The Stranglers

The Stranglers formed in 1974, and emerged as part of the early punk scene in London in 1976. I first saw them supporting Patti Smith at the Roundhouse (her first UK gig), but I mainly got to know their music during their 1976 residency at the Hope & Anchor in Islington. They played regularly, sometimes nightly and I dragged various friends down there to see them play. Intense rock and roll, with a touch of mayhem but some great rhythms. Raw, but tightly structured. High energy for sure.

These photos were taken on 29 September 1976, at a gig at The Rock garden, in Covent Garden. The set list that night was:

  • Grip
  • Bitchin’
  • Shitty City
  • Walk on By
  • Peaches
  • Sometimes
  • Hanging Around
  • The Queen in F
  • Tomorrow is the Hereafter
  • Ugly
  • Sewers
  • Go Buddy Go

The titles aren’t accurate according to the canon. They’re taken from the hand-written cover of my only remaining cassette recording of those early gigs (the cassette is not available. Sorry.).


  1. Scott September 17, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

    Thanks so much for this, you must must share the cassette music somehow, pleeeeaase!

  2. dale jowett September 18, 2014 at 9:47 am #

    I’m currently doing an article (non profit) on Jean Jacques Burnel Green Fender Precision Bass.
    Your pictures are some of the best detailed i have seen of this bass, would it be possible to obtain digital copies of these for my research ( I’am trying to accurately date the guitar and blown up detail shots would aid me in this quest.

    Loved the shots, quite an innocent looking band.


  3. Bernard September 18, 2014 at 10:24 am #

    F*ckin Ace photos fella! Bet the cassettes ace too!!

  4. steve September 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    great to see the photos, i had so many like that you had send off for them in them days love the stanglers only missed 1concert in manchester since 77 that was electric circus i so many albums cds singles from aronud world plus vids dvds still got all my tickets stranglers on rockstage on tv was brill rooll on march

  5. Nick September 19, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Great photos. I’d love to have sen them at that time – had to wait until ’81.
    And oh how i’d love to hear that cassette!

  6. yesican September 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    Great pictures…would love to hear the cassette recording..!!

  7. Dedicated server March 17, 2016 at 2:37 am #

    In 1979, one of the Stranglers’ two managers advised them to break up as he felt that the band had lost direction, but this idea was dismissed and they parted company with theirthen current management team.

  8. NEIL HORGAN August 10, 2016 at 3:42 pm #

    I would like to buy these original photos or contact sheets from 1976 , I m a stranglers collector and will pay good money for these or anything else you may have …great work !


    Neil .

    • Words August 11, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

      Hi Neil, all I have are one set of small prints from back in ’76, which I won’t part with. I wish I did have the negatives! These scans are the best I could do. Sorry.

  9. Ian March 5, 2017 at 11:02 pm #

    I was at the 1976 Falmer gig. We didn’t realise a big hit was on the way at that time.

  10. V July 30, 2017 at 1:59 am #

    Hi Paul, can you contact me with regards to possibly purchasing the originals of these photos. Thanks – They would go to a punk rock museum exhibition

  11. Baz August 3, 2017 at 12:31 am #

    Great Pics!! good times back in the day 🙂

  12. Daz November 11, 2017 at 6:29 pm #

    First saw em in 1980 at the Southampton Gaumont.I was 14 at the time. Needless to say I will never forget it.These pics are ace I’m wallowing in nostalgia!

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