THE STRANGLERS’ frontman and guitarist Baz Warne lets the music do the talking at Tel Aviv’s Mann Auditorium. (.
(photo credit: SHLOMI PINTO)
One of punk’s original and most varied bands returned to Israel last week, and did not disappoint.
The Stranglers have gone through many changes since they were the angry men in black of the mid-‘70s punk explosion in England. But their 40-plus years’ experience is proving that while they may have grown kinder, they’re still an explosive rock & roll band.
Mann Auditorium was packed with fans of a certain age who grew up on the band, and the contradiction of energetic, rabble-rousing music being performed in a staid concert hall soon went by the wayside. After sitting in their seats for the opening “Waltz in Black,” the audience discarded their seats and with the encouragement of guitarist Baz Warne moved into the aisles and down to the front of the stage for the remainder of the two-hour show.
This band does not fall under the limitations of any genre label and transitions smoothly between their punk rockera hits like “Nice ‘N’ Sleazy” throughout their later melodic hits like “Golden Brown” and “Always the Sun.”
Relative newcomer Warne and band co-founders Jean-Jacques Burnel and Dave Greenfield compensated impeccably for the absence of Hugh Cornwell, their original front-man who left in the ’90s.
Their playlist consisted of songs spanning across their 42 years, and included widespread audience participation, especially on “Nice ‘n’ Sleazy,” “(Get a) Grip (On Yourself),” “Peaches” and their early punk anthem “No More Heroes.”
They concluded with rousing cover renditions of Dionne Warwick’s “Walk on By” and the Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night.”
Burnell, who in an interview with The Jerusalem Post and at a press conference in Tel Aviv, was outspoken against the boycott movement against Israel, didn’t need to say a word about the matter from the stage. The music said it all.
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