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20 September 2013 - Hope & Anchor - London

by ElvisInTheClouds

What better place for a tribute to The Stranglers to play? 
The Hope and Anchor played an important part in the early career of The Stranglers. 
In November 1977 the live recording of ‘Tits’ from the White EP was recorded here at the session that would later be released as 'Live at The Hope and Anchor’. And then-landlord ‘Fred Grainger’ (who gave the band a much needed ‘break’) was name checked as ‘Grainger man’ in the song ‘Bitching’. 
For those neither old enough nor fortunate enough to have seen The Stranglers here during this period, this gig presented a perfect opportunity to hear the MK1 songs played live in this setting. 
A fair number of 'fansinblack' filled out this little basement venue to be greeted by the band kicking off with a lively ‘Burning Up Time’. Treating us to a set packed with classics like: ‘Toiler on The Sea’, ‘Goodbye Toulouse’, ‘Sometimes’ and ‘Princess of The Streets’ to name a few. The band seemed tight and on form and there was a good banter with the crowd. And the sound… 
…The sound was fantastic and very ‘very’ authentic, from the Snarling vocal and biting guitar, to the swirling keyboard* via the growling bass and relentless pounding drums. If you had closed your eyes it could’ve been 1977. 
The set was like a ‘best of’ compilation compiled by real fans. We were treated to ‘The Raven’, ‘Who Wants The World’, ‘Go Buddy Go’, ‘London Lady’ and many more. Some of the material in this set rarely gets played by the actual band these days, songs like ‘Tramp’ and the wonderful ‘Peasant in The Big Shitty’. 
The crowd responded in kind with energetic revelry and word perfect accompanyment, just as if they were actually seeing The Stranglers. At one point the band took a quick poll of the audience to see if they wanted ‘Down in The Sewer’ or ‘Genetix’ to be played… I requested both but ‘Sewer’ won the day and it did not disappoint! 
Before we knew it the band had left the stage. Then one enthusiastic crowd member got on the mic to stir up the crowds appreciation for what they had just witnessed. The crowd didn’t need much encouragement here as they were cheering and howling for an encore. An encore was duly given; a rousing ‘No More Heroes’ followed by a brilliant ‘Tank’. Then it was all over and the fans slowly began to file out of the venue with big fat grins on their faces. 
Highly recommended! 
*The inclusion of a Hammond organ and other period keyboards gave a real authenticity to the sound – Stunning! 

Above review courtesy of: ElvisInTheClouds at -
Many thanks to Elvis!

19 June 2011 - Hope & Anchor - London

by Finchley Boy Alan A. Hillier

Great to see all the gang, a brilliant, brilliant, evening and I must reiterate your point Sid, it really was a great shame that the turnout was so poor…….and a lot of people missed out on something very special last night……..BUT If you would have told me 35 years ago that I would have been standing in the basement of the Hope and Anchor on an evening in June 2011 listening to a Strangler’s tribute band I would have thought that impossible beyond anybody’s wildest dreams, but last night I was and I have to say that it was truly amazing. When I initially thought about going I had some reservations, but any doubt about the quality of this band were ‘blown away’ in seconds as they launched into their set. Straighten Out are simply brilliant. They are the first ‘Tribute’ band I have ever seen, ever, and the word ‘Tribute’ suddenly takes on a new resonance with me because that’s exactly what they did, they paid tribute to some of the greatest British songs that, in my opinion, have ever been written and played them with consummate skill, style and passion. The level of their musicianship was astonishing as they brought these incredible songs ‘back to life’ in a venue that holds so many memories for me personally and I want to take this opportunity to thank Shaggy and all the boys for a memorable step back in time, evoking some fantastic recollections. For any Stranglers fan this band are simply unmissable and I wholeheartedly endorse them without reservation and can’t wait to see them in action again. I had not been to see a band play at the Hope and Anchor (Although I have been in the bar upstairs a few times) since the Front row festival in 77, and walking down the stair case to enter the gig I must admit to having more than a few ‘flashbacks’. I needed a few minutes to re-orientate myself and quickly realised that the original stage had been moved and would have been on my left as I faced the band. The room seemed smaller than I remembered and as I looked around, images of 1977 flickered into my mind, the smells, the faces, powerful images of the Front Row Festival flooding my mind in black and white and sometimes sepia and of course, visions of The Stranglers. I watched, I listened and occasionally I closed my eyes. Straighten out ‘delivered’ last night and once again all I can add is………………. Thank you 
P.S .If someone can remember the set list and post it, that would be great, because it really was a great set.

Extracted from: (Burning Up Times forum)