Rockers young and old came together at Liverpool's O2 Academy venue to enjoy a memorable performance from one of the UK's finest ambassadors of punk rock, The Stranglers. Our very own man in black Rich Denton joined the hustle at the front
With a combined age of almost a quarter of a millenium you would quite reasonably expect the men in black to give a foot off the gas performance, which just meandered through the hits before collecting another pay cheque on the way out. But this juggernaught is now driven by the youngblood Mackem frontman Baz Warne who leads the way for the band to deliver an ear bursting set featuring punk classics such as Peaches, (Get a) Grip (on yourself) and Something Better Change.
Baz joined the band in 2000 after borrowing the train fare from a mate in Sunderland to make his London audition and he's never looked back as the Stranglers have enjoyed a renaissance over the past few years playing larger venues and increasing the younger fanbase with every tour. And it's no surprise as many of their songs have clearly stood the test of time and are still relevant in today's tough times.
Bass player JJ Burnell bounced onto the stage and was clearly enjoying himself. This guy didn't have a tough paper round, I'd be surprised if he even cycled past the newsagents as his youthful energy would put many to shame. There were unusual smiles all round with keyboard player Dave Greenfield looking like some sort of deranged Cheshire Cat as he screeched the solos from the banks of electronics while drummer Jet Black now in his 70s avoided the limelight tucked away in the corner of the stage.
As this tour wasn't promoting an album, it gave the band a chance to relax and enjoy whilst picking some lesser known tracks to compliment the staple mainstays of 'Golden Brown', 'Always the Sun' and set closer 'No More Heroes'. There was also a fantastic cover of The Kinks 'All Day & All of the Night' in the encore.
As he left the stage Baz reminded us that they would be back again next year and based on this performance and if the grim reaper keeps his distance they will be back many more times in the future. 5/5www.liverpool-live.info