An Interview with Al Roberts



THE MUMBLE – Good morning Mr Roberts, welcome to Mumble Towers… You are rapidly gaining a reputation as being the best guitarist in Edinburgh – can you tell us when you first picked up the instrument and why?

11745331_10153496613877743_2812081490757586343_n.jpgAL ROBERTS : Good morning Mumble Music… well, I’ve not had any lessons & don’t know how to read music. Technically I probably don’t know much at all, but I just feel it.

I have many influences that have shaped my playing from all sorts of genres but my main influence is Jimi Hendrix and I’ve spent a lot of time jamming along to his music. If even the tiniest bit of his magic has rubbed off on me then I’m a happy man!


THE MUMBLE –– Tinky’s vocalist is ‘Superstylin’ Mike Daniels. Are you incorporating any of the Groove Armada repertoire into your set

AL ROBERTS : Now we have Mike on board who’s been at the very top level with Groove Armada I feel it’s given the band a real boost. For me personally it’s given me motivation to practice even harder and sound the best I can as he’s obviously used to working with top quality musicians. He’s such a fun, easy going dude & has a real presence on stage. He really knows how to work an audience! Tinky Disco has always been full of fun characters… & aye, a cover of Superstylin is a work in progress – we’ve played it once at Studio 24 so far  – it always tickles me when he sings, ‘Sound of the Tinky Disco, we’re Superstylin.’

THE MUMBLE : So we hear you’re having a wee trip to see India – you’ve been there before :what’s the attraction and does India influence your music at all

10171894_10201582194859210_1586854336519718033_n.jpgAL ROBERTS : Well I love India for many reasons: the people, scenery, weather, beaches, history, wildlife, temples etc. But I think the main reason I love it is because there’s not many rules out there and also because it’s timeless. Last time I went I bought a bad ass Royal Enfield  motorbike and travelled from the south of india right up to the north. I’d never ridden a motorbike before so this was maybe a little crazy but man did I have a good time! After a few days practice in Goa I was ready to go see the rest of India. I so met many lovely people on my travels & saw some amazing sights.  I had to run from the police a few times because I had alcohol on me and was entering a place where alcohol was illegal. I even got hit by a truck in the deserts of Rajasthan which I was very lucky to survive.  I somehow just bounced off it and managed to keep the bike under control. It’s true what they say- India’s roads are DANGEROUS!!!


 THE MUMBLE : I read somewhere that Tinky Disco were formed in Goa – is this true:

12439256_1678931985688122_5032105115141346654_n.jpgAL ROBERTS : Not quite. I think Tinky Disco always had to come back to life at somepoint as the songs were just too good to go to waste. In effect the original band (Ben Davison on guitar, Paul Forrest on drums, Damo on vocals & myself on bass)split up when Damo left for India at the end of 2013 then I followed at the start of 2014. We played a couple of gigs in Goa using break beats and live guitar/vocals which went down a treat on the beaches. From there we decided to put the band back together when we all arrived back in the UK. Then Damo moved back to Lancashire for a year or so, but came back last Summer & we were all systems go. We didn’t have a full set list then so we’d play a couple of cover songs to fill up the set. Now that isn’t a problem as Damo has many great tunes. I contributed a couple myself but with the addition of MC Mike Daniels we now have great songs coming out our ears! It’s been difficult getting to get the band together for rehearsals due to jobs/family duties but slowly & surely we are getting there!


THE MUMBLE : Well hopefully, you’ll make it back safe & sound for the Summer. What are Tinky’s plans for 2016.

AL ROBERTS : Well I feel that the new Tinky Disco lineup is starting to find its feet now and the songs are progressing nicely. I still feel we have a way to go til we are playing the main stage at festivals but we’re certainly good enough to be playing smaller stages at big festivals and that’s exactly what we’ll do. So far we’ve already played at Audio Soup Equinox which went down a treat! Next we have a gig at Dioch an Doras on the Isle of Arran followed by the amazing Eden & Audio Soup festivals plus of course a few gigs at Edinburgh Fringe festival. I really can’t wait for this summer it’s going to be a belter!


