The Stranglers performing their Fifty Years In Black – The Anniversary Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Tuesday 19th March 2024.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Who would have thought that you would see The Stranglers and chandeliers on the same stage but they were on Tuesday night at the Royal Concert Hall as they performed a twenty-eight song set as part of their Fifty Years in Black – The Anniversary Tour.

Performing to a packed crowd, the men in black came onto the stage to deliver the first of two sets, which could not have been more different. With the first set focusing on their lesser known material, they started with the bizarre Just Like Nothing On Earth which was followed by the equally strange Hallow To Our Men.

Engaging in a little self indulgence, which they are fully entitled to do after fifty years, they followed up with The Raven which was poignantly dedicated to Jet Black and Dave Greenfield who are both now sadly departed leaving JJ Burnel as the only original member, along with Baz Warne who joined the band in 2000.

JJ still manages that menacing look which has endeared him to fans throughout the years, as he provides the pulsating bass lines that The Stranglers are known for. North Winds got a rare outing before Warne excelled with the taxing Genetix. Finishing with Down In The Sewer, the crowd knew that their favourites were yet to come, and they were not disappointed.

With a buzz of excitement, the second set started with a trio of old bangers such as Who Wants The World, Dagenham Dave whilst Duchess has lost none of its urgency, passion or power. Things got slightly mellower with Always The Sun and Skin Deep which had the crowd singing along, before that distinctive bass intro signalled that it was time for Peaches and the wonderful Golden Brown.

For the encore they returned for the boisterous Go Buddy Go, a song they wrote and performed as a band fifty years ago and the bludgeoning No More Heroes.

In those chandeliers there may have been a few bulbs out, but The Stranglers were well and truly alight as they took this audience on a trip of pure nostalgia and left them pondering as to where those fifty years had gone.