Saturday, September 1, 2012

Summer festivals and beyond...

It has been very successful summer campaign! By today, the last day of August, it has been twelve victories and no defeats.People have been conquered all over the world... It's gratifying that we are still in such demand and I think it is a direct reflection of the work that we have put into the last few albums. It's also confirmation that somewhere there's a little place in everyone's heart for The Stranglers!

Jim (MacCauley-our stand in drummer) has been holding his own. He's done his homework and we're very grateful. When Ian (Barnard) asked us for the chance to work with Bombay Bicycle Club for the summer, after all these years with us, you can't refuse his opportunity. Our crew become like family and The Stranglers isn't a shut thing so if a guy wants to work elsewhere then we can respect that.

There have been quite a few interesting gigs. Estonia was great, the people were lovely there. In the drizzly rain in the Baltic in the very early summer and they were still there. The Isle of Wight was fantastic considering the bullshit and bollocks about the organisation. The island was in gridlock, 10,000 people were evacuated from the tent because of the weather. An hour later we were on stage playing-that was quite exciting.

There have also been some memorable gigs. Berlin was amazing. Those Nazis certainly new how to build things! The Waldbuhne was quite impressive, the ergonomics of the whole place and how it was built. It was built for the 1936 Olympics for the gymnastic competitions I think. It's right by the Olympic Stadium in a wood in central Berlin. Die Arzte are the second biggest grossing band in Germany and I was touched that they came on stage before us and explained why we were there. They said they wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for The Stranglers! I was really touched that they, in the position they are in, were still very humble. Cool as fuck...

Nuremberg was another Nazi construction which was shown in early Nazi propaganda films of their first rally when they came to power in 1933. Now it's a venue for rock concerts. The Nurburgring is a famous racing circuit that has killed more drivers than any other track in the world. In Brussels, as the gig was in the gardens of the royal palace, I got booed as I asked everyone to make so much noise that the king would come out on his balcony! He didn't come out so I said he must be still asleep. People booed me and it was fantasic-god save them! The V's were great as lots of young people had never heard of The Stranglers got to see us. Cognac was a fantastic setting with charming volunteers helping to make the town festival a success.

After the summer dates are over, I want to start writing as I've got lots of things that I want to explore. Personally I've also got to go to Japan and do some karate. The band need to take a bit of a break and assess what we want to do. We want to write and we want to record, but I don't want to take six years about it, as half the band members won't be around. I'd feel like Captain Nemo in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea playing the organ by himself on the Nautillus as all the old veterans have died off one by one.

We are hitting on a huge creative strata, which resonates with a lot of people, both young and old, and I'd like to exploit that creativity. I have a great writing partnership with Baz, which is both creative and productive. I'd rather try and have one last gasp...

JJB/31st August 2012

49 comments:

  1. Great JJ! Davide from the gig in Milan!

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  2. More new stuff
    Up for this......

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  3. Great stuff Jean Jacques. There's certainly a fan base out there that wants a few more albums and gigs. Why not?

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  4. Nice one JJ.
    Great to hear the creative juices are still flowing and the urge to get recording is strong.
    Hope you all enjoy a well earned break and are back on stage in the UK soon.

    John.H.

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  5. Bring on the new album! And please come back to Italy! Giants is a great work, still enjoying every second of it and firmly my most played album in 2012.

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  6. Always fantastic entertainment JJ - Keep on writing as the 'family' will always be wanting more, even if this be from the afterlife! Some things go on forever.

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  7. Chris - Southampton.September 1, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Well done JJ keep that Strangler flag flying high, the last album and tour prove that the Stranglers have still lot's more to offer in
    terms of new material and live gigs.
    And that there ever increasing loyal fan base will always support them. Good Luck.

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  8. Vive the Stranglers!! Long may you continue playing quality music.

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  9. Yes please, keep the juices flowing for more new stuff and a tour. You sound better than ever and are making amazing music. Stranglers forever!

