The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by ThruBeingCool » 14 Nov 2009, 19:36

1981 was a busy year for The Stranglers and their fans wasn’t it? 2 albums and 2 U.K tours! I saw the band live 8 times during this year which doesn’t seem much these days but for an 18 year old I suppose wasn’t too bad.

I have to say that I thought The Stranglers dragged out the whole ‘MiB’ thing a bit too much for my liking. I found the album to be a little dreary and felt that many of the songs didn’t really work that well in a live scenario. Therefore I was really excited when The Stranglers followed this up with the release of ‘La Folie’ which was more my cuppa, with songs that were just made to be played live. I loved the album and thought that The Stranglers were rejuvenated both in the studio and on stage.

My first date on the La Folie Tour was at the Birmingham Odeon - 1 of 4 gigs that I went to on the first leg of the tour. I seem to remember that it was a last minute decision to go one Sunday afternoon. After phoning the venue to confirm that tickets were still available it was time for some hastily made travel plans. Can’t remember why but I think I paid on the door for most of the gigs I went to on this tour so it was always a gamble if we were gonna get in or not as the gigs did seem to be quite well attended.

In 1981 I bought my first motorbikes and at the time of the La Folie tour I had a nice Kawasaki KH250 (remember those 3 cylinder 2 stroke jobbies?) but I hadn’t passed my motorcycle test yet. Now me and my best mate ‘Nev’ had a bit of a dilemma that day. We really wanted to travel down to Birmingham to see The Stranglers but how to get there and back was the problem. The only form of transport at our disposal was my motorbike but I wasn’t allowed to carry a pillion passenger! However, being true punks at heart we decided that we simply had to take the ‘L’ plate off and break the law - rock’n’roll eh? :twisted:

So eventually we found ourselves heading for Birmingham on that dark early Sunday evening in November. It was pissing down with rain for most of the journey, we really had no idea where we were going and we were shitting ourselves at the thought of being stopped by the Police. But it was a great adventure nevertheless! At one point we arrived at an ‘ODEON’, pulled over and gave the building the once over. Was this the venue? Looked a bit deserted, not to mention closed. Turned out to be the Tamworth Odeon (a cinema) and we still had another 20 miles or so to go! That’s how clueless we both were! :oops:

I’ll never know how we made it into Birmingham city centre and actually found the proper Odeon but by some miracle we did. After leaving the bike in some side street near the venue we found ourselves upstairs in the seats awaiting the support band - Taxi Girl. I didn’t know any of their music at the time but they turned out to be quite good . Although I went to3 other dates on the first leg of the tour this was the only time I saw the full Taxi Girl set. They definitely had a strong Stranglers influence and to this day I still regard them as the best support act on a U.K tour. Check out their album ‘Seppuku’ - pure class! 8)

Then we waited with anticipation for The Stranglers. What would they play? What would they look like? Etc They always seemed to appear a little different with each tour and of course set lists were never predictable in those days were they? Not long then before our questions were answered. The band came on to ‘Waltzinblack’ and went straight into ‘Non Stop’. Very impressive! The set list also included ‘LMIYTTF’, ‘Tramp’,’Man They Love To Hate’ and ‘Golden Brown’ from the new album. I can’t remember much about the rest of the set but songs from the ‘Gospel’ were still being played along with a selection of tracks from earlier years. The likes of ‘Heroes’, ‘Peaches’, ‘Grip’ etc didn’t get a look in during this era. Instead we were treated to more album tracks. If I remember correctly ‘Themeninblack’ and the cocktail intro to ‘Nubiles’ got their first live airings during this tour as well. Could be wrong as my memory ain’t what it used to be. However I do remember for sure that at the end of the Birmingham show those folk dressed up in the ‘La Folie’ letters costumes made an appearance after the band had left the stage and were swaying along to ‘La Folie’ which was being played over the PA. Some people have confused this spectacle with the band playing the song live over the years.

Anyway, following the gig it was time to head back to Nottingham, once again it was pissing it down with rain and although we were soaked and freezing by the time we arrived home there was a real sense of achievement at making this gig. Mission accomplished and with 3 more to go!

