Jean Jacques Burnel Newcastle Mayfair 1979
And thus a strangler was reborn as a Euroman and he did cometh to the toon of Newcastle to perform at the glorious Mayfair ballroom for a (rather sparse) crowd of punks and rockers. And those of us there, in the presence of the Euroman, did marvel at his skill and prowess as a bass player and as a musician, even if we were a little perplexed at, and surprised by, the nature of the musical tapestry which he unveiled to us. For this was an evening of euro electronica, far removed from the punkish tunings of his regular combo The Stranglers, obviously influenced by the powerful sound of Kraftwerk and other similar Euro bands. Yes this was a strange night, and not at all what I expected at the time. I hadn’t taken the trouble to hunt out the Euroman Cometh lp before going to this gig, and wasn’t sure what I was going to see. What I didn’t expect was a set of heavy synth and drum music. It made for a very different and more enjoyable evening than Marie and I had anticipated. Jean Jacques’ band for the tour featured John Ellis from the Vibrators, and I also recall that he drove his beloved Triumph motorbike on stage and revved it up for the intro to Triumph of the Good City, which is one of the tracks on the album. I picked up a vinyl copy of the album some years ago at a car boot sale, and was pleasantly surprised by it, all over again. It is actually a great album; do listen to it if you get the chance. The CD issue features nine bonus tracks recorded live on the 1979 tour at the Hemel Hempstead gig.
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