially confirmed by the band and management. Very,
very, very interesting all the same. Don’t chuck away
last year’s unused Piz Buin just yet, eh?!
Season's Greetings to our readers
Sunday 23rd December 2007
Just a quick line to wish all our
visitors a very merry Christmas and happy New Year. Of course,
there are some Stranglers fans out there who won’t need seasons
greetings - if they have been fortunate enough to obtain copies
of the excellent Rattus at the Roundhouse DVD! Currently listed
as out of stock – maybe Santa has a secret stash? Feedback from
those who have been glued to their TV’s over the past week
watching the 30th anniversary gig has been nothing short of
phenomenal. Congratulations to The Stranglers and all who made
the night happen. Perhaps it’s time to look at another upcoming
anniversary-in-black..? Black And White will also be 30 years
old in 2008. Enough chat – see you next year, when there will be
a third PDF to download from us. It promises to be a fantastic
journey... but until then...
Roundhouse 2007 DVD; New Vlad episode
Saturday 8th December 2007
all those who were there, and those who weren’t – the ‘Rattus at
the Roundhouse’ gig last month featuring the 1977 set-list is
now available for pre-order on DVD from the official merchandise
site. The disc arrived at The Stranglers offices last Monday and
JJ describes it as “awesome”. The disc will contain the whole
set, “fuck ups and all. Well, we have to show them don’t we?”
says Burnel. The ill-fated repeated set will he “hidden” on the
disc somewhere, but “won’t be that hard to find!”
The now legendary set restart was not because
the gig was being filmed says JJ. “I honestly forgot all about
the filming. I just wanted to get it right. We’d lost all
momentum. I put it to the vote, as you may remember, and I just
decided on the spot ‘what the hell, let’s start from the top’. I
wasn’t thinking about the DVD. But then the sound went again
Fans can also look forward to another treat.
The Burning Up Times can reveal that JJ is recording the next
instalment in the Vladimir saga. Last heard in Vladimir and
The Pearl, Vlad makes his way from Mexico to Europe where he
takes advantage of the expanded European Union to begin amassing
a fortune, “a kind of Vladimir and the oligarchs….” says JJ. The
as-yet untitled episode will be available for download from The
Rat’s Lair; no release date has been set.
Bonus features for the DVD also include some
backstage soundchecking and a photo gallery. It’s an all region
DVD. Track listing, according to the merchandise site, is as
follows: No More Heroes; Ugly; Bring On The Nubiles; Dead
Ringer; Sometimes; Dagenham Dave; Goodbye Toulouse; Hanging
Around; 5 Minutes; Bitching; Burning Up Time; I Feel Like A Wog;
Straighten Out; Something Better Change; London Lady; Peaches;
Get A Grip On Yourself; Go Buddy Go with encores of The Spectre
Of Love and Duchess.
No doubt Dave’s
keyboard rig on tour years ago may have been temperamental at
times, particularly the Hammond L100. However, nothing prepared
anyone for what happened at Sunday’s Roundhouse concert.
Keyboards cutting out caused the set to grind to a halt, and
modern technology is the fault!
“It was a MIDI software error.“
manager Sil Willcox explained. “It’s because we had a lot of
equipment running underneath the stage on the night, what with
the filming and everything, a lot of new equipment. That sort of
thing can affect software.“
The band stopped while
technicians tried to fix the problem, and even replayed the
entire set from the top after eight songs in. Not only that, the
gig consisted of performing the same set list as 30 years ago at
the same venue, plus encores: filming of the one-off special for
future DVD release hung in the balance on several nervous
MIDI is the communication
system between electronic musical instruments and sends messages
using protocol. It can synchronize synthesizers using a
timecode. It can also link MIDI synthesizers together to be
played on one single synthesizer.
At his West Country farm, Sil
was relieved after the techno headaches at the weekend. We
wondered if this is likely to threaten the upcoming Belgian
“Well, it was fixed on the
night and it went ahead, so yes it’s been sorted out.”
Stranglers 2008 live dates are
expected to be announced in February.
is with deep regret news has come to The Burning Up Times of the
death of Stephen Reid from East Kilbride, Scotland. His friends
broke the news to other fans at Thursday’s Glasgow gig. The
cause was, we are told, heart failure. Stephen was just 39.
A one-time contributor to the Burning Up Times PDF, many will
also know him as a knowledgeable and respected member of the MiB
Forums by the name of Steveareno. His views were always a
welcome addition to any discussion. Our sincere sympathies go
out to his family and friends. For many of us, losing a
Strangler buddy is like losing a close, close friend. Rest in
peace, pal… The next PDF will be dedicated to you, sir.
Stephen with JJ at Oran Moor last
Reader Donald MacKay sent us a
few words to say about Stephen:
I first met
Stephen outside the stage door of the Usher Hall in Edinburgh,
where a few fans had collected to try and get a chat with Hugh
before his support slot promoting Wired on the Big Country Tour.
He was interested in the stuff everyone had with them for
signing, and we exchanged addresses for possible swaps.
Obviously he was very keen!
I bumped into him at many a gig after that, both Stranglers and
Hugh solo. He was always at the front with his pals, including
Brian. I know Stephen got involved with Hugh’s information
magazine for a while, including travelling to Hugh's home to
interview him. He was an avid fan of all things Strangler
related. Then a strange thing happened last Thursday night:
during the gig, several yards in front of me in the crowd, I
briefly caught sight of Stephen’s pal Brian. So I thought, yep,
good to see the usual crowd are in supporting the band. Stephen
and Brian were always at gigs together, including Hugh's gigs.
So naturally I'm thinking Stephen was there.
We walked out of the ABC onto the street and who is walking
towards us but Brian (Brian doesn't know me so he passed by). I
thought this was really odd cos he was on his own. I had
previously noticed a lack of ‘Steveareno’ posts on the MiB
Forums site, who would have been enthusing about the upcoming
gigs. Also, I was going to ask him for some information for the
upcoming 1977 PDF, because Stephen was an avid collector photos,
press cuttings - in fact Ebay probably made half their profits
So I was deeply shocked on Friday morning when I saw the news on
the website. Stephen was a few years younger than me, and I knew
he had a wife and kid(s) - he talked about taking his wee boy to
So we have lost one of the faithful, way too young. I didn't
really know him very well, but I always respected his knowledge
and passion for the band and the music. He will be sadly missed
but remembered, especially at future gigs. I have no doubt his
presence will be there.
sympathy to all his family and friends.
