Answering the critics

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FANS of new wave won’t be able to breathe with excitement, as The Stranglers are back on tour.

Over the course of the next two months, the icons — who spent 40 years together — will undertake a Ruby Anniversary tour across the UK.

Bassist JJ Burnell has taken the opportunity to settle some scores with those who doubted the band could make it.

He told The Extra: “On this, the occasion of our ruby anniversary, I would like to take this opportunity to stick my fingers up to everyone who wrote us off and dismissed us.

“However I would like to thank those who saw beyond the words of the critics and drew their own conclusions. He who laughs last laughs longest and loudest. We will make a lot of noise with our friends.”

The band are one of the great stories from the punk generation, with their own highly original sound that combined a brilliant melodic touch with a genuine dark aggression and effortless 
cool.

The Stranglers are a pivotal band from those inspirational times and have been acknowledged with their recent BBC Proms appearance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Their continued run of album success has marked a long, controversial and pioneering career.

The men in black are celebrating their 40th anniversary year with a series of UK dates, including a return to Hammersmith Apollo, which they first played in 1976 and last played in 2011.

The band intend to feature a selection of material from every studio album of their 40 year career, from their debut album Rattus Norvegicus to their most recent acclaimed album, Giants.

To commemorate the band’s 40th anniversary, well known cartoonist-in-black Steve Beaumont has been commissioned to produce a new series of images.

Steve’s cartoons of the band frequently featured in the pages of Strangled magazine throughout the 80s and his famous group image even adorned the rear of the European Female picture disc back in 1983.

More than 30 years later, it is fitting that he should be asked to caricature the band again for their ruby anniversary and he has drawn a brilliant batch of cartoons.

As part of this year’s Ruby merchandise range, t-shirts and band hand-signed prints of the images will be available — and even a mug.

They look forward to unveilng SB’s work soon.

The Stranglers will visit Glasgow’s 02 Academy on Friday.

Doors open at 7pm, and tickets (£23) are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk.

Nine Below Zero, who are also celebrating an anniversary (their 35th year on the stage), will support.