New wave, punk band, The Stranglers headed over to Brxiton’s O2 Academy Saturday 24th March to play a headline show, with support from Northern-Irish rock band, Therapy.
The audience at the beginning of the evening started off slightly diverse with a demographic of 20-30 year olds all casually throwing a devil sign or two at the support act. Therapy brought a strong force of energy onto stage, bassist Michael McKeegan plucked some militant tabs, as he waved his bass guitar on stage.
There was no doubt the band embodied charisma that night, but there was something about their performance that at times seemed like just a thrash of noise, at some points the vocals of frontman Andy Cairns were murmured and hard to distinguish. It appeared at some points they may have had technical difficulties with feedback bouncing off of their amplifiers and mics.
Despite their difficulties, Therapy were on a mission to perform a noisy and hazardous gig. Halfway through their show, Lead singer, Andy Cairns bellows, “Brixton it’s Saturday night, are we gonna make some fucking noise?” before lashing out a few power chords on his guitar.
At 9pm Therapy were off, the academy lights had dimmed out and red lasers were beaming across the stage. A photo of The Stanglers tour picture was displayed on the backdrop as they all slowly walked onto stage. Their stage setup for the evening consisted of having backdrops that correlated to each song they played, followed by bright beams of lights.
1977 track, ‘Get A Grip On Yourself’ was driven by over-looping synth chords pressed dramatically by Dave Greenfield on keys, and the crowd absolutely loved it. By this point, The Stranglers were really starting to get into their gig, the academy was starting to fill up with what seemed to be an audience of 30+ year-olds. It was as though the crowd were reliving a time in their life, and you could see by the pure excitement beaming off of their faces.
‘Bear Cage,’ was the next track and was one of their best tracks they performed that night, entering with hard thuds on the drums and heavy thrashes of the guitar, it’s fair to say that, ‘Bear Cage,’ went down a treat, there were a mix of foot tapping and fist pumps from the audience.
A few songs later and the backdrop had changed to a display of four peaches, but it wasn’t until bassist JJ Burnel (Jean-Jacques) plucked the first riff of, ‘Peaches,’ that the crowd cheered. ‘Peaches,’ is taken from the bands debut studio album, Rattus Norvegicus and dabbles in jagged synth patterns and spoken word lyrics. The Stranglers really empowered this song, their performance was the epitome of authentic, punk rock, funk, and reggae all merged together.
Surprisingly, ‘Golden Brown,’ was played around the midpoint of their show, with a small disco ball reflecting multicoloured lights around the room. ‘Golden Brown,’ was mellow, and had smooth, interchangeable percussion’s throughout.
‘Walk on By’ was a more upbeat track following ‘Golden Brown,’ and was by far one of the longest tracks they played of the evening. The instrumental was amazing, almost indescribable, and kept exceeding in technical riff patterns and fresh key work.
“Absolutely fucking marvellous, thank you ever so much,” says Baz Warne, as he ended the night with an encore of their track ‘Go Buddy Go.’