Jet Black! Jet Black! Jet
Thursday 20th September 2007
took some time out a few moments ago to do an interview planned
for the forthcoming Burning Up Times PDF. It’s a real coup for
us, for as you know, Jet doesn’t do interviews!
We have to report our number one drummer was professionalism
personified and in fine fettle, displaying no signs of laying up
the drumsticks yet: “I’ll probably play ‘til I drop…”
were his precise words. He’s also looking forward immensely to
the upcoming Roundhouse show, with rehearsals taking place in
the West Country as you read this. One the night he says
there’ll be “some new oldies and some new newies,…”
although he didn’t divulge the precise set of songs; but he did
admit it won’t veer too far from the ’77 Roundhouse set.
Jet was fluent as gave us an insight into the band in their
halcyon era of Rattus and Heroes and the lead-up too, for Issue
3. From one of the questions, he even offered to send us the
contact details of the subsequent owner of the infamous ice
cream van that carted The Stranglers and all of their equipment
to and from gigs in the early days. We left Jet to start a
rehearsal with the rest of the band while we type the
transcript. We’d like to thank manager Sil for his assistance,
and naturally, Jet who gave up his time and effort for us. It
has to be said - this autumn promises to be real treat for
Regarding the next PDF: we’d like to thank all concerned for
their help. The bulk of the content is in but there’s a fair bit
of back room work still to be done, as you are no doubt aware,
but we hope to have a publishing date soon. Until then, see you
at the forthcoming shows! BTW… gig reviews (and photos) are
always welcome here, (hint, hint!).
Stranglers swiped from the
history books? Surely not!
Incredible, isn’t it?
Anyway… attention men and womeninblack. Listen up. Issue
3 of The Burning Up Times PDF is awaiting your
contribution – this is a celebration of Stranglers’
albums Rattus Norvegicus and No More Heroes and their
ground breaking year of 1977.
Okay - fear not! We’ve already
got some substantial interviews under our belt, so we’re not
asking you to hunt down the carpet fitter who glued down the
orange carpet tiles in the drum booth at TW Studios for a PDF
grilling – or the bloke who mended the rear brake shoes of the
legendary ice cream van that carted the band about… although we
wouldn’t mind finding the whereabouts of it nowadays – it’s a
Bedford, registration number GVA 279K – last seen in Lancashire
some years back. Have you seen it ? Where it is now?
Why ’77? It must be said Rattus
& Heroes bore a fascinating psychedelic-edged punk hallmark that
became The Stranglers’ benchmark. So why is it they always seem
excluded in rock history? Many of us witnessed the latest
erasure from pop culture in the BBC TV documentary series,
‘Seven Ages of Rock’: in the ‘Punk’ episode, they carefully
swerved round The Stranglers throughout, but the irony wasn’t
wasted on us fans; the narrator spoke of US bands Patti Smith
and The Ramones - with a Roundhouse poster in the background
which was emblazoned with The Stranglers! Conspicuous by their
absence, everyone knows they were at the forefront of music
then. They outsold the lot.
what we need is a solid document from EVERYONE on The
Stranglers’ big year – whether the literati want that or not.
For Issue 3 we need YOUR take on the music, Image, impact… the
best single, the coolest B-side, the most poignant album track,.
Gig review, even. Did you witness the band in action? Even if
you were a bystander in 1977 – don’t be one in 2007. This is the
fans’ perspective – not telly media or rock critics. Get a grip.
Get involved. Get active and scribbling to redress the balance.
Subs deadline, Saturday 1st
September please. (50 - 500 words)
Grip underachieved at No. 44 in February 1977, but by No More
the band had
reached the top flight with 3 consecutive Top 10 chart smashes.
Two LP’s out,
just months apart. Not only were their
‘overlapping’ in the charts, but so were their albums!
at the Roundhouse, a 30 year anniversary
Just in case you’ve been in a
bunker for the last two months, tickets are on sale for the
upcoming Stranglers’ gig at London’s legendary Roundhouse
Theatre. This one-off event celebrates 30 years on from their
record-breaking 5-night stint in November 1977 – as well as 3
decades since their albums Rattus and Heroes. The Roundhouse box
office is 0870 389 1846 or online at:
The buzz among fans concerning
the Roundhouse has been unprecedented, and in the spirit of the
occasion, Stranglers’ stalwart DJ Andy Dunkley, the Livin’
Jukebox, is booked to appear along with veteran punk poet John
Cooper Clarke. We had hoped Spizz could make the support slot,
seeing as he played at Battersea and he is still gigging with
Spizzenergi. Alas, the deal had already been struck, plus, MiB
management wanted a quick clear-away before The Stranglers come
on and when the cameras start to roll. The subsequent DVD will
document this special event for those who can’t make it. For
those of us who can - make sure you bring your dentures with you
when you smile at the camera. Obviously that only applies to the
old crusties like us! As far as the set list goes, it is thought
the band will work from an original 1977 set from the Roundhouse
– with newer numbers included. Glasgow and Manchester gigs
precede, and it is thought the set will remain constant
throughout the 3 dates.
Stranglers’ diary is filling up: as we type, arrangements are
underway for the band to be photographed courtesy of a
‘well-known snapper from the Punk era’ to promote the Roundhouse
concert. A suitable and central venue is all that’s required.
Meanwhile, the band have just returned from the Japan dates, and
an acoustic tour of Holland and Belgium has been announced for
October and November, which almost rounds off a busy 2007 for
The Stranglers. Next year sees JJ off to Japan for Karate duties
as well as and song inspiration. And talking of 2008… it’s the
30th anniversary of Black And White - and The Burning Up Times
hopes the album can have a Roundhouse, or similar treatment. In
this day and age, would London mayor and ex-GLC Ken Livingstone
allow another Battersea Park, we wonder?
