Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Wonky Bus

"I don't know what effect these men will have on the enemy but by god they terrify me" is a quote attributed to the Duke of Wellington describing his own men.
This comes to mind when I think of the horde who pile out of the Wonky bus onto unsuspecting European streets in search of a Stranglers gig. Very much, I suspect, the same as those monks on Lindisfarne in 792 when suddenly confronted by the first Viking raid.
Grown adults, not all men I hasten to add, who enjoin The Stranglers in an orgy of joy, mayhem and, for the most part, a celebration of a commonality.
They add a vibe which can never be equalled by the good burghers of the Netherlands or Belgium who I have witnessed from the relative safety of the stage observing the Wonkies with a mix of trepidation and disbelief.
I applaud these modern day berserkers who give a lift to our concerts in Europe. Long may you Wonky(a new verb).
JJ Burnel/9th December 2015
Bus illustration-Steve Beaumont


  1. Damn I'm jealous.
    (Brit living in America.)

  2. Cheers JJ. A commonality indeed Sir! The unity of sistren and brethren from many different walks of life due to a shared passion/obsession - The 'AWESOME' MeNiNbLaCk!!!

  3. Me too,
    Can you come and play Portland Oregon....

  4. I am delighted to say I invaded the stage in Vilvoorde, ran across the stage and was not ejected by the bouncers but kindly helped down off the stage by the bouncers. It was taken in great heart by the band apparently with smiles from JJ and Baz and I safely made it back to my seat. This was fuelled by double figures of Belgian beer during the day but also a homage to a band I truly love and respect. The fact I can still do this at 46 is still an amazement and I feel I am privileged to attend Stranglers concerts. I was delighted that JJ recognised me the next night in Leuven, presumably for my antics the night before, and presented me with his signature plectrum, but I have been lucky to talk to the band on other foreign excursions so maybe my boat is now known to the band. I hope so! Long live the Stranglers.

  5. didn't make it up north,but le bikini in Toulouse was nigh on full,great night!

  6. Its warming to read the connection everyone has made, I am sure we all feel that "commonality" when we digest the comments of each other. If you need to ask then you don't comprehend

  7. I'm a good burgher of The Netherlands (ha, ha) and I liked The Wonkies. You played a great gig at Gebr. de Nobel in Leiden, so I hope to see you next year. And... maybe than I'm still a good "burgher" of The Netherlands, but I dislike Dutch beer. A Dutch jenever is far better.

  8. Brits are so lucky to have so much of The Stranglers! Such great songwriting, playing ability and transcendent attitude and intellect make a lot of fans around the world wishing they had as much as British fans do!