Audio Soup Equinox

 The Biscuit Factory


 19th March





Audio Soup is a creative melting pot that covers all aspects of musical and artistic Bohemia. A yearly festival held in July at the hight of Summer. In a beautiful location called Cranshaws. The Audio Soup team also hold a yearly event that covers all the finesse of this wonderful art explosion, to celebrate the birth of Spring, held every year on the Equinox.

Divine arrived early at The Biscuit Factory, the new location in an old (As the name would suggest) Biscuit factory. just as Logans Close were launching into a set of Mod styled melodies. these lads always look great and perform with as much elegance as their style would suggest, Divine has enjoyed this great band lots of times. Today they were accompanied by Adrian Girlingon Cajon. Indeed it was a wonderful welcome. The aroma of custard creams enriched Divines senses.

It was the first warm and sunny day of the year too. So everyone was in fine fetal. The early arriver’s were treated to an acoustic set by the Girobabies lead singer Mark McGhee and Gordy Duncan; Gordy swapped his drum kit for acoustic guitar and this handsome duo blessed Divine with his first dance of the day.

Just as i was thinking about Digestives and a nice cup of tea. One of the stars of the Galloway. Dirty Claptrap AKA Sal Cam, Took to the mike with Guitar in hand and serenaded us with her own penned songs of love and intrigue. Sally has such a lovely voice and her songs are performed with a professionalism that has been delighting audiences for years now. Divines a fan.

As Dusk was beginning to move in on us the mood of the Equinox Party shifted. As our attention was drawn to the Elektrikal Sound System and stage, where the audience were treated to another solo act. called Naledi. performing well known covers with a beautiful voice and Piano. Early evening melodies. That soothed and refreshed this good looking audience.

Divine took the opportunity to warm his Djembe up between performances in preparation for his own Gig with Tinky Disco later on that evening. The Elektrical sound System powered up and Some Chick Called Bob From the Bannana sessions took to the decks and the dance was on. Boogie Boogie Boogie. Feeling peckish Divine had a couple of Jammy Dodgers to keep energy levels up.

Taking time to enjoy the very wonderful art that was being created by The Too Much Fun Club. Divine was mesmerized at the creation evolving. In fact that is what the night was becoming an active art installation a true feast for the senses. The mood began shifting up a pitch and Divine was making new friends left right and center and reconnecting with Audio Soup Massive.

The Band members of Tinky Disco began arriving, Al Roberts first looking as cute as ever with Guitar slung over his shoulder. Soon followed by Damo  (Vocals and Bass) and his lovely Mrs.Jon Harley our fantastic Kit drummer. Kenny on Congos and our very amazing lead singer Mike D. we all positioned ourselves and the Magic Began. A Roy Jackson accompanied on tamborine. At this point reporting duties were switched over to Raymond Speedie (aka Spud)




 Had amazing night last night big up Louise Hare  and rest Audio Soup Family. Big performances all around Tom Spirals and Escape Roots, Zoom T and Jordan ‘Konchis’ Carey My Bad Sister, Delighted Peoples, Black Diamond Express, Tinky Disco to many to mention. Thank for all the people that took time to feed back about the set was overwhelmed with the response. Big thanks to Jon Fogarty for spinning my tunes

Rolain Bradbeer



Spud’s Half

 An ex – biscuit factory, music, live bands, mcs, beer and great people, it surely had to be Audio Soups Equinox in Edinburgh.  They couldn’t have found a better venue, old, industrial, historical and well situated. Let the Equinox begin.  Running from 3pm to 3am this was a 12 hour show for all the enjoy and dance their butts off…  Pottering around and waiting for Tinky Disco to do their thing, I couldn’t help but to be drawn in by the building and its hollow shell with steel pillars perturding out of the ceiling and floor.  Like a steel spider towering above you, you feel  the magic in this place..  With the crowd gathering around the front stage Tinky Disco delivered their first song.  With Al Roberts on guitar , Jon Harley on drums, Damo on bass and Mike ( the voice behind Groove Armada) on lead vocals, this band are tearing up Edinburgh with their funky disco sound.  Slick and sleazy guitar riffs , deep dirty bass, fast licking drum beats and smooth seductive vocals soon had the audience dancing around like there was no tomorrow . With Kenny and Divine adding a touch of percussion they took us a short journey through the Tinky Disco Machine…   A well crafted, well rehearsed and well delivered set from a music loving group of lads based in Edinburgh.