Next up a home fixture! The Stranglers second visit to ‘Rock City’ that year -they were spoiling us Nottingham fans! Don’t recall too much about this gig to be honest apart from JJ’s red braces and trying to get some fat birds tits out upstairs in the venue. Oh, I also bought a Taxi Girl t-shirt here, one of me favourites for many years (or months!) to come.

The third gig I went to was at The Lyceum in Sheffield. Only time I’ve ever been to this venue which was situated in a fairly derelict part of Sheffield city centre as I remember. It’s still going today although the surrounding area has changed a lot since 1981 from what I saw last year. Anyhow, about 7 of us from Nottingham travelled to this gig - me and a pillion passenger (tut! tut!) on my motorbike and 5 in a car. We were lucky to get into this gig. It was on a Saturday night and was about sold out by the time we arrived. However, we managed to get tickets but were all seated right up in the rafters at the back of the upstairs section. View wasn’t particularly good then so I’ll never know if actual penetration occurred when The Stranglers produced a banana to punish some punter on stage for reasons unknown to me or that I’ve forgotten about. Can anyone else shed any light on this incident?

On the way home Nev refused to continue travelling back with me following a service stop because he thought I was going too fast down the M1.I had been thrashing the engine to be fair. Anyway, he got in the car and wouldn’t be moved leaving another mate (Waz) to take his place on the motorbike. Nev shouldn’t have worried though because I ended up blowing a cylinder shortly afterwards and we only managed to plod along down the motorway at 50 mph max! Mind ya, this coulda been down to the fact that Waz was a reet fat bastard! :idea:

My final gig of the first leg of the tour was at Loughborough University - “Loogabarooga!” as my Dad used to say, or “Loughborough! Puffborough!” as Hugh referred to it on the night. About a half dozen or so of the same lads who had gone to previous gigs accompanied me and on this occasion we were all cramped into the back of somebody’s van! Or were we in a cars? I forget. Another great gig though and a slight change in the set list with the insertion of ‘HTFTLAHITPD’. Not the best of choices for a rock’n’ roll gig I thought. In fact, I was quite bewildered by this inclusion because not only was it one of the weakest tracks on the album (imho) it was also included at the expense of the far superior ‘Tramp‘ (I think). It was without doubt one of those “get on with it!” moments. No surprise then that The Stranglers have never returned to this track over the years. And the only time I ever returned to Loughborough University for a gig was on the ‘Heaven Or Hell’ Tour in 1991. My first experience of Paul Roberts with The Stranglers and all I’ve gotta say about that one is that it’s another story altogether!

More fun and games on our return when Nev and another mate (Kev) came to fisticuffs over a discarded leather jacket. The girliest fight I’ve ever seen and I wasn’t the only one rolling about on the floor in fits of laughter…but I guess you had to be there to appreciate it.

Finally, whilst we’re on the subject of this tour lets not forget that there was a 2nd leg in early 1982. This was due to the success of ‘Golden Brown’ as you all know and the choice of towns/cities was by and large made up of places that weren’t regular haunts of The Stranglers (or most other big bands of the time) if my memory serves me well. Hence my return to Derby Assembly Rooms for a gig that is really only memorable for me due to my one man stage invasion. Got up, did the JJ walk for a minute or so whilst the band played ‘Nuclear Device’. I went right up to Jet who just seemed to look straight through me. No one seemed to be bothered about kicking me off the stage, neither The Stranglers or the security!. Eventually I began to feel like a twat and jumped back into the crowd. Maybe if I’d stayed longer I might have experienced the banana treatment? Gulp! Turned out to be the last time The Stranglers played Derby btw for all you trivia fans.

Anyway, that’s all folks! Thanks LordinLondon for introducing this thread as it’s given me the opportunity to reminisce over some great days and great gigs with some of my very old friends who sadly have either no or (at best) very little interest in these matters these days. :smt011

Btw: Am I the only person who bought a record called ‘Domino Dance’ by Logic System? T’was an instrumental which was played at Stranglers shows circa ‘La Folie’ era. Anyone? :?:

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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by jason » 14 Nov 2009, 22:01

You've just made me very jealous Thrubeingcool! Sounds like great times.

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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by ThruBeingCool » 14 Nov 2009, 23:36

jason wrote:You've just made me very jealous Thrubeingcool! Sounds like great times.

