Gig Review

The Stranglers
The Popes
Bristol, Academy
17th March 2012

The Stranglers    The Popes


Photo Of The Popes © Copyright TriggerThe Popes are the main support for The Stranglers tonight and I can’t think of a more perfect band to support them on this St Patricks day gig, The Popes spent their earlier years with former Pogues frontman Shane MacGowen fronting them but over recent years have had Paul (Mad Dog) mcGuinness fronting them and what a frontman he is with his skinhead biker look and cocky on stage swagger.

During their 30 minute set The Popes played a great selection of Irish folk music it was Photo Of The Popes © Copyright Triggerupbeat and fun from start to finish and I have to say that Ben Gummy was absolutely amazing on the fiddle and really gave the crowd reason to dance like nutters to his fast paced playing, Mad Dog spent a lot of time talking to the crowd about various different things and gained a huge cheer when he introduced the song ‘Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down’.

As a support act The Popes were fun and got the crowd warmed up but I did start to wonder just how the band would go down in a headline environment.

Photo Of The Stranglers © Copyright TriggerThe Stranglers took to the stage at 9.20pm and came on to their usual ‘Watlzinblack’ introduction and the first thing I noticed as the band took to the stage was that Jett black was missing and their drum tech was situated behind the drums instead but Baz Warne soon touched on the matter when he spoke to the crowd and said “Sadly Jett Black is not with us tonight as he is ill” this was met with a weird reaction from the crowd but Warne soon snapped back saying “shut the fuck up and let me finish” before explaining that “Jett black is currently unwell but his guitar tech is behind the drums tonight and is fantastic and has been teching for the band for the past 20 years” this was met with loud cheers and the show carried on in a positive way.

Photo Of The Stranglers © Copyright TriggerThe set that The Stranglers played featured 24 songs many of them classics such as ‘Burning Up Time’, ‘No More Heroes’, ‘Golden Brown’ etc but the band also managed to squeeze 4 tracks from their recently released 17th studio album ‘Gaints’ in and each of those tracks went down extremely well with ‘Mercury Rising’ getting the biggest response out of all the new tracks.

JJ Burnel had a serious look on his face for the whole show like he was paid to not smile but at the same time he was at the top of his game and got his swagger on moving across the stage with some nifty footwork whilst knocking out those tasty basslines that made The Stranglers who they are Photo Of The Stranglers © Copyright Triggertoday, Dave Greenfield was situated to the back of the stage and pretty much out of view due to the amount of keyboards in front of him but that didn’t matter to the fans as he knocked out those synths to perfection.

During the show The Stranglers managed to fit 24 tracks in and played 2 encores and left the stage to massive cheers, in my eyes The Stranglers were just as good as when I saw them in Birmingham back in March 2010 but the only downside of the night was knowing that Jett Black had to sit the show out due to being ill but I am sure he will be back behind the drums in no time.

The Popes 3/5
The Stranglers 4/5

Review By Trigger

 The Stranglers

Jean-Jacques Burnel
Baz Warne
Jet Black
Dave Greenfield

 The Popes

Paul(Mad Dog)McGuinness
Charlie Hoskyns
Will Morrison
Jim McAllister
Dave Allen
Whiskey Mick

 Band Related Links
The Stranglers Facebook
The Popes Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?