Next up was Black Diamond Express which was sure to be a thriller..   This 8 piece Edinburgh based band take you on a intriguingly up beat, sensual groove with their Celtic sound taken from the traditions of Scottish Music. With that they have thrown in a fusion of rock, blues, funk, and a touch of the American west which at times made me feel like I was not even in Edinburgh.  The crowd were loving it,  the vibe was overwhelming, people were just bouncing around like they were on a bouncy castle, barriers coming apart and happy faces all around.  With guitars, violin, drums, bass, keyboards and bongo drums they have fused it well and given us a unique sound that is sure to take them to another level.


I must mention the effort put into the décor of  The Biscuit Factory. With soft warm colours and soothing lighting the place was made to feel very welcoming.  The security were spot on. Friendly, polite and helpful and always smiling. Well done to you all for making  it a comfortable place with an excellent vibe.  Unfortunately , I did hear a lot mumbling about the waiting time at the bar, with people waiting up to 20 minutes for service, therefore missing out on the acts and bands on show.  With a limited choice of drinks and beer, it was not long before most of it ran out, maybe a under estimate on how much Soupers drink when there is so much good music on.  Overall, the staff and security did brilliant.

The lateral stage of the Equinox was upon us. With Mc Soom T at the helm and Tom Spirals and Finn Todd doing the honours the building started to move, I am sure it was moving to the sweet captivating sound of Mc Soom T vocals.  Edinburgh based Soom T is a well known and well respected Mc.   With her true to life and hard hitting lyrics, she delivered with precise execution on all fronts.  All the crowd were loving this, moving like they had never moved before.  A wee package that delivers a big bang is what Mc Soom T gives us.  After a well deserved break , I returned to find My Bad Sister taking over the stage.  With their Scottish tartan jump suits and blond hair this was going to be a double barrelled show …  The high octane drum and bass that was unleashed was mind blowing.  These twin sisters Polly and Sophie, whom you may recall from the auditions on X Factor in 2015 and have been dancers on Rita Ora”s video “I Will Never Let You Down”  were here to deliverer us a set of  fast moving, hearted pounding beats.  Rapping and dancing  you could see that they had worked  hard to deliver a well choreographed show. From London to Edinburgh they really brought a different side to the Audio Soup Equinox . Hope to see them in the festival circuit this year in Scotland.


A taster of what is to come from Audio Soup Festival and if this is anything to go by, then we are going to have a great summer. Well done to all connected with Audio Soup for putting together a memorable evening of excellent bands and music. Looking forward to seeing all again in July …..


Had a great night at Audio Soup Equinox last night but while in Edinburgh a strange thing happened. I was at the shop when I heard a man shouting at me . I turned around and the man shouts `here you dropped a £20 note` . I checked my pockets and he was right .I had dropped a £20 note. I was blown away by the kindness of this guy to be so genuine. As I got closer, I recognized the man. It were Iain Duncan Smith.
I said `Thank you you
have reaffirmed my faith in humanity`
He just smiled, winked and said `I am IDS . It`s no bother to the likes of me. I really am a very nice man `

Mark McGhee





Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert & Spud

The No Quarter Charity Launch.

