The Stranglers at Top Rank, Brighton, 24th May 1977

“We shall fight on the peaches . . . ” Five days after this gig Jean Jacques Burnel leapt to the rescue of a fan being beaten up in a backstreet by celebrating Canterbury students screaming for the demise of punk. Queen fans.

And at nearly every show, girls (and boys) are plucked out of the front with the breath screwed out of them.

The Stranglers have broken all the rules – and rule breaking is what it’s all about, just ask the kids that rate the band as the best in the country. There’s plenty of them about.

Right, so what did we get last week at Top Rank. That’s stained carpets skirting a Pledge polish floor. Chocolate bars with beer taps. Bernie the Bolt bouncers and Marks ans Sparks fashion parades.

Don’t knock it. They’ve always served a purpose, probably more so in the boot through the glass door days of the sixties when Desmond Dekker compared West Indian plights to those of the early Israelites.

Now it’s the turn of The Stranglers to compare British kids’ plights to those of well, other British kids.

Their music is immaculate, luxurious even. Arrangements severe enough to hurt / court fevered brows.

Mr lascivious legs Hugh Cornwell wraps his broken bottle larynx around ‘Sometimes’ straight away. ‘I Feel Like A Wog’ “about victimisation in this country”, ‘Dagenham Dave’. “about a friend of ours who committed suicide in London”, ‘Peasant In The Big Shitty’ / ‘Family Favourites’, “for all the school children everywhere”. ‘Peaches’, “aehhhhhhh”, ‘No More Heroes’, “there ain’t no more heroes and you should be your own anyway”, ‘Hanging Around’, ‘London Lady’, with Jean’s controlled rabid voice, ‘Down In The Sewer’.

Encore. ‘Something Better Change’, ‘Go Buddy Go’ with Jimmy Page Cornwell antics.

Encore. ‘Ugly’.

And then someone nicked the DJ’s records

(Record Mirror, June 1977)

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