THE STRANGLERS, THE REZILLOS, G Live, Guildford

THE STRANGLERS, THE REZILLOS Thursday 5th March 2015 at G Live Guildford

I caught the Stranglers on their Ruby tour at Reading’s Sub89 and I’ve got to say that was a very special gig. An intimate venue, with a crystal clear sound and a set list I could have written myself that was one great night. So no pressure tonight then!

A long time ago Guildford was home territory to the Stranglers. The affluent home county town seems a long way from a punk rock homeland but the cavernous hall of the G-Live venue is already filling up as the Rezillo’s hit the stage. I’ve never seen them before but love their presence right from the start. As expected from their song titles such as “Flying Saucer Attack” they are a little bit zany both in dress sense and musically. I’m surprised at how many I knew – not only their big hit “Top Of The Pops” but “Destination Venus” sounds fresh too with a fuller, more driven sound than on the record. Enjoyable and fun they have more than enough to headline themselves but they just don’t have the fan base right now for a venue as big as this.

The Rezillos don’t take themselves too seriously

The Stranglers come out oozing with confidence. They have a vast back catalogue to plunder from and most of my favourites are the more upbeat numbers. And while they played a few of these for me there were some real omissions here. Maybe its because the crowd at Guildford seem very mellow and the Stranglers have played here before they’ve chosen a more sedate set (there are people here in blazers and navy blue jumpers with shirts on underneath)! There’s no ‘Tank’, no ‘5 Minutes’ and no ‘Norfolk Coast’ but we do get Golden Brown which with a few other numbers sees the welcome return of Jet Black behind the kit. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great gig but something was missing tonight. The audience only really started moving when ‘Duchess’ was played and only looked threatened by the band when the bass during ‘Lost Control’ reached the level where you could feel your clothes vibrating. I’ll definitely be going to see the Stranglers again but maybe next time I’ll be choosing the venue more carefully. A point summed up neatly by the person next to me in the car park ticket machine queue on the way out. “Last time I saw this lot I bunked the train to get to the venue, tonight I’ve nearly been knocked down by a fan in a Jag”….

 The current Stranglers line up

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