Review: The Stranglers

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O2 Academy, Sheffield

Drummer Jet Black was regularly derided for being ancient when The Stranglers were adopted by the punk movement in the 1970s.

Decades on and he is still there – well almost – he missed the band’s show at Sheffield’s O2 Academy.

“Jet’s having a lie down and a rest”, said chirpy frontman Baz Warne.

It’s fair to say age – Jet’s now in his mid-seventies – is finally catching up with the elder statesman.

There are a few less karate kicks coming from iconic Stranglers’ bassist JJ Burnel as well, but these days fewer members of the audience want to take a pop at the martial arts expert.

It’s the music that does the talking and a packed auditorium is treated to a greatest hits package.

The decidedly mellow Golden Brown got one of the biggest cheers of the night – maybe a sign that the long-in-the-tooth audience that have grown up with the band are getting more at ease tapping their feet at the back rather than moshing at the front.

Walk On By was one of the standout tracks of the night – that and the band’s enduring Peaches, with its thunderous bass line.

No More Heroes is still one of the best songs ever penned and was a fitting end to what is a near annual visit to Steel City from the band.