 Studio 24
Sound:5 Atmosphere:4.png  Performance:5
On this occasion I was unable to arrive on time because of prior commitments of a heart healing kind. So i missed the first two bands of this prestigious Rock N Roll charity event. Organized by the very beautiful Rebecca Piltcher to launch her bands new single, while raising funds for Pancreatic Cancer Research and the Edinburgh Rape Crisis Center. The second of Divine’s Rock n Roll grace missions of the week.
The two bands that i did arrive in time for, the first that i witnessed. The Jack Hinks Band. Held me in an instant. there is some thing about violins on a Rock n Roll stage that always signals something good. And I wasnae disappointed. Gypsy rock n roll, with two amazing singers. I was particularly blown away with the vocals of Fiona Liddell who had the vocal range of Clair Tory, The Session Musician that sang Pink Floyds, The Great Gig In The Sky. Wow. Now that was something else. Jack Hinks has a band that will secure a very successful career for all concerned.
The sound system of Studio24 really brought tonights performances alive, having performed on the same stage myself, I understand how much time and effort the wonderful sound engineer takes to make sure that things sound as good as is possible. Meaty and powerful.
Rebecca Pilcher and No Quarter took to the stage. Ms Piltcher on vocals and lead guitar, striking and beautiful with a voice that melts and invigorates at the same time. Her looks and guitar licks, Divine has been a fan of for quite some time. On Trumpet and supporting vocals Leslie. Adam on Sax. Jamie on Bass, Ian on drums. And a very handsome guitarist called Oliver that played so incredibly well. Divine was more than suitably impressed. No Quarter rocked and even though I hadnae slept for 48 hours. The sonic action took me and the audience to a new level of just appreciation for this bands evolving musical power. I had no option but to dance. Indeed it was a fantastic Gig. With a noble purpose. Oh aye, I’m glad i made the effort. Divine was thrilled.
Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert


The Barrowland


Saturday 5th Of March 2016


Sound:4.png Atmosphere:5  Performance:5

The anticipation for this one had been building for some time and was guaranteed to be a winner from the offset. A bill of musical delights featuring a plethora of all that is great on the Scottish Contemporary Performance Arts Scene. Held at the iconic Barowland Dance Hall in Glasgow, for each of the bands (& a capacity audience) this was going to be a night that would leave people saying “They were there” for a long time to come. The whole show was put together without corporate backing, designed to promote and raise funds for The Clutha Trust. A charity that raises funds for underprivileged & disadvantaged young people, set up in memory of those who lost their lives in the helicopter crash of 2013, tonight they donated all funds to Sarcoma UK. There is nae a muso in Scotland  that this tragedy didnae effect. So, for Divine to be invited along to review this groundbreaking prestigious event, it was nothing less than an honor.


The Barrowland is steeped in Rock n Roll history, its sprung dance floor has held the audiences of so many legends. Being the first time Divine had set foot in the place, it was a bit of a wow moment in itself. The first band of the night, a female duo called The Twistettes, fronted by Jo D’Arc on vocals/bass and Nikky D’Arc on drums. Divine was excited, and the first dance of the evening was secured. Original Punk Rock Girl Power, that had Divine Pogoing like he was 19 not nearly 49.The Twistettes thrilled me. Securing the band as one of Divine’s favorites and a new fan of this art rock brilliance was born. Drum N Bass never looked so good.



Next up, Have Mercy Las Vegas, a band that stem from the same Edenfold as Divine, a band that have gone from strength to strength in recent times, recently securing a new management deal, which only invigorated the confidence of the performance that was to be delivered. By this time, the Barrowland Ballroom was filling to capacity and its brilliant sprung dancefloor had us all dancing to the folk-rock excellence. Everyone was so excited, the audience massive, friendly and very good looking. Another band on this bill of brilliance that will be soon performing on stages as big and brilliant as this one on a regular basis.


The next band on stage, Jamie and Shoony. A band of lads from Edinburgh that have been thrilling Divine for years now. With Jamie’s command and evolving stage presence, this young star always gives 101% and performs with the whole of his being. The magic of Shoony’s guitar playing held me tonight. I was transfixed. Having watched the rise of this true musical force, Divine felt a lump in his throat because I knew that this gig was a dream come true for them, adding more confidence to the performance that was delivered. Aye they fucking had it & the capacity audience in the palms of their hands. It was at this stage I took the opportunity to appreciate from different corners of this massive venue, to listen to how well J&S suited arenas. Mark Divine’s words, Jamie and Shoony are a celebrity force in the making.