Battersea Park strippers moments before the police arrived to
take down their particulars. Upcoming gigs at Strangled
Wednesday 1st August 2007
Out August 13th 2007:
‘The Story So Far’ – a twin CD, 36-track compilation taken from
all of The Stranglers’ studio albums recorded for EMI including
last year’s 'Suite XVI' and comes listed in chronological order
revealing the progression of the band; from 1977’s 'Peaches' and
'No More Heroes', through 'Nuclear Device [The Wizard Of Aus]',
'Bear Cage', 'Strange Little Girl' to 'Golden Brown', 'Norfolk
Coast' & 'The Spectre Of Love'. Catalogue number: EMI 3972972.
We notice there are a couple of live tracks included – as well
as one listed as ‘explicit’!
2. (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
3. London Lady
5. Dagenham Dave - Live
6. I Feel Like A Wog
7. Bring On The Nubiles [explicit]
9. No More Heroes
10. English Towns
11. Peasant In The Big Shitty
13. Sweden (All Quiet On The Eastern Front)
14. Nice N' Sleazy
15. Mean To Me
16. Walk On By
17. Shut Up
18. In The Shadows
1. Nuclear Device (The Wizard Of Aus)
2. The Raven
3. Don't Bring Harry
5. 5 Minutes - Live
6. Bear Cage
7. Just Like Nothing On Earth
8. Thrown Away
9. Waiting For The Meninblack
10. Non Stop
11. Strange Little Girl
13. La Folie
14. Golden Brown
15. Big Thing Coming
16. Norfolk Coast
18. The Spectre Of Love
Wednesday 16th May
there’s not much to report in The Stranglers camp right now
- but there are a couple of things worth mentioning about
erstwhile members of the band. On Saturday 26th May, Hugh
Cornwell plays a full band set at ‘The Horn’ in St. Albans
in Hertfordshire. When he last played here (June 2005) on
the eve of his brief Canadian tour, he brought the house
down. We’re hoping this one will be just as good. Check out
his other dates
you can’t make it, you can always make do with the upcoming
review within these pages.
Paul Roberts releases ‘100’ on Monday 21st May. It’s a live
CD of the Black In Town gig at the 100 Club featuring John
Ellis, and available HERE.
More gigs are in the pipeline - although John tells us he
won’t be involved this time: “I had a great night.”
He says. “It was great seeing everyone again but I want
to move forward now. But I hope to work with Paul in the
what’s all this ‘coming soon’ on the index page, eh? It’s a
special feature on it’s way to you - SPECIAL GUESTS will be
a new section all about the extremely varied support acts of
The Stranglers over the years. Bands have been tracked down
and memory banks well and truly raided – just look out for
the upload in ‘SPECIAL GUESTS’… err, coming (very) soon!
Word on the Burning Up Times Online PDF
Monday 7th May 2007
swore there would never be another. But after much swearing,
there will be! PDF Issue 3 will focus on The Stranglers’ big
year – 1977, and will feature all things ‘Rattus Norvegicus’ and
‘No More Heroes’ – the first time we’ve undertaken two albums in
one go. Well, if The Stranglers could do it,… Four magnificent
singles, three Top 10 hits, two smash hit albums – all in one
Initial groundwork is underway
from a variety of welcome sources – and a couple of great
interviews and articles have already been completed. We are also
aware at first glance, this topic may have already been done to
death in the media – but not by you! Which is why we are looking
at what hasn’t been fully covered – a fans’ perspective - and
what really deserves chronicling. For this, WE DO NEED YOUR
CONTRIBUTIONS – your ideas, your articles,
your press clippings, your thoughts, your
reviews, your interviews - it’s your PDF. You know
the email address to get in touch. Get involved, or not. The
choice is yours!
Jet Black ill, drum tech stands in
Tuesday 6th March
has reached us regarding Jet’s recurrent health problems.
Confirmation comes as British fans mingle in Iceland. Jet’s
illness means he will not be performing tonight’s gig in
Iceland, but he will return...
One source informs us
Jet’s drum technician will step in for the first Stranglers gig
of 2007. The following gig is on Saturday in Belgium, and then
in Germany on Monday. As Stranglers fans are already aware, this
is not the first time a stand-in has jumped into the breach, as
drummers Robert Williams, Tim Bruce, Rat Scabies and Keith Tobe
will testify over the years. Jet may be 68, but anyone who can
still rock after overcoming shingles, back injuries, cyanide
poisoning, and asthma to return Phoenix-like to the most durable
of British rock bands, deserves not only a medal, but a
well-earned rest. The Burning Up Times wishes Jet all the very
best - and a very speedy recovery to return to the drum seat as
soon as possible. Get well soon, Mr. Black!
Stranglers return to Battersea, well JJ...
Saturday 24th February 2007
The Stranglers are booked for a charity event at
Battersea, South London - or not. We've since discovered it's a
JJ and Baz acoustic event, amid all the hilarity of the night.
The Stranglers are
taking a well deserved break. And JJ tells us that the Amsterdam
gig was the last of the year. Following on from the magnificent
Suite XVI tour, plans for next year involve the already booked
European tour. Of note, though, were JJ’s thoughts on a proposed
US tour, as well as Japan and Australia. The economics of
touring the States have taken a beating for non-US musicians,
and crew alike, as the country demands £1,000 a pop for a
working visa… and the band want to take their own crew.
“I think we’ll wait for the
Stateside release before we make our minds up,” he says.
“There are various offers on the table. A West coast tour,
including Vancouver in Canada. An East coast tour, to include
Toronto. And a tour of the whole lot.” US fans should
hopefully see something of the band next year. But JJ warns:
“It’s got to make money, I’m not paying to go to that place!”
Other gossip includes talks for
a Japanese release of Suite XVI on a local independent label.
