CULTURE

Leading contenders once more, punk veterans return in full flight

They’ve persevered through the topsy-turvy adventures of rock’n’roll’s wilder side and, three decades on, have remained – mostly – intact to live another day. The Stranglers, who emerged amid the thick of the UK’s punk scene in the mid-1970s and survived the departure of their founder and original frontman Hugh Cornwell in 1990, are still touring and have a new and well-received album out, «Norfolk Coast,» right on time for the act’s latest visit to Greece this Friday at the Gagarin 205 club. The Stranglers, who first performed in Greece back in 1985 at the country’s first-ever major rock festival, Rock in Athens – its impressive lineup, for its time, included the Clash, Depeche Mode, the Cure, Nina Hagen, and Culture Club – have since toured here on several occasions, bringing with them a worthy bag of old punk and post-punk gems, often hilarious, as intended, as well as newer material. The latest album, «Norfolk Coast,» marks a return to form for the aging band. After having been shunned by critics for several years, the Stranglers have enjoyed rave reviews from the British press: «Their best album in years,» commented the respected music magazine Uncut; «…enough craft, guile and menace on tracks such as ‘Long Black Veil’ to make this a must-have for any Stranglers fan,» wrote Mojo, while the London Evening Standard remarked that «the Stranglers are contenders once more.»