Former Strangler is in fine form, but still loses his cool
Published 27/01/2014 | 08:30
While the remaining Stranglers have pounded the circuit relying on the residual loyalty of their fan base – and an admittedly still impressive live kick – former front man Hugh Cornwell has ploughed a defiantly individualistic furrow.
Resisting what I imagine must be the lucrative option of burying the hatchet with his old band mates, his determination to do his own thing is heartwarmingly punk in itself.
So enter a raffish Mr Cornwell armed only with an acoustic guitar and an intent to play one track from each of his albums from the Stranglers onwards, a simple idea which initially worked very well, with old standards like Nice and Sleazy gaining a kind of music hall charm and a rejuvenated Golden Brown sounding especially at home.
Even the 'unlistenable' Men in Black album produced one acoustic gem in Thrown Away. But then a tetchy Mr Cornwell, grown fed up with the Black Box's tendency towards the conversational rather lost it.
A foul mouthed harangue followed, destroying what had been an, up until then, affable atmosphere.
The applause became more polite as the intros became perfunctory.
A pity, because some of his solo work, such as the Robert Mitchum inspired Big Sleep was more than worth a listen.
Just learn a little patience Mr Cornwell. You're not a chemistry teacher any more.