Joe Strummer once commented that punk was about ‘getting rid of the old, and bringing in the new’, an idea which works well in theory but not as well when applied to punk bands hitting their 40th.
Sidestepping Strummers pronouncements, and believing instead that there is nothing more ‘punk’ than punk defying it’s own rules, it’s nice to see the return of the Stranglers to the North East.
Surely now applying for the job as punks last remaining champions, the Stranglers played a greatest hits set showcasing their use of intellectual themes to prick the sleeping conscience of society. Standout tracks ‘Always the sun’ and ‘No more heroes’ provide a reminder of both their socialist beliefs and musical abilities; with Jean Jacques Burnel, in particular, providing a fantastic demonstration in the art of live musicianship.
The Stranglers may not be new, but they do say that 40 is the new 20, so on this form I’m sure Joe would approve.