The label has been hugely successful in the last year promoting
local talent and it’s very keen to sign The Stranglers. Japanese
gigs seem certain to happen… as does a trip to Aus while in that
JJ is pleased with the
worldwide reception to the latest LP, stating again that it’s
already outsold Norfolk Coast. That’s because it’s good, offers
your reporter. “No, that’s not it. It’s more than that.
Historically the media never cared if we made good records.
Something’s changed. It’s now cool to name check The Stranglers.
New bands are talking about us. For instance the bass player in
Kaiser Chiefs(Simon Rix interview
here)cited me recently as one of his heroes.”
Well, as a lot of you out there would say, join the queue mate.
One eagle-eyed reader saw a
link of the French Tour
it states the Nancy date has yet to be confirmed, as are all
dates prior to the official site’s publication. Even more
observational readers have spotted the site’s anachronistic logo
beneath the header!
Life is sweet for Jean Jacques Burnel
Sunday 17th September 2006
The band have just finished their final rehearsal for their
Suite XVI UK tour – and JJ sounds excited: “We are all really
looking forward to it. We’ve got a pool of 20 songs rehearsed,
old and new – with 5 or 6 from Suite XVI… Which ones? You’ll
just have to wait and see!”
Precisely twenty-eight years on from the infamous Battersea
Park gig, JJ lets slip ‘Threatened’ is one of the oldies,
having just rehearsed it 15 minutes before. JJ then teased us
with talk of future plans: “We’re considering going to America
for 6 or 7 live dates, no more. Gone are those days of touring
for months on end – we couldn’t stand it!”
The future looks bright – with a soundtrack in the air (“a
British gangster movie, full of thugs…”) and premature news of
Suite XVI’s successor: “It’s going to have some epic
instrumental passages, as in Toiler, Down In The Sewer,
in fact we’re working on one at the moment. All I want to do is
write - it’s such a creative time, for all of us - and we’re all
getting on so well.”
Suite XVI is in the shops tomorrow. See the reviews in
Suite XVI UK Tour kicks off in Inverness on Tuesday. See
Friday 1st September 2006
Spectre of Love is the first
Suite XVI, released on 11th September in two
formats and two covers, courtesy of cover artist
Stranglers live DVD & CD news!
Monday 14th August 2006
Stage, On Screen…
The Burning Up Times hears exciting news of a new
Stranglers DVD, or two. ‘On Stage, On Screen’ features
both the electric and acoustic sets from last December's
Shepherds Bush Empire gig - plus the short film Norfolk Coast,
which premiered on the night, starring JJ in the lead role. The
DVD features one of the last performances with Paul Roberts. Go
New single The Spectre of Love is due out on EMI on
11th September and the album, Suite XVI on 18th
September. Meanwhile, Sony's compilation DVD, Definitive
Stranglers - originally due out this summer looks more like
an autumn release now, according to our source. We think they
need to ketchup! Sauce, geddit? I'm sure someone will relish
Hugh Cornwell’s live CD… or four!
A Hugh Cornwell live album hits the shops on Monday 25th
September. Entitled ‘Dirty Dozen’ it features solo tracks
as well Stranglers classics, taken from April 2005’s
triple-night residency at London’s Carling Academy. However, a
triple CD featuring a gargantuan 45-tracks from the Islington
residency is also available via the web. ‘People, Places &
Pieces’ can be pre-ordered here:
To coincide, Hugh embarks on a dozen-date UK tour, kicking
off at Brighton’s cosy Komedia on Wednesday 11th October and
ending at Kings Cross Scala on Thursday 26th October.
we hear Hugh’s Beyond Elysian Fields follow-up album is
written and waiting to be recorded, with its release set for
sometime next year along with a proposed American tour. Stay
tuned for a cool TV interview here:
News of a single - we call JJ for information
Thursday 20th July 2006
According to EMI's press manager, Dorothy Howe, promotional
copies of Suite XVI have been strictly limited to editors of
music magazines with long leading publishing dates ahead of the
album's September 25th release. The Burning Up Times can confirm
security is strict having been denied a copy ourselves.
But we weren't too upset..!
JJ had already kindly offered to play the entire album to the
BUT editors! Imagine that - JJ playing a new Stranglers album IN
YER FRONT ROOM!!! On a sultry Sunday afternoon two days after
the Bilston gig, we all met up in a West London boozer before
going back to devour Suite XVI. The album is their strongest for
years - a great progression from Norfolk Coast.
But then last Sunday, many other fans had a chance to hear a
teasing preview of the album's preceding single, the second
track: The Spectre of Love - was aired on Radio 2's Janice
Long's Show. And September 11th was announced as the release
Speaking to JJ tonight - following their successful Guilfest
appearance - we checked for confirmation: "So Spectre of Love is
the single, is it?" he asked, with genuine surprise [LOL] OK.
Great!" At which point, he went on to explain he was not
enthused with all the business end of record releases: "I can't
be doing with all of that - sometimes my eyes just glaze over in
these meetings. I mean - we're not a singles band, are we? I
couldn't sit down a write a hit single, could you?! I'm just
interested in writing and performing as a Strangler, that's
JJ talked briefly about the Guilfest appearance, mentioning
some technical problems with the sound. We told him of the
overwhelming post-gig feedback - and how it was the tightest
they'd played yet. JJ was very pleased.
The deep end…
The subject switched to the new bass guitar sound, and we
suggested it's not dissimilar to the treble-throbbing Black And
White era - just as jagged but a bit more rounded.
"Yes - it is. Although it's a different machine - it's a Shuker
signature, my very first custom bass. To think, after all these
years of playing a Fender Precision, I never had a signature
bass off 'em! But Shuker came along and modelled it on my old
green Fender, so the neck is virtually the same width. It feels
just right playing it. I can just hit a note and get it right
with this bass."