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  10. After the Scottish & some English gigs in March I visited Berlin to see the band & more recently went to Cognac(places I'd never been before). A great excuse to visit interesting places, meet new friends, with a least one good night out guaranteed! Off to explore Looe in 3 wks & thereafter? Only time will tell.....Enjoy your time off but don't let it be too long before the band are starting another tour!

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  11. New album, new tour, please keep it coming JJ

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  12. Don't stop JJ. We need you.

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  13. Nice piece JJ - and a brilliant gig in Vienna. Please add Poland to your next tour list - many people here know The Stranglers!

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  14. J.J., I think Giants was great. But I KNOW that you and Baz can lead the creation of one final brilliant album. Just knowing it's your last one would infuse it with a raw determination and passion that you perhaps didn't know existed. My dream as a lifelong Stranglers fan? One last album and one last trip to the U.S. Even if it doesn't happen know that us Stranglers fans stand 100% behind what you choose to do. Total respect.

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  15. Don't think of packing it in before you get to New Zealand. Bob

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  16. Looking forward to seeing the band again on my home turf (Jersey Live) saves travelling over to the mainland to see them, i know a few younger people are going just to see the Stranglers, pleased to hear there could be new music in the pipeline, loved the last 3 albums

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  17. Beautiful. Looking hopefully into future because of this.

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  18. Giants was a great sounding album JJ. More of the same please!!!!

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  19. Thanks for the article JJ.
    Glad the summer gigs are going well and you're considering the next album.
    Giants is brilliant, looking forward to No 18 :)
    EiTC

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  20. Thanks JJ Can't wait for more.I never know what to expect from the next album & i love that,just keep on going

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  21. Giants was awesome a great body of work,The stranglers are without doubt the greatest band there as ever been and ever will be.long may you reign over us for ever and ever amen.x cheers lads simon jordan up north

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  22. Come to bangkok JJ! Noel gallagher is doing a sell- out gig here in 2 weeks time - i'm sure the stranglers would pull in the punters too!

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  23. one last gasp, nooooooooooo........

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  24. Don't ever stop!!

    Make the new one trippy as hell. Fuck everyone's minds!!!

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  25. Interesting article JJ. Saw the band both at home and abroad this year and each gig fabulous in its own way. Roll on the next album and tour.

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  26. Do I sense the beginning of the end for my beloved band ? I new this time would come about...the music has been with me through thick and thin, light and very dark times. The whole wealth of my life experiences linked by time to various albums, gigs and hilarious band shenanigans. At 14 I had a Stranglers Tee shirt for every day of the week and at 48 I can cover two weeks ;-) I know its not goodbye just yet...but just in case its close, I wanted to say a few words before the site is eventually swamped with world wide good wishes and sentimental statements....Keep it going JJ and the band you have been heroes and an inspiration.
    Paul.S

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  27. Nice article JJ (gutted by the CH4 V festival lack of coverage) and a good comment Paul S, but if the Stranglers still can release tracks like Another Campden Day and Boom Boom I can see a lot more life in ths Stranglers than many other bands. Steve.

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  28. the resounding success of the summer gigs/festivals is surely a sign of the impact of not only Giants but the longevity that the meninblack have achieved over three decades. so privilaged to have been invovled in the party.

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  29. the success of the festivals/gigs during the 'summer' is testament not only to the pure class of Giants but also to the ease in which the meninblack seem to wear their longevity on their mic stands. I'm not gonna cry, i bet..........

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  30. Right then where's the cloning clinic? Stranglers in production is a must!

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  31. you have been and always will be THE BAND long live the stranglers long live REAL music

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  32. Thanks JJ for your erudite (as ever)and fascinating blog.The German ampitheatres sounds awesome - gives the "rats rally" new meaning!The thing is (just turned 50 on Tuesday myself!)I think we need to seize the day and not worry about tomorrow. So long live the Stranglers and Stranglers fans!!

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  33. A huge place in my heart ever since walking past the windows of my religious education (yes, truly) classroom and hearing 'Go Buddy Go' being played by 5th formers on a hot summers day towards the end of 1977. I was 14 years old.

    I'm 50 next March and if we are heading towards a 'final last gasp' (I think you've caused a stir here JJ?!) I want to say this...

