The Stranglers – And If You Should See Dave…

13th May 2021 · 2020s, 2021, Music

I never thought I’d be waxing lyrical about The Stranglers 45 years after I first saw them, supporting Patti Smith at The Roundhouse.

I have to confess I stopped following their career after Golden Brown, satisfied that I didn’t need a waltz or a harpsichord in a gentle ballad about the pleasures of heroin.

So I haven’t heard a Stranglers record for 40-odd years though I did catch them at Benicassim a decade ago, where I was surprised to find them led by a burly bald bloke who sounded surprisingly like the absent Hugh Cornwell.

Well, now there are only two original members left – Jean-Jacques Burnel and Jet Black – after the sad recent demise of Dave Greenfield, who gave them their trademark sound of swirling keyboards. You would be forgiven for thinking they should call it a day.

Then I heard this achingly poignant tribute to Greenfield from a new album (featuring his final contributions) that will be their first in nine years – and presumably their last. While it doesn’t exactly take me back to the punk-era Stranglers of Peaches and No More Heroes, it’s really rather lovely.

And not just because it’s got a pretty girl driving a vintage Mustang around LA landmarks, with ghostly glimpses of Greenfield at the Whisky a Go Go (where they played in 1980) and the Regent Theatre (scene of his last gig).