With reference to a well known music rag headline circa 78, we
put this to the bass-meister: "So, the twang's the thang, then
JJ Burnel Signature Shuker bass
Ashdown AL-MK500 Amp Head
Ashdown ABM 900 Amp Head
Ashdown 4x10 Cab
Ashdown 1x15 Cab
The Burning Up Times PDFSunday 16th July 2006
Issue two of The Burning Up Times has
been extremely well-received - according to you lot. In return, we would
like to say a very big thank you for the overwhelming stack of emails
congratulating us on the recent launch. Consensus says that it was well
worth the wait. Glad you like it – don’t forget it’s free to download
and to pass on – so spread the word! On a similar note, we’ve also
received readers’ requests for us to publish a glossy magazine-style
version. At first glance, the cost of printing and postage is rather
expensive, and any price tag we would have to attach would reflect these
costs. A bit dearer than the regular music monthlies, for example. So, a
reasonably cheap printing firm would be ideal. Are there any readers out
there working in the print industry..? If so, please get in touch with
us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively… retail park stationers do
a free comb-binding service. Staples, for example, do a 10mm plastic
comb binder (black or white), with an acetate front cover (clear or
smoke-effect), and a thick card rear cover (black or white) - all for as
little as £1.62 all in. Obviously, you will have to print off your own
copies first. But what looks really effective is, once you have printed
them, take a Stanley knife and a metal ruler, and trim to 2500mm x
2100mm. Just remember to count your fingers when you’re done, otherwise
all those afternoons in front of the set watching Blue Peter would have
been a waste! Bound with a black binder and clear front cover, I can say
they look really cool sitting on a desk.
I predict a riot! Issue 2 has landed! Tuesday
20th June 2006
The time is 20.06…
The date is 20.06.2006…
And it’s 26 years to the day of the Nice University riot… just one of
the incidents in the mighty Meninblack’s difficult 5th album. Here’s our
riotous 2nd PDF - enjoy! DOWNLOAD
Wednesday 14th June 2006
JJ has called The Burning Up
Times to clarify points that have arisen from Stranglers
forums in the debate about Paul's departure from the band. "Someone
has got the wrong end of stick..." he says... as your editor reached
over to his desk to check his life insurance policy, JJ put the
record straight, and not for the first time recently. "I never
thought it was a mistake becoming a five piece. That's how it was at
the time, and that's how it developed and I was very pleased with
the way it went. It was great. But now we are back to being a four
piece, and that feels great too..." Enough said.
Paul Roberts quits The Stranglers
Monday 5th June 2006
are true – Paul Roberts has left The Stranglers. Many fans spotted a
clue when he answered one particular question in our
Online chat with Paul Roberts
back in April…
If Soulsec takes off, can you see putting The
Stranglers on a back burner for a while?
questions received fulsome answers, whereas Stranglers ones lacked any
substance… Once the decision was made, all 5 Stranglers agreed to wait
until after Saturday night’s sold out gig where they walked on for the
first time in 16 years as a 4 piece. The crowd were shocked – but will
they carry on? JJ talks exclusively to The Burning Up Times…
JJ Burnel contacts The Burning Up Times –
and gives Stranglers fans a shock exclusive in the process
Coup de grace
AUL WAS becoming a little distanced. More
semi-detached... and we didn’t want to go through the motions –
not now.” JJ Burnel was forthright as he hatched news of a major
change within the ranks of The Stranglers - confirming rumours
circulating websites over the last 24 hours: PAUL TO QUIT - PAUL
ROBERTS IS NO LONGER A STRANGLER. “Yes, we’re carrying on
as a 4 piece – the classic line-up.” He adds.
Driving from Charlton Farm Studio to the
Barbican Centre in London to conduct his regular Thursday
evening karate class, JJ had to get this news off his chest –
and I quickly grabbed the nearest pencil and proceeded to fill
up a pack of Post-It labels.
“With Paul gone, there are no hard feelings, not like when Hugh
left. It’s by mutual agreement – totally amicable, as far
as I’m concerned. Why did he leave? Paul had other things in the
way of commitment, like Soulsec, and his Santana tribute band.
He was obviously frustrated within The Stranglers, and now he
can pursue his ambitions. Also, none of his songs were accepted
for the new album… I mean, we all put our songs in the melting
pot, we always have done, to work on them, but it wasn’t
happening with his. There was a lack of commitment. This
all came to a head three weeks ago, but we’ve kept it quiet
until now. It also left us with a dilemma...”
The next album…
An album of material is already in the can, with Paul on vocal
duties. Now minus their front man - Jet, Dave, Baz and JJ had to
make a decision, fast:
“Over these last few weeks, we have been back in the studio
re-recording the vocals on each track. Fortunately Baz has a
great voice - and my voice is moderate, shall we say. Will there
be a Dave song? No – not until there’s one that’s right for him.
Out of the 11 songs on tape, I sing 4 or 5, and Baz sings the
rest. And this is amazing - there are also a couple of tracks
where both Baz and I sing together – joint vocals - something
that hasn’t happened since It Only Takes Two To Tango
from La Folie.
The album comes out in September. It’s called ‘Suite XVI’ as in
Sweet 16... We’ve just finished listening to the playback at the
Farm and it’s even better than Norfolk Coast.
I’m really pleased with it. For the last 30 years, I’ve been
searching for that one album I could be 100% proud of – and I
think in that time we’ve come close here and there – but this, I
feel is the real thing. Yeah, I know I said it’s
before - some of it is. I was referring to the guitar more than
anything. But it’s fucking heavy as well – the heaviest we’ve
come up with – and poppy.
It’s everything a Stranglers album should be: seriously melodic, full of
weirdness, nuttiness… surf guitar, and great keyboards and
synthesizers. Dave is more focused than ever, he really is. And
our obsession with ‘black’ is in there; I said before about the
song about the Black Death, called Bless You. I’ve been
playing this album back more than any other, non-stop. I know
Jet has as well, and Sil; they’re all really pleased with it.
Is there a potential single on it? [LOL] There are about 5
actually – it’s embarrassing! There are also 6 or 7 minute songs
– and some great instrumental stuff. There’s a slow number on
it, and then there’s a wacky one – I Hate You, which
we’ve done in a Country & Western-style pastiche. The way the
band play it is so funny. There’s another called Soldier’s
Diary – it’s probably the fastest song we’ve ever played.