Yes, great times indeed. If only we had such a thing as the internet way back then :idea: In those days no one really linked up, maybe you would spot a familiar face or quite simply get talking to a stranger and that was it! Just ships that passed in a night on the whole. The Stranglers were a major pop/rock act in those days and as a fan you just went along with the masses and with your own mates not expecting reviews/feedback etc on a forum.

It's possibly better now being a Stranglers fan than it was almost 3 decades ago. Although we've lost the original, superior version of the band we now live in an age where the social aspect e.g meet ups etc by far outweigh the content of a gig. Or am I wrong here :?:
Last edited by ThruBeingCool on 15 Nov 2009, 10:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by GLASGOWSCOTTSINBLACK » 14 Nov 2009, 23:48

ah happy days could go on talking about these gigs forever...saw them on this tour at the glasgow apollo .rember standing in the circle wishing to be down in the stalls..but plenty more to come for that later..was this the time they came out with the white towels/covers over each band member at the strat of the gig...also did they not do a gig in feb the same year..???have to go and search ticket stubs....i ll allways remmeber my 1st stranglers gig at the apollo cos...it was only half a gig....the bouncers cuaght us jumping into the circle/with upper circle tickets.....so we were shown the doors.........had to listen from the lane .until the encores when we got back into the stalls..via the fire exit doors....ah happy days..full of excitement...now 44 and cant wait til 2010 gigs....
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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by Roy Batty » 15 Nov 2009, 19:34

i did manchester and bradford on the first leg of the tour, bradford was my wife's (then girlfriend) first ever stranglers gig, and it was the first time i ever drove to see the band! trundling along to bradistan in my mini 1000 , good ole days 8)

ive got some photo's of the manchester gig somewhere, i recall somebody getting up on the stage and dancing around JJ, anyhoo, hugh corny sneaks up behind the guy and gets down on the floor and JJ then does a karate kick to the lads chest sending him flying over hugh 8)



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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by Roy Batty » 15 Nov 2009, 19:49

remember that song by the leyton buzzards , saturday nite beneath the plastic palm trees??

well the second leg of the tour we went to tiffanys in leeds to see the band, it was a sunday nite and it was beneath the plastic palm trees, and my mate was always seeming to get a gig on her birthday in leeds (check the tour date section to see how many times the band played leeds on this date its more than once)

it was quite a bizzarre gig in a bizzarre venue, rumour was circulating before the gig that the lads were up for pulling out at the last minute due to the stage size, how true this is , i do not know!

support by the truly awful 'boys in darkness' someday i;m gonna go away, i;m going back to france to stay!! awful awful song!! possibly the worst support BAND to go on before the mighty meninblack in my opinion!! and still only £3'50 to see em 8)

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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by Alias » 15 Nov 2009, 21:25

My tuppence worth (well £3.50 to be exact)

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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by Rodney Blackstaff » 15 Nov 2009, 21:34

Great thread this folks, Thanks for the words and reviews :smt006

I missed this tour, was travelling round Europe on a Frigate, getting pissed for my country 8)

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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by Alias » 15 Nov 2009, 21:35

jason wrote:You've just made me very jealous Thrubeingcool! Sounds like great times.

Secunded.

Brilliant post about brilliant times. 8) 8)
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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by PaulinLondon » 15 Nov 2009, 21:38

Great posts ! Brilliant posts !

Brilliant ticket stubs ! :smt004

Barry > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KfDV0v3hzc :grin:
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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by ThruBeingCool » 15 Nov 2009, 22:04

PaulinLondon wrote:

Barry > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KfDV0v3hzc :grin:
Hurrah for 'Domino Dance'! Could've been a Stranglers instrumental doncha think :?: :idea:

I went out and bought the single (a pic disc which I stiil have) after hearing it on the tour. In fact I also purchased the Logic System album...not one of my best decisions I hasten to add. :oops:

Anymore ticket stubs folks? I wonder if we can get one for each date :idea:

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Re: The La Folie UK Tour 1981.

Post by dan-electro » 15 Nov 2009, 22:20

Ticket from the Edinburgh Playhouse 22-11-1981. 8)
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Hugh - "We had gangs of skinheads coming along trying to cause problems and stuff"
Rick Wakeman - "How did you deal with it?"
Hugh - "Our bass player used to jump off the stage and beat the shit out of them!"

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