12718124_1535412873419996_5685541374154145210_n.jpgThe electricity in The Barrowland Ballroom was reaching ecstatic levels as Mark McGhee walked on stage, followed by his band of merry musos, each of them growing legends in their own write. Gordy Duncan, one of Divine’s fave drummers of all time, completing the rhythm section with Jo D’Arc on Bass, Robbie Gunn on lead guitar and electronic touches and flourish’s by the very wonderful Jess Aslan. The roar that greeted the Girobabies from the audience ensured confidence in this performance from the offset. We were treated to a full rendition of The Girobabies new Album (Who stole) Utopia. This masterclass of Punk Rock fineness launched into a blistering set, that was both exciting and exhilarating. Closing the performance with the audience favorite, Jeremy Kyle (Fucked My Wife)… with audience participation shaking the rafters.


For the crescendo of the night’s Delights, the 15-strong Angel Army, Colonel Mustard And The Dijon 5, took to the stage to conduct proceedings. The Master of Proceedings took us all on a journey of musical adventure, packed with audience participation and joyful groove. With health and safety worrying antics, crowd surfing, handstands on speaker stacks, falling off inflatable crocodiles, the Mustards always deliver true soul. With beautiful harmonies from The Yellow Goddess’s Little Wing and Full Fathom, & lead vocals by Colonel John Thomas McMustard, our hosts for the night captivated the audience with their tried and tested formula.

David Blair

As part of the performance the Mustards held a raffle for a signed guitar autographed by all the bands who performed tonight, proceeds of course going to the Clutha Trust. After the raffle, Still Game star, Gavin Mitchell who plays the character, Boaby The Barman, came on stage to induct David Bowie into The Barrowland Ballroom’s hall of fame. Now as you may or may not know, Divine is a Bowie Nun. Bowie being the only man that Divine would have had sex with. He’s been my God since I was a teenager. So tonight’s induction was a moment that will be with me for a long time.



This magnificent evening was brought to a close with a solo performance, a rendition of Life On Mars, written by Bowie from the album Hunky Dory and tonights closing number. Played on electric piano by the very talented Eli Stewart. Divine and the capacity audience joined young Ellie in celebrating this beautiful song. The tears were streaming down Divines face. what a beautiful way to end this night of quality entertainment. A night of charitable Grace. As Bowie Sang “We can be hero’s just for one day” I know he was looking down giving the thumbs up.

Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert


Wee Dub Festival


Various Venues

4-6 March


Held over 3 days in early March The Wee Dub Festival takes Edinburgh by storm, bringing roots, culture, arts, crafts, music, live bands and a whole lotta love to many venues throughout Edinburgh. With Production workshops and showcases throughout the day and musical magic at the night sessions, the tone was set for a dub mania weekend.  Arriving at the Mash House for session one, you are greeted at the door by friendly smiley staff who are more than happy to guide you through the entrance to a dubbers paradise.  Downstairs the sounds of Ben Jamin are in full flow, skanking crowds and cracking tunes capture a collective vibe. Happy faces and happy hearts are obvious to see as people take to the dance floor for a 5 hour dance sensation … With DJ”s upstairs and Samson Sounds about to take to the stage downstairs, the next hour was sure to be an hour of musical greatness…  Within minutes of starting the Samson Sound collective filled up every space on the dance floor, gradually the audience found their positions and let there feet do the talking. With the brass section delivering their reggae beats and the crowd releasing their skanking grooves, I had a smile on my face. This is what all the waiting was about.. Happy people !!!!  Upstairs near the bar in The Mash House the DJ”S were pumping out good old classic reggae tunes. With “Shanty Town”, “Stick by Me” by Freddie Macgregor  and other great songs the audience were covered in a blanket of reggae madness. Red Hot stuff from Red Hot DJ”S !!!