Shut Up - it’s about 217 beats per minute – you know, it’s
just on the limit for Jet to play. Actually, there are a couple
of really fast ones in it – and his drumming is brilliant. I
don’t know what Jet is taking, but…”
“We are well-rehearsed for this – although we’ve made a few
mistakes getting it right! Without Paul, Dave has had to come up
with a lot more backing vocals. I’ll be singing all the songs I
used to, like Burning Up Time, The Raven, Dagenham Dave…
Death & Night & Blood and Never To Look Back. We’ve
rehearsed 25 in all for these summer gigs. We plan to expand the
repertoire as the weeks progress. But Norfolk Coast is
not in the set at the moment. If it comes back – I will probably
sing it, after all, I sang it before, didn’t I?
The next gig is Weston-Super-Mare in two days time. It’s a new,
family-orientated festival in the southwest. The plan is to walk
on at 10.30 and do The Raven as the opening number, with
me singing. No one would necessarily guess… that is until we go
into the next song – Big Thing Coming – without Paul. We
wanted it to be a surprise, you see, all 5 of us agreed to keep
schtum about it until the day after the gig. But somewhere along
the line news leaked out. Anyway, Weston on Saturday will be our
debut as the new 4 piece. I’m really looking forward to it… and
I don’t think Paul leaving will affect the fan base at all.”
The next step…
“We’ll carry on like this. Sony are releasing a Greatest Hits CD
(as The Burning Up Times exclusively revealed back in
February) and I believe Big Thing Coming is on it
too. Sony asked us to promote it. At first I said I don’t want
anything to do with it – you know, another Greatest Hits… unless
I can talk about Suite XVI in the interviews they’ve lined up,
and they agreed. It comes out this month - for Fathers’ Day.
In September, EMI are releasing Suite XVI – that’s all signed,
Paul’s leaving doesn’t affect that. For the first time we’ve got
USA record company interest too with this one. We look and sound
great! Do I think there’ll ever be another Stranglers album
after this? I dunno – I’ve been wondering that to myself since
the 10 album! Actually, I think there is another album inside
me. And I suspect one in Baz too.”
SO, THERE it is. The first cabinet reshuffle since Baz replaced
John Ellis in 2000 on guitar, and grimace duties. Many fans have
only just got over unfounded rumblings of Jet’s departure
through ill-health, subsequently quelled by JJ on these very
pages. In spite of this latest upheaval, the 2006 album looks
like a tantalising new trajectory: heaviest… poppiest… fastest…
jinglier and janglier, to add to the adjectives. But
amazingly, this year also sees The Stranglers reach the ripe old
age of 32 years - on 11th September. Suite XVI will be their
16th studio album. I put it to JJ it is almost 16 years since
Paul took over the mic following Hugh’s departure in 1990 – who
was, by some strange quirk, also in the band for 16 years. JJ
was taken aback:
“Wow – that’s a coincidence! I hadn’t realised that! It
just gets stranger and stranger, doesn’t it?”
We ended the conversation mulling over the relevance of
September dates that could make a great launch of the new magnum
“When was Battersea? The 16th? Like Suite XVI… that’s
interesting. What about September 11th? Now that’s
Paul Roberts, ex-singer of The Stranglers
N THE wake of Hugh’s departure in 1990, Paul Roberts, together with
guitarist John Ellis, changed the dynamic of The Stranglers.
Paul is a
mic-swinging, air-punching, shirt-ripping front man, bursting with
energy and humour. He gave the band a welcome kick up the backside. Mk
II albums, however, failed to fully harness their true musical
potential, and Paul detractors were never far away with their Hugh
comparisons. When Baz took over on guitar, Mk III enjoyed a powerful
revival of fortunes with 2004’s Norfolk Coast album: songs were more
crafted and catchy – even spawning the unimaginable – a Top 40 hit, with
Big Thing Coming. It is with this collection of songs on Norfolk
Coast that many fans agree - including JJ himself - that Paul finally
found his voice.
be missed by many Stranglers fans, for his exuberant energy and humour…
I wish him all the very best of luck for the future.
photo: Hunstanton, courtesy of EMI Records.
Stranglers fan, Gaz Cook, dies aged 41
Saturday 3rd June 2006
It is with
deep regret we report the death of Gaz Cook from Barrow-in-Furness,
Cumbria. Our thoughts are with his family. Gaz kindly contributed to
both issues of Burning Up Times. He also regularly posted on Burning Up
Time MiB Forums, where his knowledgeable posts were eagerly read. He was
one of us – a real Stranglers obsessive: he once sent me a CD once with
his own versions of Stranglers classics, which he recorded completely on
his own. Gaz uploaded his clever cover versions here:
big thing coming your way! Second Coming, issue two of The Burning Up
Times’ PDF will be available free to download right here on
20.06.2006… 26 years to the day The Stranglers played their
“riotous” gig at Nice University. We predict a riot when you read all
about it! It’s big, by the way!
Teasing JJ: New album in sight as we get a sneak preview
Tuesday 2nd May 2006
Listen up! The Burning Up Times
has been lucky enough to get a sneak preview of one of the new
tracks the Stranglers have laid down for the new album. “Bless You”
ostensibly deals with the Black Death, “but it’s deeper than that
when you dig down” says a chipper JJ, meeting to discuss Meninblack
for the second issue of the PDF at a public West London location.
Scoffing the rumours of Jet’s demise as bollocks created by “some
wankers out there with an agenda” he once again refers to Jet’s
stellar skin work. The song is over five minutes long and is a great
piece of work.
