Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Giants tour debriefing


It's only two weeks ago that we completed two months of touring in the UK and Europe. It seems a lifetime ago already.

After what was described by SJM, our promoters, as the most successful tour in the UK so far this year by any artist, we embarked on a European jaunt. Before we actually started the tour it was evident that there was more interest in the band, and more precisely Giants, than there had been for many years. The number of interview requests and reviews is a fair indication and we didn't have the time to fulfill them all.

Looking at the schedule I should have realised that it was going to be a hard slog but I didn't really think too much about it. It's only when you have played six shows consecutively and five nights on the trot, twice, that you appreciate a night free in a real bed as opposed to travelling on a bus from venue to venue and often from country to country.

It was incredible to me to recognise the number of Brits who would appear at the different venues in the various countries and who would really affect the vibe of the gig. In a most positive way. I don't think there was a night when there wasn't a Brit who had made the journey to some part of Europe to see us. The gigs were all packed, apart from Italy, which, interestingly enough, was the only country where we didn't have any promotional requests from. And even there, they were noisy too!

During the tour I lost five kilos (about 11lbs) and my jeans could slide over my arse without undoing a thing by the end!

Eating becomes an issue since we don't want to eat later than 6pm if we are on stage at 9pm. Lack of sleep also becomes an issue but the response from the audience reinvigorates you. I think that we changed the set list more on this tour than any other ever. Because we could. We had rehearsed more repertoire than ever before.


All in all a great tour, knackering but great fun. My only regret was that Jet wasn't there to enjoy the warmth and appreciation from the people we played to but, in his way, he had prepared Ian to cover for him during his absence.

By the end I was thinking "How long can my body take this gruelling schedule? How many more years can I keep doing this?" and now there is talk of doing something similar next year because the promoters in the various countries have all voiced an interest.

I say bring it on...

JJB/15th May 2012

66 comments:

  1. Yeah please bring more concerts to Europe and more to Italy! I had the immense pleasure to see (and even actually meet you - thankyou) in Milan and i hope I can enjoy more great Stranglers gigs in my country in the future. Italy can give much more than that to you, I am pretty sure. Definitely bring it on....!!!!

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  2. Thanks JJ, like you say bring it on!

    gizzard(Simon)

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  3. Only sorry I didn't get over from Ireland to any gigs...and the one here cancelled!! My very big loss!!

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  4. Merci pour votre première venue à Limoges ! Ce concert était vraiment un très très bon moment. En attendant de vous revoir et vous entendre de nouveau prochainement en Limousin, en espérant que Jet sera cette fois sur la scène.

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  5. Dear JJ, It was a great pleasure to see, you and Baz Dave and Ian in Utrecht. Thanks for being there, I had a great time, and lots of fun.
    So sat Jet could not be there and I hope he gets well real soon. Again thank you for being there,
    big kisses Daniëlla

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  6. Can't wait JJ but plenty of time left in this year.

    What about a complete Giant sets for us in the summer somewhere

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  7. God bless you guys you have brought us such pleasure to follow you - Giants is an incredible album and a testament to your amazing talent. I have met some great fans from the convention and we have kept in touch and met up at various gigs throughout the UK tour sharing pictures, memories and the odd beer - as a fan of 35 years I feel so privileged to be part of your long journey - can't wait to see you at IOW festival - hopefully Jet will be back - love you loads thank you for being such a big part of our lives x Isabella (girl with the red beret and Francesco bald with the muscles) xxx

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  8. hello jj
    tres bon gig a Montpellier ravis de t'avoir vu ou même revu ,quelques années en plus aussi mais la ferveur reste identique je partage vos créations avec ma strange little family depuis 20 ans;
    Mes cheveux blanc , sont les archives du passé dixit william shakespear
    a bientôt
    guyinblack

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  9. Saw them in prague, hadn't seen them for over 20 years, and they were absolutely brilliant! Love Giants, some of their best work. And i managed to get apic with JJ, only been waiting 30 years...Can't wait to see them again, and again, and again...

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  10. You made my night at the Bol D,or .Walk on by ,thanks....

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  11. yes JJ, bring it on indeed ! I had such a great time... hope that, if it happens, Italy will still be included - there may not be a lot of them but they love you over there !

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  12. Keep it up JJ, and we will too!

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  13. Made my European debut in Vienna. One of the best experiences, meeting other Brits and local fans. And, yes, i am ONE of the many bald heads in the audience! It's great the read that you are planning something similar next year. Thank you. Andy Mills.