Escaping from the heat of the Mash House for an hour or so, I ventured down to the La Belle Angele to catch a glimpse of Escape Roots Sound featuring Tom Spirals, there is always one word that comes to mind when I see this set, Awesome !!!! A smooth ska skank was well enjoyed by all who had attended.   After small break in the cold crisp Edinburgh air, I took in the set by “Fleck” .  Fast , hard hitting and full of tropical energy this is the diversion that creates the mix that  the Wee Dub brings to us.  Ending the night back at the Mash House “Alpha Steppa” tore down the house , throwing his energy around he captivated the audience with his deep rooted vocals. A fantastic way to end the first instalment of The Wee Dub Festival…..


Saturday at The Liquid Rooms is sure to be a delight…  With DJ Scottie Sommerville,  Ska Ya Man and Chainska Brassika “live” for 3 hours the place soon filled up.  After a smooth warm up set from DJ Scottie Somerville it was time for  Ska Ya Man with the mellow Tom Spirals at the helm ..  Ska Ya Man , the digital reggae dub collective with a live mix of trumpet, bass, drums, guitar and cool soothing lyrics delivered by Tom Spirals was just what the doctor ordered !!! Dance, skank and spread the loving vibe is what was evident when looking around at the audience… Another well delivered set from the boys from Dumfries and Galloway..  Next up was Chainska Brassika a 8 piece Ska band from South East London that were playing their first gig in Edinburgh and what treat it was for  The Wee Dubbers…   Guitar, bass, trumpet, saxophone, drums and a well dressed frontman delivered fast, well tuned, crisp skanking beats to a crowd of dancing ska lovers..  Pushing out songs like “Get Some” and “Love The Dub” this is a fun loving show of memorable moments. Great vibration and lively energy is what they brought… Session two was a killer…..

12809761_1697034533877867_3272977296786664182_n.jpgMoving on to Studio 24 for session 3 where Mungo”s Hi Fi Soundsystem  and Dreadsquad were awaiting us, the queue began to grow…  At points there must have been up too a 80 people waiting to get in, a sure sign it was going to be a busy night.. Downstairs Dubkasm were in full swing, heating up the floor with deep dub classics.  At 12.30pm Dreadsquad featuring Blackout Ja hit the stage with a Bang.  By now finding space on the dance floor was like finding a needle in a haystack, difficult but not impossible…  The substance of Jamaica roots music was plain to see and hear. Pumping out heavy deep soul skunking tunes with the excellent energy from M.C. Blackout Ja the place was moving under a blanket of roots and reggae that was taken on board with all present.  Certainly one of the highlights of the Wee Dub so far..  The presence and vibe that Blackout Ja has is intoxicating . The crowd were just loving it…..   Upstairs at Studio 24 you had Mighty Oak and Crucial Roots, with the humble hearted Joe spinning some familiar smooth seductive reggae classics.  The sessions have been so well planned, with mixing it up to create a fantastic diversion of music.  Going from room to room you have this wonderful choice of DJ”S and musical creation that suits all moods (no bad moods thou)….   With Mungo”s Hi Fi and Solo Banton taking us into the wee hours the last chapter of session 3 was going to be powerful..  The main floor was now like a carpet of ants, no visible space left, a sure sign of great night.  Mungos and Solo Banton were like a force from outer space, here to show us how its done, and that they did !!!!  I am sure at one point the walls of Studio were going to come crumbling down as I could feel the vibrations flowing through the veins of the building .   Allowed to play on until 4 am the Wee Dubbers were happy to skank on till the sun came up !!!!


