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26th January 2012
Acoustic former Strangler...
by wendavey on 6th March 2013 14:31
Former chief Strangler opened a short solo acoustic UK tour last night at Arc arts centre in Stockton with the very definition of an intimate performance.
After quickly hitting his stride with “Duchess” from The Stranglers 1979 album “The Raven”, the jet-lag appeared to snap at his heels during “Land Of A Thousand Kisses”, where he had to stop momentarily and check the lyrics with an audience member. A quick apology later and it was a return to The Stranglers with “Never Say Goodbye” and what Cornwell claimed was his first acoustic performance of “Nuclear Device” which if, true, worked remarkably well.
While it was terrific to hear the old Stranglers’ songs pared back to their bare bones – also included during the evening were “Strange Little Girl”, “Hanging Around”, “Goodbye Toulouse”, “Nice ‘N’ Sleazy”, “Golden Brown” (which was performed with some joyous Mexican style mariachi guitar), “Always The Sun”, “Tramp” and “No More Heroes” – Cornwell also included a fine selection of solo material including “Under Her Spell”, “The Pleasure of Your Company” and “One Burning Desire”, but “24/7″, his ode to the joys of being Bob Dylan and sung in a Dylanesque drawl proved a highlight and was performed with a lot of affection towards his hero.
Cornwell also delighted the appreciative audience with lovely cover versions of two songs he admitted to wishing he’d written – Ricky Nelson’s “Sweeter Than You” and The Everly Brothers’ “Take A Message to Mary”. Both came as surprises, bookending the end of his first set and start of his second.
Material from the new album “Totem & Taboo” was not over-exposed, which could perhaps suggest another tour later this year to promote its release, but “Gods, Gays & Guns”, “Carroll” and the title track all sounded strong lyrically and will sound even richer with Cornwell’s band behind him to fill out the sound.
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