    Ever since that summers day, every single day of my life has featured The Stranglers in some way, be it going to a gig, working for SIS briefly in the 80's, or just carrying a melody around in my head, or having fun working/reworking lyrics...that is the great joy of music and The Stranglers have given me and thousands others, that joy in abundance.

    So JJ if you and/or Baz, Dave, Jet are reading this...I hope you are immensely proud of yourselves...you really, really should be. You have never received the acknowledgement and respect from the music press you deserved...you don't need me to tell you that. F*ck them, it is an injustice, but it doesn't matter now. I think you have what you truly deserve, the respect and admiration of those of us who have truly followed your careers and in some way undertaken a journey with you.

    I want to thank you...thank you all for sharing your creativity. You have touched my life profoundly in many ways and as others have said, your music has formed a huge backdrop to so much of my life...through good times and not so good times.

    'Fly straight with perfection'

    Lee Shepherd

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  34. Oh Fuck ...... one last gasp?

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  35. I would love to see the Stranglers tour the US, I don't understand why they don't. Saw them in the late 70;s and early 80's in Boston Mass. Anyway, Giants is a fine album but still will not touch the greatness of Black and White or The Raven for my money. I understand that one can't go back and relight whatever it was that made those so eternally awesome but thats life. I wanted something more from Giants, sorry to say. I hope you can blow my mind next time sirs.A truly singular album to go out on, and as you say, not please in 6 years.

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  36. Thanks for the news!
    John Pidgeon
    Toronto Canada

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  37. JJ you're the best. Please come back to Italy as soon as possible.
    Ciao!
    Enrico

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  38. Since 1978 the stranglers have been part of my life.Even the changes in the band over the years has not diminished the excitement of the gigs and the new albums.Knowing the stranglers aren,t out there would be like losing a family member to bereavement,but that just shows how much the band is a part of a lot of peoples lives.If the next album is to be the last 'gasp' then so be it.Lets celebrate a life rather than cry over a demise.

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  39. The first time i heard Grip on the radio i was hooked first gig stafford bingley hall may 1978 next week off to Looe. I still get excited about going to the gigs. when i first got Rattus I had to choose between listening to the album or visit my girlfreind at the time ,easy choice really , Last gasp good name for an album . All the best , see you next week in cornwall.

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  40. please come to Dublin , feel so let down that the gig was cancelled ....PLEASE !!!!!

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  41. Come on down to Australia one more time...please!

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  42. JJ - thanks for the ratter. really great to hear things have been going well. The stand in drummer helping out, Jet on the mend and that creativity you mentioned blossoming. Listening to the last three albums has been a reawakening of musical brilliance. Melody, power, subtle moments, and always inspirational. Given the time the band have been together, and all the changes over the years, quite remarkable. All the best for next album and tour.

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  43. Please keep the albums coming! Giants is fantastic. Just watched you guys on the beach at Looe Music Festival, as awesome as you were 35 years ago! Keep it coming, we ain't had anywhere near enough yet!

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  44. Dave Greenfield told me that you guys still enjoy touring. Otherwise, you wouldn't be doing it.

    The fans keep coming back and many of us travel thousands of miles for the tours. I hope you still enjoy touring for years to come. The fan base is here to stay. When the touring does come to an end, I can only hope you guys will play the odd big gig in London from time to time. It's been a wonderful journey so far!

    Al

    USA

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  45. Just back from Looe, brilliant time was had. Was delighted to find the boys staying in the same hotel as us, initially awed by my heroes they soon made me at ease. Top gents, and what stalwarts playing on in driving rain. Its sometimes the case that meeting ones heroes disappoints, not with these guys, really good fellas and the crew were excellent too. 'Always the sun' in monsoon conditions! Brilliant. Thanks so much and please come to Cornwall again!

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  46. Don't stop. Don't stop. Pushed my way to the front of the audience in Portsmouth in March for the first time ever and I want to do it again!! Brilliant. Yellow cake's sister

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  47. Please don't stop you guys. Can't bear the thought of "one last gasp".

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  48. Look forward to seeing you in Glasgow 2013.

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