By John Curley
This past Monday, February 28th, The Stranglers appeared as one of the guests on the French TV music program ARTE Concert Ground Control. Hosted by the French musician Christophe Chassol, the program features bands and solo artists in performance and conversation. On the February 28th broadcast, the current lineup of The Stranglers (bassist and founding member JJ Burnel, vocalist and guitarist Baz Warne, drummer Jim Macaulay and keyboardist Toby Hounsham) are shown performing five songs. The first 20 minutes of the hour-long show were devoted to the band. And they returned at the end of the show to close it out.
Opening with a powerhouse version of “No More Heroes” that showcased their signature prog-meets-punk sound and was augmented by a stage-invading dancing guy clad in a kilt, The Stranglers were also shown performing their cover of The Disciples of Spess’ “This Song” (which appeared on their most recent album, Dark Matters) as well as the classics “Hanging Around,” “Tank” and “Always The Sun.” The crowd in the studio watching the performance appeared to be having a fantastic time.
In addition to his performance with The Stranglers, Burnel also did an interview in French on the program with Chassol. And Burnel participated in a four-way conversation in English with Chassol and the brothers Jim Reid and William Reid of the Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain, who were also guests on the show.
The other guests on the program were Keren Ann and Quatour Debussy and Molly Lewis.
The program was streamed live on ARTE Concert’s YouTube channel and on ARTE Concert’s Facebook page. It is available for on-demand viewing at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UauZL-m1Ohg. It can also be viewed below:
In addition, the full program is available for viewing on ARTE TV’s Web site at https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/106734-000-A/ground-control/.
On Monday, March 14th, The Stranglers’ full performance for Ground Control, including several songs that were not broadcast on February 28th, will be available for on-demand viewing on ARTE Concert’s Web site at https://www.arte.tv/en/arte-concert/.
Goldmine’s review of The Stranglers’ Dark Matters album from October 2021 can be read at https://www.goldminemag.com/reviews/the-stranglers-provide-a-fitting-farewell-to-bandmate-with-dark-matters.