Among The Stranglers huge back catalogue there is a rather obscure B-side on the 12-inch version of Shakin’ Like a Leaf called An Evening With Hugh Cornwell.
It’s a rather hilarious collection of the guitarist’s live musings, rants and raves in between songs on tour and it’s something other frontmen could do with listening to.
Instead of the bland, disinterested ‘How y’all feeling’, ‘Let me see your hands etc etc’, the usual utterings, Hugh could give them a lesson on how to really connect with an audience.
Which leads us to Hugh Cornwell’s latest solo tour and a fascinating walk through his musical life both with The Stranglers and as a solo artist.
You didn’t really need the music, his anecdotes and revealing insights into living with The Stranglers and out on his own captivated the audience at Leeds Carriageworks on Wednesday night.
Not that he can’t write a tune. I remember Roy Thomas Baker, the producer of The Stranglers’ album 10, saying Hugh was the man who could always pen a pop song.
How right he was. We had a tour of some The Stranglers greatest hits: Always The Sun, Nice ‘n’ Sleazy, Golden Brown etc but his songwriting prowess also shines through on his solo material. We were treated to a track from each of his solo offerings - from Nosferatu to his latest solo effort Totem and Taboo, probably his finest offering so far.
We also had a glimpse of the future with a track, La Grande Dame, from Heroes and Villains out next year.
The tour is to promote Hugh’s anthology The Fall and Rise of Hugh Cornwell. So true, his star will always shine bright... as long as he keeps chatting to us.
Gig date: November 4