Friday, 6 November 2015

Go Buddy Go

Today's Bandfriday we have my favourite band of the '70s...The Stranglers.  More punk rock than punk and for a few years they had a string of hits, including Go Buddy Go, No More Heroes, the iconic Peaches and later the more melodic Golden Brown.

The first proper band I saw live, at what was then the New University of Ulster.  Thanks to The Brother for this set of snaps...and as usual he was on top form.

Jean-Jacques Burnel on Bass
JJB was my man - ultra cool, black-belt (7th dan) in Karate, keen on Triumph motorcycles...what wasn't to like?  Combined with a unique bass sound, due to doing something a bit special with his Fender guitar, strings and ripping the speaker cones in his amplifiers to create a distorted sound.   And to cap it all, he even dated Kate Bush for a while.  Kate Bush!! I loved it all.

Hugh Cornwall was the lead guitarist and sang lead on most tracks.

Hugh Cornwall
Nice to see Hugh and his guitar dressing up for the occasion...

The stage, 1977
Clearly it was all too much for the guy on the right, who looks like he's about to pass out...

A couple of years later they came to Portrush.  The support act was The Undertones and this was one of the rare occasions I didn't carry a camera with me, probably since I was too excited about the Whole Thing.  Fortunately The Brother did bring one, and being well-connected, he got back stage.  I mean, The Stranglers were my band, not his.  It just wasn't fair!

Dark, smoldering looks of JJB
I like the iron on the side table - I mean, that was necessary for The Stranglers, right?  At least JJB was studying the set list on his knee - Hugh clearly brought his gf along for company and was watching TV:

Dave Greenfield, the nimble-fingered keyboard player, was keeping his vocal chords lubricated just in case, with a tin of what is probably the best lager in the world...

If you look closely (and it helps if you rotate your monitor), you can make out the words on the brown paper package behind...Alan Simpson (our resident DJ/MC), Portrush Arcadia and then 'Stranglers')...probably containing a long list of 'must-haves' for the group, like an iron.

Jet Black (Ed: seriously?), the senior member of the group and the drummer, was just chillin'...

Here's Dave Greenfield on stage - set list clearly visible stuck to his mixing deck:

Unfortunately the list is difficult to make out, but I can just about make out that they finished with 'Grip' (Get a grip on yourself), Straighten (Out), Buddy (Go Buddy Go) and Ringer (Dead Ringer).

I remember that night clearly.  I was, as usual, near the front, soaking it all up while The Brother stayed in the wings - which turned out to be a Good Move.  JJB had, as usual, taken his shirt off:

Some guy in the crowd continued to spit at them, which had been the norm for hard-core punk outfits but Hugh had already told him off more than once.  Next thing, JJB threw off his guitar and launched himself at the serial offender - who at the time was a little closer to me than I would have liked.  A short tussle ensued.  Chaos for a minute or two.  I got a blow to the head - nothing serious.  Then the offender was escorted off and the band got back on stage and continued as if nothing had happened.  What a band!  What a night!  And of course now JJB was elevated to a deity in the eyes of a certain 15 year-old...

1 comment:

  1. Uh... thought I commented on these awesome bandfriday snaps before I went on homewards from the ship a few days ago. Obviously not, but I really intended to! A great set they are for sure, and I just love the B&W's... as you may thought I would :) That nicely beat-up Telecaster totally looks like my kind of wood, but would not have said no should someone try to persuade me to take that lovely Fender bass either!
    And sure, we know this band! Not like I've ever seen them live, or anything, but I have surely listened to their music back in the days! No More Heroes, and Peaches... great memories!! :))
    Great story as well! A couple of minutes of chaos... that made for some great stories at school the next day I would guess?!
    Thanks a lot for a brilliant post Michael.