• Amy

LIVE REVIEW: The Stranglers @ The Nick Raynes LCR UEA, Norwich

February 1st 2022.

The Final Full Tour 2022 - In Memory Of Dave with support from Ruts DC

Standing in The Stranglers gig was a very surreal feeling. For the first time in all my gig going years I was at a gig on a university campus and at 37 I was probably considerably younger than the average age of most of the crowd. Maybe I should have expected this given the band formed long before I was born but I still thought I’d see a considerable amount of students who had just gone for “something to do” so I was quite surprised!

Moving on to the gig. I’ll admit I’d not heard of support band Ruts DC until I had a quick google on my way into Norwich. This sneaky search revealed they were the 3 remaining members of The Ruts. A reggae influenced punk rock band from the 70's. Continuing on after lead singer Malcolm Owen tragically died from a heroin overdose in 1980. I had vaguely heard of The Ruts but was unfamiliar with their music so ultimately didn’t know what to expect.

Well it’s safe to say I was pleasantly surprised, they were great fun and I enjoyed every moment. I didn’t know a single word to any of the songs yet I still managed to dance (well the classic gig dance of shifting weight from one foot to the other like you need the toilet, you know how it is!) throughout the entire set. The band were full of charisma, there’s something heartwarming about an ageing rocker with lots of erm, shall we say London charm! If you get the chance or see Ruts DC I highly recommend it even if they’re not your thing recorded I almost guarantee you’ll enjoy them live!

I’m not sure I was fully prepared for The Stranglers. They played one of the longest sets I think I’ve ever seen a band play. An epic 26 songs spread over about 2 hours with no break apart from obligatory ones between their two encores! I bet bands much younger couldn't manage to perform for all that time, and to be honest I didn't manage to last the whole set without needing comfort break!

I have to admit watching the Stranglers, and getting 5 or 6 songs in I realised that even though they’re a band I’d always known and seemed to have always just been there, in reality I knew almost nothing about them, not a single word to a single song I’d heard thus far. I was quite disappointed about this because as much as I was enjoying myself and the music I felt I was missing out on the full experience by not being able to sing along like most of the crowd around me. It wasn’t until Golden Brown (the most obvious song) that my vocal cords finally got a workout, I even moved from standing on the steps to squeeze myself fairly near the front! The band continued song after song, each delivered with class, style and professionalism, it was obvious they'd been in the industry a long time and had got their live performances down to a fine art!

Still having only known one song, I recognised the opening notes to a familar song! My Life Story by the Duchess, or so I thought. I had no idea this was actually a original Stranglers song. Safe to say it was the first song I was word perfect on so I took full advantage and I sang my heart out!

A few more songs and the band finally left the stage, very little heckling from the crowd the die hard fans clearly knew they’d not heard the big hits yet. After a few minutes the band arrived back for a couple of acoustic tracks taking it in turns to performing lead vocals and then once again vacating the stage. A few minutes later they returned to play their final two songs, not even 10pm it was time to go home.

To summarise I thoroughly enjoyed this gig but regretted not doing my homework beforehand. I feel slightly ashamed that The Stranglers are a huge band whose career spans decades and the song I was most excited about was the one I knew because some obscure Britpop band had covered it back in about 97! I thoroughly enjoyed The Stranglers but regret not doing my homework to maximise the experience. Hopefully there’s a next time.

Set List:

  1. Toiler on the Sea

  2. Something Better Change

  3. Sometimes

  4. Water

  5. Skin Deep

  6. This Song Will Get Me Over You (Disciples of Spess cover)

  7. Nice 'n' Sleazy

  8. Don't Bring Harry

  9. Strange Little Girl

  10. Always the Sun

  11. Peaches

  12. Golden Brown

  13. The Last Men On The Moon

  14. Baroque Bordello

  15. White Stallion

  16. Curfew

  17. Relentless

  18. Nuclear Device (The Wizard of Aus)

  19. Walk On By (Burt Bacharach cover)

  20. Straighten Out

  21. Duchess

  22. Hanging Around


  1. The Lines

  2. And If You Should See Dave…

Encore 2:

  1. Go Buddy Go

  2. No More Heroes

Connect with The Stranglers:

Website Facebook Instagram Twitter

YouTube Spotify Apple Music

Connect with Ruts DC:

Website Facebook Instagram Twitter

Photos taken February 12th @ O2 Academy, Leeds by Scott Smith Photography.

Full Gallery HERE