The early gentle acoustic riffs, reminiscent of “House of the Rising
Sun” give way to the kind of bass breaks and keyboard work last
heard on JJ and Dave’s Fire and Water, the song “Consequences”
springs to mind. Paul’s vocals form a solid rock around which the
band seem to have some fun, breaking off this way and that, Baz
turns in some heavy guitar licks all of a sudden, and all the while
a gentle Hammond sound from Dave and some Feline harmonies and
delicate backing vocals give this song a schizophrenic twist. Not
high on tempo, and certainly not as sluggish as “Tucker’s Grave”,
this track is like a “Don’t Bring Harry” meets “Always The Sun”
mutation... with some mental bits in it. Oh, and Jet’s drum playing
-- and for this listener more importantly, the drum sound – is,
indeed, worthy of the fanfare that’s preceding this album. We could
be in for a treat. Track 10 is being laid down this week…
Wednesday 19th April 2006
we catch up with Hugh at the end of his Song By Song tour and there’s a
review from the organiser of the successful Glasgow charity bash on Good
Friday featuring JJ and Baz.
But first, Paul Roberts gets in touch with The
Burning Up Times...
Online chat with Paul Roberts
So Desert Soul is the new Soulsec single - what’s
it about, Paul?
Hello Gazzle. How are you?? OK. Power… destruction…
and deception. It also represents people everywhere who struggle to
get on with their lives despite the demands and shit they have to
deal with when they believe they are doing the right thing.
Did you write it?
Yes I did. I also recorded and mixed it... (Paul’s
friend and producer Cenzo Townsend was going to mix it, but their
diaries clashed) and I played as much as I had to on it! And I made
a lot of tea!
Do you write all Soulsec songs?
Yes – and the others in the band are welcome to add
to what I bring in. I work with guitarist Brad mostly.
do you use to write?
Erm… head, words, guitar, piano! Quite standard
really, but mostly wherever the vibe comes from.
How would you describe the Soulsec sound – does it
differ from The Stranglers much?
Well, that’s up to you and the fans to describe. We
cover any genre we like and all the guys in the band are
exceptionally good musicians – but all work must have good lyrics!
Was Desert Soul almost a Stranglers song?
Well, it was put forward…
Is it available in the shops?
Only here at the moment:
www.soulsec.com but we are also
waiting for a company in England to take it on, with interest also
from a major German publisher.
Are Soulsec playing live in 2006?
No idea at the moment although we have been invited
to play at the Beautiful Days Festival – but that’s next year! So
we’ll have plenty of time to rehearse for that!!! We also have a
major agent in Brussels now.
You used to play Stranglers songs at Soulsec gigs, like Face. Do you
still do that?
If Soulsec takes off, can you see putting The
Stranglers on a back burner for a while?
JJ tells us you have more discipline in your voice on Norfolk Coast.
Has your technique changed, do you think?
You really expect me to answer this?? I am a singer
and have been for a long time – many different things require
different approaches… when you become a singer you will learn this…
How’s the new Stranglers material coming along – you played some to
EMI didn’t you?
Yes, about 5 or 6 songs. They are pretty similar to
Norfolk Coast, and we already have a producer for the album.
JJ mentioned a new track with some great drumming by Jet – what’s
Dunno what track that is! But Jet is actually
ferreting away as we speak!
Have you written any new songs for it?
Yes I have. I’ve had a lot of input into the others
Where’s the best Stranglers audience?
What songs would you like to see in the live set?
Some ’91 to ’99 stuff would be nice!
You’ve been in the band as long as Hugh – how did you do it?
I don’t know – I just get on with it…
What’s best about being a Strangler?
That’s a Jackie question! No comment! Ha ha…
Desert Soul. Gary’s review
impressive pub gig at Walthamstow’s Plough Inn had my appetite well
and truly wetted. But that was over a year ago, and thankfully the
debut single has just arrived through the letter box; expectantly, I
sat back and press play. Chopper rotors whoosh – soundtrack samples
abound and ethereal key pads lead to a loopy-loop synth -
subliminally hooking your mind and soul like a crossbreed of Norfolk
Coast meets the KLF’s 3am Eternal. Rock power chord quads not unlike
a Nik Kershaw hit pack a punch, with a neat Sinister-like key shift
in the bridge before going back to the catchy, commercial chorus;
the place where Paul’s voice has the space, flowing anodyne and
melodic – as does the acoustic alternative that follows, making it
hard to choose between the two, while the latter allows for vocal
timbre, both versions are impressive and worthy.
Norfolk Coast film news and JJ gig: gig cancelled!
Friday 24th March 2006
Monday 27th March at the Norwich Playhouse, Norfolk,
there will be a screening of Norfolk Coast, which stars JJ Burnel.
It starts at 6.30pm, and features a Q&A with cast and crew… JJ
Burnel was originally advertised as attending and performing an
acoustic gig afterwards. This appearance has now been cancelled,
although the screening of the film and Q&A should not be affected.
Deals on wheels: EMI hear the new stuff
Thursday 16th March 2006
Another exclusive! The Stranglers played their new album to EMI Records
today. “We’ll probably play half of it,” said JJ Burnel, on the eve of
the meeting with the money men.
Hard at work and with numerous tracks in the can, the band are happy
with what they’ve got. At least seven numbers are finished, and they
feature a lot of synth work from Mr. Greenfield. JJ expanded on the
“jingly jangly” aspect of the new material: “It’s kind of like on
Sleazy and Nubiles,” revealed a busy JJ on the style of
Dave’s keys, “and we’ve got versions of the tracks with the synths, and
versions without… We’re still deciding between the two.”
Let’s hope the suits at EMI approve - and let’s hope they appreciate Jet
Black. According to JJ: “Jet’s drumming is amazing. Better than ever.”
The band have also accepted a number of festival appearances this
summer, and they expect the album will be out in the autumn.
Monday 13th March 2006
In a few days, strangled.co.uk will be six months old. We’d like to
thank everyone for all the kind words and support received in that time.
New people from all over the world are finding us, which is exciting.
The recent revamp went down well, especially the inclusion of the JJ
(everyone found the Rat Zone yet?) …but the occasional news and
gossip gets most of the praise. So thank you - and if anyone has any
Stranglers news worthy of inclusion, (or any ideas for improving the
site), email us:
Issue two of The Burning Up Times has taken longer than first
imagined. A certain Mr. Spooner asked us back in December when it’s
coming out, and he got a: “Fuck knows!” In an attempt to be a little
more chronologically specific – for Mr. Spooner’s sake: well… you know
how it reads ‘coming soon’ on the home page, now it really is. Even
though we can’t give you a fixed date yet! But it will be worth waiting
for (yeah – heard that before too blah blah!)
