Hugh Cornwell at The Apex...
Hugh Cornwell at The Apex
When future historians of rock music draw up a list of the movers and shakers, there will be no doubt that Hugh Cornwell's name will be prominent amongst them as a pioneering musician and songwriter.
The Stranglers emerged in the 1970s, riding on the wave of the emerging punk scene. However, the inclusion of Dave Greenfield’s Doors-like keyboards meant they were never regarded as a ‘pure’ punk band. Hugh Cornwell was the main songwriter of all the band’s most memorable songs across the first ten albums.
Their 1977 debut ‘Rattus Norvegicus’ featured songs ‘Peaches’ and ‘(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)’. Follow up albums ‘No More Heroes’, ‘Black and White’, ‘The Raven’ and ‘The Gospel According To The MenInBlack’ - which Hugh cites as his favourite Stranglers album – gave rise to 23 Top 40 singles and consolidated Cornwell's status as a unique songwriter and musician. His lyrics to ‘Golden Brown’ and their multiple meanings, is a songwriting masterclass, with the song reaching number 2 in the UK singles charts.
In 1989, after releasing his final album ‘10’ with the Stranglers, Hugh felt the group was stalling. “It became a job – we should have put suits on, it was so corporate,” he explains, and so he embarked on a solo career.
In 2016 Hugh released ‘This Time It's Personal’ with punk poet John Cooper Clarke, which featured their inimitable takes on songs that shaped their youth. Hugh released his ninth solo record ‘Monster’ in 2018, on which he wrote about the idols that shaped and influenced his life, including ‘La Grande Dame’, a song dedicated to his mother.
2022’s ‘Moments of Madness’ is an album of acute, pithy and witty observations and social commentary that helps to confirm Hugh’s status as the songwriter-extraordinaire of the punk era and beyond.
The self-produced album finds Hugh flexing his musical muscles with a stripped down, offbeat sixties vibe, ringing with seductive melodies and distinctive lyrics that are indelibly stamped with Hugh’s trademark imagination.
Hugh Cornwell is at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday 17 November at 8.15pm. The first half will feature solo songs, with picks from 'Moments of Madness', then Hugh will return with a full band for Stranglers' classics, including a few never performed live before.
Tickets are available from www.theapex.co.uk or 01284 758000.