Monday, 5 November 2012

Book extract - Hugh Cornwell, Dundee, 1999

I just saw on Twitter that Kris Drever ( has just played his first ever gig in Dundee. I hope it goes more smoothly than Hugh Cornwell's gig at the West Port on 29 May 1999...

While I had seen the new Stranglers line-up half a dozen times in the early 1990s it wasn't until May 1999 that I finally got to see Hugh Cornwell play a solo gig and quite eventful it was too. The West Port is a pub which has a room upstairs used for live music. While there were a couple of bouncers on the front entrance downstairs, the only staff upstairs were a barman and a chap on the sound desk.

Half way through the set a punter, looking more than a little drunk, made his way up onto the stage and stood at the side looking at Hugh. Hugh finished the song he was doing and then told the guy to “get off the fucking stage” three or four times before the guy wandered back into the crowd. Then a short time later the same individual got back up onto the stage. This time Hugh stopped playing midway through the song, walked over to him and without a word pushed him off the stage. The guy fell over, landed face down on the floor and just lay there. There was stunned silence from the rest of the audience. Hugh returned to the mic and completed the song as if nothing had happened and then walked off stage to rather muted applause. Meanwhile the stage invader was still lying motionless on the floor. Finally a bouncer arrived, picked the guy up and showed him the door.

No-one quite knew whether that was the end of the gig or not and some people left. But Hugh did return for an encore ending, rather suitably, with the Stranglers song, '(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)'.

If you would like a copy of my book "Drum Solos, Bottles & Bands - Memories of a Concert-goer 1981-1999" it is available
to buy in ebook and paperback from Smashwords and

Here's Hugh with an interesting cover of one of his best known songs...


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