An ‘editorial’ this Friday will nail down what we’ve got for this issue.
It shouldn’t take much longer after that. For those who have been in a
bunker for the past six months, issue two is all about The Meninblack.
It’s called Second Coming. Watch this space
While the band are down at the Farm working on the next opus, summer
gigs are being confirmed and appear in
NEW LIVE CD: Coast To Coast live CD is in the shops
and features a selection of tracks from the Norfolk Coast tour of 2004.
NEW DVD: The Definitive Stranglers DVD is due out this summer. Not 100%
sure if that will be the final title. Word is performance videos will
replace ‘dodgy’ promo clips (perhaps Heroes, Sleazy, Walk On By).
Also, promos for Heaven Or Hell, Golden Boy and Big Thing Coming are
mooted for inclusion, which will please MkII and MkIII fans. When we
hear more, we’ll stick it on here.
NEW GREATEST HITS CD: Yes, another! Due out this summer, there will be
a major TV ad campaign to tie in with the DVD.
Stranglers DVD: update
Saturday 25th February 2006
Remember the video The Stranglers did for Get A
Grip On Yourself – onstage at the famous Hope And Anchor?
Thanks to one of our informed readers, The Burning Up Times can
reveal that another Rattus track was filmed for posterity that day in
1977 at the Islington boozer. Footage of Hanging Around has been
unearthed ready for the ‘definitive DVD’ package, in effect replacing
the 1978 Battersea Park version currently in our collections.
Stranglers DVD and Greatest Hits package for 2006
Sunday 19th February 2006
There is a big thing coming… We can
reveal major talk behind the scenes of a new Stranglers DVD planned
for a summer release. We can’t say much more at this stage, apart
from the fact that this project looks big…. Having seen the mooted
track listing, there is a lot to choose from, but it will hopefully
feature some rare footage, both Stranglers and solo - bringing fans
right up to date with Stranglers post-Hugh promos. You might recall
Burning Up Times interviews with Hugh and JJ when they
referred to the binned promo for Nice ‘N’ Sleazy? Well, there might
be a slim chance of such an inclusion. We are also hopeful the real
video to Walk On By is picked, as previously discussed here:
We are told
this will tie in with a Greatest Hits CD, with TV promotion too. So,
roll on the summer! If we hear more, it will be here!
Tuesday 31st January 2006
The latest from JJ Burnel is… the band have now got half a dozen
tracks in the can. All we can say is that he hopes the new album
will be finished by the end of April with a late September release.
He also revealed that they plan to have a video for a forthcoming
single animated Manga style by the brains behind the Gankutsuou TV series…
who just happens to be a mad Stranglers fan….! But talks are at an
early stage, so watch this space…
Live DVD Update... and more!
Friday 20th January 2006
The band are back in the studio and
already new tracks are laid down. There's some great news about the live
DVD plus loads more...
Stranglers Shepherds Bush Empire DVD
Saturday 3rd December 2005
night’s Shepherds Bush Empire gig was recorded for DVD release in 2006.
The Norfolk Coast film, aired between the acoustic and electric sets
will also be included in the package. Keep watching the site for news.
for Gary and Dom’s gig reviews.
Burning Up Times issue 2: work in progress
Saturday 3rd December 2005
Issue two, Second Coming - all about the Meninblack -
has already kicked off…in more ways than one. But it will be
worth the wait! Interviews have been nailed, or some cases, arranged –
but articles are still coming in. So potential contributors - it’s not
too late yet. The deadline has been extended until we’re ready to
publish. But we’ll let you know more, when we know it. You could say:
we’re Waiting for the Meninblack.
Stranglers tracks: work in progress,
Saturday 3rd December 2005
among fans and forums say The Stranglers have been filtering out most of
the new material towards the direction of the waste bin. It just goes to
prove what a job it is following up Norfolk Coast. Fingers
crossed, the band get another set of tunes in 2006 that will once more,
blow us away.
Burning Up Times issue one: thank you!
Wednesday 28th September 2005
Right from the issue
one’s launch on Friday 16th September, the response has been
incredible. Thank you to everyone who contacted us with congratulations
and support. We won’t let it go to our heads… much! Besides, there’s
more important stuff to do: we need contributors for issue two: Second
Coming. Meninblack. Come on!
For Londoners lucky enough
to catch the band live in 1978, the irony of our inaugural issue’s
launch date was not wasted: it was 27 years to the day since the
Battersea Park gig!
Word from JJ Burnel
Wednesday 28th September 2005
happily announced the band have just nailed down the studio version of
Something Out Of Nothing, a track that UK gig-goers would have
caught already. Or Sommat Outta Nowt, as Jet has christened it.
Meanwhile, editing is being carried out on the NORFOLK COAST film in
time for December’s Shepherds Bush Empire showing on Friday 2nd
Coast – The Movie! Exclusive…
Saturday 17th September 2005
another exclusive! An email from JJ Burnel reveals that we’re in for a
special surprise on Friday 2nd December. Before the band hit
the stage at the Shepherds Bush Empire, there will be a showing of the
new short film, NORFOLK COAST, which stars Susannah York, Nicholas Ball,
Lindsey Baxter and, of course, JJ Burnel. So far, it has only been seen
at the BAFTAS - so JJ is delighted at such a coup. Will hotdogs be on
sale in the foyer in the interval, we wonder? Stay tuned!
Burning Up Times is here!
Stranglers site –
one of The Burning Up Times!
Friday 16th September 2005
Good afternoon and welcome to issue one: In The Shadows - where all
things relating to the Black And White album are explored within
the 42 pages of the free PDF. Exclusive interviews with JJ Burnel and
Hugh Cornwell, and exclusive photos of the band onstage, and backstage
in 1978. Happy reading!
Thank you for your support, past, present and future from all of us:
Gary Kent; Production editor: Dominic Pilgrim; Web
Gary Kent; Webmaster: Ian Keiller