As the final session grows closer it was sure to pack out The Bongo Club even if it was a cold Sunday night. I am sure there were a few tired bodies and legs around on Sunday morning but would that deter the Wee Dubbers, not a chance… With Messenger Sound System in the driving set at the Bongo Club we were introduced to Afrikan Simba , Nick Manasseh & Brother Culture with the iconic legend Aba Shanti.  The sound quality was just awesome, tuned and delivered as it always is with such thought and heart. Must have a been a real joy for Nick Manasseh and Brother Culture to have been playing at such a venue with a sound system to match.  The tunes that Nick delivered was enhanced with the powerful and direct lyrics of M.C. Brother Culture, the passion and vibe he brings is overwhelming . With mentions of Drive By Shootings and Uzi in his lyrics he gets the mind thinking.. A true well lived approach to real life. The flavour of Messengers deep roots music was sure to produce a brilliant final night at the Wee Dub festival. The long awaited hour came to an end when midnight arrived.  Two hours of Aba Shanti were upon us. This legend, icon, master, teacher, Jamaican father of reggae was now unleashing his dynamite set.  The atmosphere was uplifting and the sound was electrifying , throwing the crowd into a dance frenzy .  This was the place to be for the final Wee Dub session, with one of the oldest original sound systems in Scotland, Messenger gave us a Aba Shanti night to remember. Through connection, talk, love, heart, patience, kindness and friendship , the music brings us all together. We all have a common interest in music and with artists like Aba Shanti we are allowed to feel and live it together. Aba Shanti is a true gem, a precious piece of musical art that has always brought us into his heart through good vibrations . A very happy and content crowd was all I witnessed . Can I dare say it, maybe the best night of the weekends events.. The Wee Dub have done it again. A well executed and delivered festival. It only gets better as the years roll on.  A big thank you to Gregory , Chris Astrojazz and all the artists, musicians , DJ”S, crews, M.C.”s, venues, staff and sound systems for a special time under the flag of reggae and dub.   Oopps, not forgetting the wonderful people that came out all weekend to support and enjoy The Wee Dub.

Reviewed by Raymondo aka Spud

Porty beach after all the fun (photo Stevie Powers)

The Stranglers

The Concert Hall




Sound:4.png Atmosphere:4.png  Performance:5

Arriving at the Perth Concert Hall on a wet and cold March night it was great to see so many loyal fans out to take in The Stranglers latest tour; a warming sight that blocked out the cold wet weather. The Perth concert hall is more than ample for this kind of band, great space and sound quality. What a fantastic auditorium and venue.  With a black back drop and  The Stranglers logo perched in the middle, the white amps and equipment stood out with a powerful message. Time for the entire Black and White album to be delivered to a mixed audience of young and should I dare say it, older fans. Great to see so many generations enjoying a band that has covered many decades.So it begun, on they came and the introduction to Tank which was delivered with fine timing. The place was bouncing !!!


As “Tank” came to a climax and the intro to “Nice and Sleazy” began it showed that they were still an iconic band . Well tuned, crisp and sharp and with Baz on lead vocals he more than delivers the goods. A different chapter in The Stranglers history and still going strong.  Then came Outside Tokyo and Hey (Rise of the Robots), a classic from Black and White.  With J.J. Burnel thundering out those dirty, deep hard hitting bass notes you could feel the venue shaking under the onslaught of the classic song “Sweden” (All Quiet on the Eastern Front).  The audience started to pogo about like excited kids at a play park, the obvious memories from 1978 rushing back to them. As they started “Toiler on the Sea” I got goose pimps as it sounded the same as it was when I seen them many. many years ago, intrusive and uplifting. They held the audience well.

As they hammer through the rest of Black and White with a classic thrown in before the sound of “Walk on By” we were given a taste of Get a Grip of Yourself.   They did drop one song from the set due to technical difficulties but Hey, they are not Robots just people. As the black back-drop and white stage started to find coloured light, I knew it was time for some old classics.  Its exactly what the crowd wanted, as they played “Something Better Change” the venue erupted !!! Sure to be a great last half hour.


The hits just kept coming, Feel like a Wog and Dead Ringer from early albums followed by Peaches, Hanging Around, Always the Sun, gave an expected audience what they wanted. With two encores The Stranglers had put on a near two hour show and had delivered it with substance and heart. With Jet Black having departed the new drummer had done well and held his own. With the last steps back on stage they finally gave up their last song, which of course had the now sweaty and raving crowd going nuts, “No More Heroes”. What a way to finish a memorable night with The Stranglers… Inverness on Friday and Glasgow on Saturday are in for a well wicked night.   All the best for the rest of the tour….

Reviewer : Raymond