Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Hugh Cornwell: "Why can't the Stranglers Say Something Nice about Me?"
Talking backstage after the show at the Blender on Staurday, Hugh Cornwell said he is no longer in contact with his old band members from the Stranglers. Though Cornwell as well as the remaining Stranglers still tour and play some of their old material, they have not performed together since 1990. No chance for reconciliation and a reunion? "I'm just waiting for them to finally say something nice about me, you know?" Hugh told me. "Why can't they ever say something positive about me?". In the meantime, Hugh is proud of his new band and his new found lust for rock.
Cornwell has always been a gutsy guy: He left the safe career of teaching for the rocky path of punk rock, flirted with global success and horrible funk, got out of the Stranglers and went solo. He still gets Toni Visconti to produce his album, but almost nobody to buy them. (They do have great moments, though. See a review of his newest CD, "Beyond Elysian Fields," on the right sideline of this blog).
What Cornwell, opening for "From the Jam" in New York did, was very courageous: As a trio, Cornwell, a girl on bass and a maniac drummer, they went through old Stranglers material as if Greenfield's keyboards weren't an integral part of the Stranglers, and showed that Cornwell's songs indeed easily stand the test of time. Hurrahs for Hanging Around, Down in the Sewer and Get A Grip. The tough man also stayed away from the sugary Stranglers stuff like Golden Brown and Always the Sun. Bravo.
Then again, asked, if he gave the new Stranglers LP "Suite XVI" a listen, Cornwell replied with a disinterested "No." He should, and maybe say something nice about it.