5 Minutes With The Stranglers

Legendary rockers The Stranglers celebrate 50 years as a band in 2024, with a headline tour lined up across March.

We caught up with guitarist and vocalist Baz Warne to get the low down on what to expect.

Check out the full interview below.

Firstly - you’re heading out on tour celebrating half a century of The Stranglers – where do you begin gearing up for that landmark?

We started in around October with the aim to be ready within six months – a lot of time is spent asking each out ‘what do you think of this?’ and then we start to prune it and make it leaner. Then we head to the rehearsal studio and blow the cobwebs away and tighten everything up. We didn’t do many shows last year so it is great to be back in a live room with a new lease of life.

Although you’ve been on the live circuit for so long, is there still a lot of preparation that goes into getting ready for tour?

Absolutely! We came back to the rehearsal space in February to do a solid week before going home to recharge the batteries. Once we get out on the road it is manic and you never have a moment to yourself. I love that and it is fantastic to do what we do, but it takes it out of you and we’re not getting any younger. We made the decision to do less shows but bigger ones this year to mark the prestigious 50th anniversary.

You’ve teased final tours before – but do you think this will be a nice way to cap off a career?

We’ve had a bit of criticism from people saying ‘oh, you said you weren’t going to tour again’, but luckily there has only been a handful of those. I think most people are happy to get another show from us – especially after we didn’t play too much last year.

Is there anything that immediately comes to mind on how touring has changed for The Stranglers over the past five decades?

We’ve gradually brought more songs into the set over the years, and this time we’ll be playing at least one per show that hasn’t been heard live in 50 years which is exciting for us. We’ve been lucky to change our live show and be weird and obscure – but we also sit on a mountainous pile of hits which we have to play. It is a balancing act of giving The Stranglers’ aficionados something new, but also pleasing the majority of people in the concert halls that have come to hear the handful of hits they know. So to answer your question I think we’ve become more aware of keeping the harmony between us, the die hard fans and the wider public.

You’re playing some iconic venues on this run – are there any particular cities that have adopted The Strangers over the years?

It sounds really cliché, but we get a lot of love wherever we go. Glasgow has always been special, the North East is always kind to me, and London has always been massive with raucous affairs. We’re playing the Concert Hall in Nottingham this time around, but when we’ve played Rock City in the past it has always been amazing. It is remarkable that Rock City has stood the test of time but the last time we played there it was clear that they’ve improved the place and great to see so many people still going there!

What else is lined up for The Stranglers across this year and beyond?

We have a lot of festivals, the 50th anniversary tour and then we’ll start looking at taking the celebrations overseas. We’re lucky to still be plugging away at new material and to be able to bank it on mobile phones instead of having to find a cassette player like when we started out. We probably won’t be getting into the studio until next year but there are always new ideas coming so we’ll see what happens!

Some shows have already sold out - final tickets for remaining dates are on sale now!

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Hey - I'm Callum. Fan of The National, collector of vinyl, season ticket holder at Leeds United, owner of Dougal the cat.

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