Review: The Stranglers at Portsmouth Guildhall

The Stranglers
The Stranglers
David Cassidy pictured in 2008. Picture: PA

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Hanging at the back of the stage are four giant picture frames, encasing video screens.

They show silhouettes of men, descending, as if in lifts, before the band, all clad in black – naturally – emerge on to the stage.

With 40 years under their belts, The Stranglers have plundered all aspects of their back catalogue for this ruby anniversary tour.

Jean-Jacques Burnel’s bass punches the gut, while guitarist/vocalist of 14 years Baz Warne is more than a match for the material.

Opening with London Lady, they ripped through No More Heroes, and dispatched a leering Peaches early on. Sadly health problems prevent original drummer Jet Black playing a full gig these days, but he came out, to huge cheers, for the classic one-two of Golden Brown and Always The Sun.

They came back for one final blitzkrieg through Tank, leaving their audience well sated after a full two hours and 30 songs.

If this proves to be their last hurrah with the current line-up, then they’re going out on a high.