The Stranglers were an important part of the first movement of British punk. Not so much in that they were capable of writing angry, antagonistic songs, but more in the fact that they managed to inject various elements of late 60s dark psychedelia into the then new musical phenomenon.
Those unique ingredients came from keyboard player, Dave Greenfield, a musician who was about as close to Ray Manzarek as the punk scene ever had. His complex sounds on early Stranglers recordings like ‘Down In The Sewer’ and ‘Outside Tokyo’ set the band apart from most of their peers and were vital in the band’s movement into more pop-derived work during the 1980s. It’s hard to imagine any other punk-oriented bands having the ability to offer something as sweeping as ‘Strange Little Girl’ or the baroque influenced cool of ‘Golden Brown’. Even for people who wouldn’t consider themselves fans, Greenfield’s style really left a mark.
Dave passed away on 3rd May from complications related to the Covid-19 epidemic during an extended hospital stay. We’d like to take a moment to remember a small part of his musical legacy with two Stranglers live shows.
Part of the first recording taken from The Roundhouse in 1977 appeared on the classic ‘Live (X-Cert) album, but the whole show has never been released officially.