Gig Review: The Stranglers / Ruts DC – Nottingham Rock City (23rd March 2022)

The Stranglers are by now British punk icons, having started out in the 70s and pumped out hits such as “Peaches”, “Golden Brown” and “No More Heroes” alongside others and are known all across the globe. With this being said, after over three decades of producing albums and touring the world they have decided to call it a day as ‘The Men in Black’ and to do their final tour alongside the mighty Ruts DC. With two such amazing bands on the roster it was bound to be a fantastic night.

Opening the show are the incredibly upbeat Ruts DC, known for their classics “Babylon’s Burning” and “In a Rut”. Smashing out reggae tinged punk, they sound like a cross between The Jam and The Specials. The crowd are clearly eating each note up, singing along to almost every song. Even early on, they are forming a mass of bouncing bodies, amping up the excitement level several notches. The beer is flowing and there’s not a single face in the venue that isn’t grinning ear to ear with the excitement of seeing two legendary bands in the same room. The atmosphere is incredible.

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Following up from the Ruts are The Stranglers themselves, on absolutely top form. They perform one of the longer sets I’ve seen from a band, giving the crowd a whole two hours while bouncing around the stage. Entering to their traditional “Waltz In Black” from the film Gremlins, the crowd go absolutely crazy, as they travel through all the hits of their career. “Something Better Change”, “Nice’N’Sleazy”, “Dutchess” and “Hanging Around” are only a handful from an absolutely crammed setlist. Each song is sung back at the band, making them beam with pride. Mind you, if you’re going to write so many well known songs, the crowd are going to know them.

The show reached an emotional conclusion with “And if you Should See Dave” (a tribute to Keyboard player Dave Greenfield who sadly passed away from COVID-19) and aptly, “No More Heroes”. These songs marked the end of the night, one step closer to the end of the tour… and one step closer to retirement for these up-till-now tireless entertainers.

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All photos by Charlotte Emily Photography

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