Hugh and no taboo!

Hugh Cornwell
Hugh Cornwell

John Murray chats with former Stranglers frontman

This week I spoke to Hugh Cornwell who is best known as writer and vocalist with The Stranglers.

He is currently on a UK tour supported by Hazel O’Connor and played Edinburgh last weekend to support his solo album Totem & Taboo.

The new album has all the character of his best work with thundering bass lines and clever lyrics with titles like Love Me Slender, Bad Vibrations and Stuck In Daily Mail Land but of course everyone wants to hear his groundbreaking days when he wrote and performed Peaches, Golden Brown, No More Heroes, Strange Little Girl and Grip yet astonishingly he left the group in 1990.

He has published two novels too and his latest called Arnold Drive was part of the tour as he was reading and signing in an Edinburgh bookshop in the afternoon before his show.

I still think his Stranglers days will continue to dominate though as he has a live CD playing the full No More Heroes album but only available at his solo gigs and of course he encored the evening with Hazel O’Connor to reprise Hanging Around.

Not that I was there as St Bryce was the place to be last Saturday with a full Christmas concert in support of Maggie’s.

Fife Academy Of Performing Arts based in Dunfermline delighted the audience with a fine selection with children of all ages before Horse McDonald played a live acoustic set in this beautiful kirk setting.

Her masterpiece God’s Home Movie was included and she closed with a sing along Silent Night.

She told me to watch out for Celtic Connections in Glasgow next January where she will premiere a new piece she has written based on the poetry of inspirational women.

As yet unrecorded but a project that can have a global appeal.

The St Bryce show followed an afternoon of setting up for the Bringing Of The Light free show with local primary schools and the best firework show of the decade from the roof of the Toon Hoose.

This was a huge team effort with me just the humble host.