PUNK is dead, or so they say. But not for The Stranglers. Standard reporter Andrew Trendell caught up with guitarist and vocalist Baz Warne to see what has kept them going.
“It’s just down to sheer bloody-mindedness,” says punk veteran Baz Warne in a proud Geordie accent. “We’ve always been outsiders. I know everybody says that but we are.”
As bands that formed less than 10 years ago are reforming to a wave of hysteria, it seems almost miraculous that a band like The Stranglers has been together since 1974. After 23 UK top 40 singles and 17 UK top 40 albums they have outlived The Clash, The Sex Pistols and countless others. So what keeps them together?
“Just the sheer love of what we do,” says Baz humbly. “The great thing is that The Stranglers are the only band from that era who have never split up, and got back together again for the money. The Stranglers have been a band for 27 years non-stop because it’s just a way of life and what we do. There’s no better way to get yourself and what you want to say across than playing live, muses Baz.
“There’s something very honest and powerful about what we do that our fans understand. “Our fans tend to be from what I would class a working class upbringing, so it’s great to get out there and enjoy it, that’s what we do.”
So, with a greatest hits collection out now and an impressive catalogue of singles that includes the likes of Golden Brown, No More Heroes, Peaches, Always the Sun and Skin Deep, can we expect just a run of the mill tour of the hits on their upcoming tour?
Baz answers: “This tour isn’t to promote anything of any specific nature. Some bands of a similar stature can just play the hits and go home happy but not us, we like to give a little bit extra.”
Will we be seeing The Stranglers for another 27 years to come then?
“You never really finish what you set out to do. We haven’t said all that needs to be said but we’ve got a clear statement of intent and we’re not going anywhere.”
The Stranglers play O2 Academy Sheffield on Friday 25th March.
And the Guardian has FIVE pairs of tickets to give away to lucky readers.
To be in with a chance of winning, just answer this simple question:
Q) How many top 40 singles do The Stranglers boast?
Send your answer along with your name and daytime telephone number to: Stranglers Competition, 21-27 Ryton Street, Worksop, Notts, S80 2AY or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date for entries is Wednesday 16th March.
Normal Guardian rules apply.