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  14. Bring it on indeed Mr Burnel. Fans who saw you this time around, will be champing at the bit for second`s and then some. While we all, at times, have to pinch ourselves, and realise that we have not dreamt that album thing, and the fabulous reviews it won, and deserved. I don`t think any faninblack, saw this coming, well, it just doesnt happen to the stranglers, even with their legions of Women and Men in black, The band must be ecstatic at the welcome they have had in all their travels. And a once hostile, media and press, straining to talk to the band, not about, where they have come from, but where they are going to, musically. And not the last contraversy, but, the album, their skill as musicians and writers, the quality of their material and the way the can deliver the goods, on stage, with a real confidence that they show so easily. We all hope the band get a break to recharge, and then, back up those fifteen steps, with many ideas for a new album and the tour we all pray for. We miss you the band and team, Jet missed ya, We missed Jet (Hey big man). Hope to see him another time, another place, Belfast, maybe? Anyway, take it easy Mr Burnel, and all the MENINBLACK, Cheers, Joe doyle

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  15. cant wait for next year then.......

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  16. great gig in berlin and bought a first timer along with me who was amazed at the amount of quality material you guys had

    all in all a great weekend in berlin watching a great band put in a top notch performance

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  17. saw you guys in Limoges - fantastic! - Come again next year and we will all be there again... Loved it... Rock 'n' Roll...

    Tracie x x x x x x

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  18. Don't think about the years JJ,just keep it going. Hope to bring one of the girls soon!

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  19. Cheers JJ,
    Nice one! Great Band! Great Album! Great Tour!
    (only saw a few of the uk ones myself - which were all fantastic!).
    EiTC

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  20. I think that we all appreciated the hard work of the band and the excellent performance. I have seen the band in Utrecht, and it was one of the best gigs I have seen from the Stranglers in years. Sound, performance all top! I also understand the tough schedule - and the hard labour which went into it, but If you have the energy for it...I will be there next year!

    chrs Ronald

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  21. Please play Liverpool & Manchester again next year they were immense! Oh bugger it bring on a mini Autumn tour.

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  22. JJ, Baz, come also back to Belgium, lessines, tree times is a must. Already thanks for the past two times, it was great.

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  23. You guys are an inspiration! No band does it like you guys, looking great J.J, you all look great on stage and long may it continue, get well soon Jet, can't wait to see you again XX

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  24. A quick tour of North America? 7 cities in 2 weeks?

    John Pidgeon
    Toronto

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  25. Matthew BrignallMay 16, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    JJ Yes It seems the band are really on a high at the moment.I am proud to be a Stranglers fan.The press who wrote the band of when hugh left must be really sad as the Boys (or old Codgers)have done themselves and the fans proud.This tour had an amazing vibe and energy that I personally haven't seen since Mr Cornwell abandoned ship.I can't wait to Brussels.But please play more of the fantastic giants.The Stranglers really are the most underated and undervalued band this country has produced.But I think the press may finally have woken up to the rat infested,alien,black belt,Institution that is the Stranglers.

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  26. Travelled over from Jersey to See the boys play Brighton, brilliant gig, worth every penny!The Band have just announced that they are playing at Jersey Live so i cannot wait to see the band again, hope Jet is better to play this time, respect to Ian who did a great job though!!

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    1. I travelled from Jersey to see the lads in Rennes. Absolutely superb. Great seeing them in a smallish venue. As good as the early gigs with Hugh. The French crowd really appreciated them too even though they were mostly shouting for La Folie to be played!

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  27. Guys , I have been a life long fan from the Hope n anchor days. I saw you at the O2 in Oxford ( although im based in London) you did not let me down , you were ( as always) brilliant

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  28. Love the new album, it has everything the Stranglers fans want. Amazing onstage, I still get goosebumps listening to the classics like Raven and 5 minutes and the new stuff played live fits in brilliantly. Proud to be a fan, long live the Strangys!!!!

    Love and best wishes to Jet, get well soon, we miss you!!!

    Woman in Black x

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  29. la prochaine fois que vous venez en suisse passer faire un concert du coté de la partie francophone!

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  30. Great job JJ!!!
    Shame wife and I couldn't make it to the UK this year, but what about Canada my friend?? you always tease me with "of course we are coming back to canada".........but when dear JJ< but when??
    Simon,
    London, Ontario.

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  31. Only got to see you once in the UK but hope to make up for it at some festivals this summer. I must say, as a fan since 1978, that the last couple of tours and the convention seem to have brought a new "something" from both the band and the fans culminating in the deserved acclaim for "Giants" and all the positive vibes freom the tour.

