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Editor hits the road to enjoy punk icons' tour

A weekly newspaper editor and self-confessed Stranglers nut spent just over a week following his favourite band round the country.

Bath Chronicle news chief Sam Holliday saw the 70s punk icons perform six times in nine days – pausing for breath to catch comedian Steve Coogan and Oasis on two other nights.

As an added bonus, anyone buying an official tour programme will see the interviews Sam was asked to do with all four band members prior to their six-week tour.

Sam told HoldtheFrontPage: “It was a particular thrill that I got to interview all the members of the band which went in the official programme with my byline. It’s quite a nice personal souvenir.

“I’ve been a Stranglers fan for 30 years. When I was a music columnist at the Tamworth Herald I abused my position and gave them album of the year every year.”

Sam’s first gig of the tour was in Cardiff, swiftly followed by the Steve Coogan show in Bristol the next night.

It was then a trip to the south coast for the Southampton date, then on to Reading and back to Bristol.

Sam returned to the Welsh capital for the Oasis show before taking in two more Stranglers performances in Exeter and Birmingham.

These were mere jaunts though compared to the tours he’s been on in the past to Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands or next year’s planned trip to Paris to see the quartet.

“It’s fair to say, I’m a bit obsessed and I’ve seen them about 80 times,” he added.

“I’m certainly not unique in this as they’re the kind of band that really does have a big cult appeal.

“I was standing next to a guy at the Birmingham gig who had seen them 220 times – I first met him in Belgium in 1986.

“I cannot really explain it – to me they just make the best music. Every concert is special, every concert is different, as is every venue, every audience reaction.

“It was a particularly poignant tour this year as (drummer) Jet Black turned 70 in August and has been having heart trouble.

“He’s been introduced onto the stage as being ‘back from the dead’.”


Niall Campbell (30/10/2008 09:25:32)
Have to say, there are far better punk bans out there…Stiff Little Fingers, Anti Nowhere League, UK Subs to name a few

kevin (30/10/2008 13:49:21)
No mate, The Stranglers do it
everytime, the hits speak for themselves, nuff said.

JJ (30/10/2008 13:51:25)
The Stranglers are awesome. Anyone else think they were “The Doors of the Punk Era”? Maybe just me but they made use of the organs a lot a la The Doors…

Bazza (31/10/2008 00:01:52)
Met up with Sam in Cardiff and again in Birmingham. He is a top man and surrounded by fellow fans of this great band, I have also seen them over 200 times live and think Sam is just as normal as the rest of us. At least we are loyal and don’t just move from band to band just because they are trendy to follow like Radiohead or Coldplay. Love live The Stranglers and long live the fans.

Steve Bambridge (03/11/2008 19:43:40)
Well Sam, you were a Stranglers nut at journalism college in Sheffield – but you know I was right when I used to say The Clash were the best … still the greatest band ever! Cheers mate