The Stranglers performing their Final Full UK Tour In Memory Of Dave at Rock City Nottingham on Wednesday 23rd March 2022

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

With a career spanning five decades The Stranglers are finally hanging up their guitars as they embark upon their farewell tour in memory of their late vocalist and keyboardist, Dave Greenfield who passed away in May 2020, and there was a capacity crowd at Rock City on Wednesday night to say goodbye.

But it was Ruts DC who opened the proceedings, a band that has a long history with The Stranglers. With their mixture of punk, ska and reggae they were rapturously received by the crowd. Kicking off with one of their better known singles Something That I Said which was followed by another early tune, S.U.S, the crowd were brought alive as the iconic tune had Leigh Heggarty belting out the chords on the chorus.

Newer song Feel The Rain came mid-set and brand new tune Born Innocent was played right before Jah War. The band played two of their popular chart singles, Staring At The Rude Boys and Babylon’s Burning before Psychic Attack brought their thrilling set to an end.

Waltzinblack has always signified the arrival of The Strangers and they took to the stage to rapturous applause. Getting straight into their set with Toiler On The Sea from their 1978 album Black And White, which was followed by a very poignant version of the classic Something Better Change.

From the original line up only vocalist Jean-Jacques Burnel remains, but vocalist and guitarist Baz Warne has been in the band since 2000. Joined by drummer Jim Macaulay and Toby Hounsham who did a splendid job on the keys they continued with classics such as Skin Deep, the Clash-esque Nice ‘n’ Sleazy which packed a punch, Strange Little Girl which induced a mass sing along, Peaches with its reggae inspired groove and Golden Brown which saw the crowd getting louder and louder.

Ending with the energy infused Straighten Out, the mod sounding Duchess and the anthemic Hanging Around their first encore saw JJ and Baz on stools for a stripped back version of The Lines and an ultimate tribute song, the beautiful If You Should See Dave, sung with intense raw emotion that touchingly spilled out across the masses.

With the band all together for Tank, Go Buddy Go and No More Heroes, The Stranglers said their goodbyes, thanking their fans for their years of support before leaving the Rock City stage for, what could be, the last time.