    Bring it on indeed for the rest of 2012 and 2013 and hopefully beyond.

    Jet get well and back where you belong.

    Cheers

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  32. Saw the band in Hamburg, great performance, great material, great show...has there ever been anything like the Stranglers? First saw them in 1978 in Eric's club in Liverpool...simply the best and long may it continue...JGClark Hamburg

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  33. Was unable to come over from Ireland for one of the UK gigs and the one in Dublin was cancelled, What a bummer! Will try to get to one of the summer gigs

    Jim , Cork

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  34. And what about Spain!!? Gosh, Spanish promoters surely are the biggest c*nts in Europe, can't believe the band is not coming to even one of the absurdly numerous summer festivals!

    I flew to Prague to see the show, not that I regret, there were a lot of "monuments" ;)

    My point is, we missed the Stranglers in Spain! (Y por eso envío un beso a todos los niños del mundo)

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  35. We did indeed Sergei, I thought we might be treated to a Stranglers appearance at the Murcia festival this year but alas no, it was just a rumour.
    Flew over for the Roundhouse gig in March, a wonderful time was had and I can´t wait to catch the Stranglers again very soon.

    Gareth

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  36. I flew from the United States to see you and the rest of the band in Paris for the 1st time in April! You happened to be playing on my 49th birthday, so we just had to take the trip! And what a great birthday it was- I was in the front and you tossed me one of your guitar pics! I've been listening to the Stranglers since 1977, but never knew that the band had stayed together after Hugh left. Now that I've discovered the "new" Stranglers, I'm like a new fan all over again- I'm looking forward to coming to Europe to see you next year, since I doubt your tour will bring you to the USA...but then again, if Hugh can do it...why not? Take care JJ...I know for a fact there were many dozens of Brits in the audience in Paris, but there were also a handful of Americans who traveled even further-
    Tracy from Texas

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  37. Stefan JohanssonMay 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    If you do another tour, I hope you can include Sweden. I know you had some problems here a long time ago, but the raggare that spoiled the fun in Klippan are pensioners now :-) And since Klippan, all has been too quiet on the eastern front.

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  38. Just fantastic

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  39. The Roundhouse on the 9th march was my first stranglers gig (I'm Only 14!) but was still probably my favourite gig so far. It was incredible, and almost surreal to see my heroes playing some of my favourite songs! It was also terrifying, and i thought i was going to die during Burning Up Time (only the first song)! But once I got used to it, it was great fun and great to see some fantastic obscure songs being played, like Sometimes, Rise Of The Robots, Shut Up, Time To Die etc. Only complaint was that Nice N Sleazy wasn't played, but that took absolutely nothing away from what a fantastic gig it was.

    this was only the first, but hopefully the first of many Stranglers Gigs. One of the best gigs so far!

    Thanks guys

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  40. Saw you in Cambridge; and will keep coming to see you all every time you play here. It's the one night a year I get to be 18 again.
    Keep on going until the fans creaking bones and hearing aid feedback is louder than the music! Until then just keep doing what we can tell you love doing.
    Giants is incredible; thank you for giving us fans such songs and gigs to treasure.
    Love you all, hope jet is feeling better, I was lucky I got to see him before he got ill.
    Thankyou for everything, Alison I.

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  41. Saw the Roundhouse and Brighton gigs on the tour and as usual both were fantastic nights. My eldest boy(17) now comes with me and my 10 year old will go on the next tour as he loves the music and as soon as he gets in my cars asks me to put the Strangles CD on :). Another fantastic album as well in Giants

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  42. JJ. Great to hear all around. Congratulations on the tour and the fantastic new album. A small wish: please come to the U.S. It has been 15 years since we've seen you. You're much missed here.

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  43. To my eternal shame, I only got to the Roundhouse, even though I only live a few miles north of Brighton (in Crawley).
    Nonetheless, probably the best performance ever.
    Can't wait for the next tour.
    Oh, and hi to the lovely young lady from Essex who chatted me up at the Roundhouse, and grabbed a crafty kiss good-bye!!
    Made a great night even better. Just wish I could remember your name!!!

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  44. Congratulations!!! looking forward to next tour.

    p.s. Has any plans been made for Jet's 75th? Perhaps a gig with various others to celebrate. (along the lines of the gig when Hugh was away at her majesty's pleasure) Let's face it, No other band can touch the stranglers on creativity, integrity and quality. So let's attempt to bring a tear to to Jet's eye, for the love of music he has and a lifetime of dedication to the band and fans and industry too.

