Leeds O2 Academy
The Stranglers kick it off early in Leeds, no late finish tonight, there's a student night kicking off at 11pm, so they take to the stage an hour earlier then normal at 8pm. It makes no difference, the venue is packed, no room to move, and fans have been ready to go from the moment Ruts DC had took to the stage at quarter to seven.
As cold as the Yorkshire wind blew outside, the concert goers in Leeds didn't require any warming up. None the less, the Ruts DC took to the stage to get the show going, delivering an excellent selection of their punk rock hits. It was a joy for me to be upfront for Ruts DC, I'd only come across them some five years ago when I dug out a pile of punk and rock vinyl which features The Ruts John Peel sessions and i've been a fan ever since. Ruts DC got everyone going with the likes of You're Just A, Kill The Pain, In a Rut, and many more. Existing the stage 7:30pm, to give enough time for the crowd to hit the bar before The Stranglers take to the stage.
Regardless of how the band has adapted and members have changed overtime, The Stranglers deliver a fantastic energy of rock and punk, sounding as fresh as the albums sitting on mine and many others selves. They cannot fail to satisfy their fanbase, just a delight and a must see live to appreciate. They cram a huge set list of around 27 songs into two hours, kicking off with Toiler on Sea, into Something Better Change, a middle of Strange Little Girl, Peaches, Golden Brown, and finish of Go Buddy Go, Tank, No More Heroes.
They bring a great energy to the performance, connecting with all standing right to the back of the seated in the upper tier, from the moment they take to the stage. There's a real comfort about being at The Stranglers gig, it's punk it's rock, which you all feel connected by, like one big family ready to forget any troubles and have a great night rocking out, bouncing on your heels along with everyone else. Their wealth of great music they've created over 18 studio albums, they could play them all back to back and you wouldn't move so not to miss each great track. And this is what they bring to their gigs, back to back tracks which you soak in over two hours. Even if you've never seen listened to them before, they're a band which will draw you in and keep you their until they've finished. With a venue so packed back to front, a few struggle to squeezing into a position where they can just to catch a glimpse of them. The crowd is a full mixture of fans who've been following for the best part of 45 years, to those who were only born in this millennium, which just goes to show how present they still are, tracks as fresh as the day they were released. I hope this is not their final tour, and the selling out of venue after venue brings them back on another tour. If not and this is it for this version of The Stranglers, now's the time them on tour. And if you can't make this one they're playing some great festivals over 2022 like SVF South and SVF Midlands.
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