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  45. I saw you on the Feline Tour & also for the In The Night tour. How about coming back to the Motor City, USA so I can see the current line up!! I have bought every Stranglers album since the beginning in 1977 when I was 16 years old, I am now 50!! Come back to DETROIT!!

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  46. Slovenia next year, please. You weren't there since 1978!!:(

    s

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  47. Thanks for another great tour JJ and the band. Well done Ian for stepping in and doing so well under very difficult circumstances. Hope to see the band later in the year. I was at Brighton gig (3 years running) and getting better every time! Best wishes to Jet. Cheers all. Dave C

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  48. John M, Stockport.May 21, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    Obviously you're all worn out. But any chance of a sneaky small festival warm-up somewhere. Saw you last time round in Frome, Somersdet and also Preston. Intimate little gigs and outstanding!

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  49. Enjoyed the mosh-pit in Utrecht. Great show, better than Den Bosch a couple of years before, and that was great too. JJ, keep going. Next time I will bring the whole Rugby club. But could you add somewhere in Zuid Holland next time?

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  50. Have seen you twice in Paris in the last year or so now. Really glad you're still playing. The Stranglers are really good live! Please come back again soon.

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  51. Academy Manchester the gig was fantastic as always, been a fan since 1977 never missed a tour would like to see you play in Spain again bring it on indeed, cant wait for the next tour and many more thereafter, long live the Stranglers.

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  52. are you going to come back to Australia again? Had such a good time seeing you play in Sydney last time, am sure you can squeeze in anither long trip down under?

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  53. In 1982 I interviewed Jet and JJ for BBC Radio Sheffield. I was 17 years old and had been a fan of the Stranglers since 1977. You can imagine my nerves and excitement waiting in the London offices of the record company. When JJ and Jet arrived they could sense my nervousness and could not have been kinder or more engaging and interested in me - an awkward teen trying to ask sensible questions. To top it all, shortly afterwards I received a call from their manager Bill Tuckey, telling me that JJ asked him to give me a backstage pass for the La Folie tour. That pass still remains a treasured possession! I was recently at the Giants gig in Vienna, Austria. First time Id seen the band since 1987-88 I think. What a great show!! Although not part of the baldy headed constituency in the crowd I was one of the slightly grey haired 40 somethings reliving some truly great music -past and present. All I can say is thank you JJ for making a teenager feel welcome and respected back in 1982 and thanks for a great show in Vienna and yes, some things do get better with age and the Stranglers is living proof of that!! Perhaps, the best is still to come....

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  54. Bonjour JJ, i follow your tours from afar...sadly. I look forward to a Canadian tour in the future...it's been such a long time since you were this side of the "pond".
    Lucky Brits & Europeans...they get to go to Stranglers shows!! :) tu me manques beaucoup. Gros bisous, xxx

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  55. JJ. cannot wait for you and the guy's return to the UAE, Abu Dhabi is awaiting the Men in Black.
    Keep on Rocking

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  56. At the Guildford gig with my 13 year old son. Just brilliant - Please come back next year

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  57. The USA needs the Stranglers!!!! JJ needs to kick the US up it's arse! :-)

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  58. At the Vienna gig with my brother, both long term Stranglers fans. Great gig and brilliant atmosphere. Met Dave after the show and he said he was enjoying the tour, so please come again soon!

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  59. Fantastic gig in Vienna on April 19th. High energy set, which everyone clearly enjoyed! Jet sadly missed, but Ian filled in admirably. Hope Jet'll be back for the next tour. Long live The Stranglers!!

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  60. Went to the Glasgow gig AGAIN & had brought some workmates along for the 2nd time. The band just seem to get better & better, and it has become a must do on my calendar of events. Probably witnessed Jet for the last time which is sad.

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  61. To respond at the very end of the blog with "Bring it on",is the very reason why so many people love you and your band, and always will.

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  62. Bravo les Stranglers !!!

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  63. The way that JJ handled the beer throwing idiot (as seen on YouTube) was legendary! Well done and thanks for all the music!

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  64. Saw them in Caen a wee while ago. Same energy and vibe...somehow it just feels like me that is getting older..was screaming "5 Minutes" as I was desperate to hear it played..know it is not JJ's favourite but I was chuffed that it felt as angry and as brutal as all those years ago. For the first time I actually watched the man's hands as he played his bass and was rivetted to see the dexterity and skill that brings forth the sound that is the backbone of the Stranglers....The chap that stood in for Jet was great....but Jet is missed and hopefully will come back to play for a wee bit longer...

    Brussels...thats another story...shit directions and shit info led us to missing most of the band's set...mighty peed off....Never mind..there's always next year....

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