How many of you clicked on this out of disbelief? Surely, surely nothing good happens in Worthing. Well let me tell you…indeed it does.
Last week I had the great privilege of being serenaded by Hugh Cornwell, original frontman of The Stranglers, at St Paul’s Centre in Worthing. What a stunning location. Ornate pillars and balconies wound with fairy lights, a beautiful alter-turned-stage and fantastic acoustics – this is my new favourite local venue.
Hugh was great – I’ll call him Hugh, I’m pretty sure, from the way he sang Strange Little Girl while glancing occasionally my way, that we are now on first name terms. He’d probably call me Sophs. No biggie.
I had a few reservations, mainly because his solo stuff isn’t my cuppa tea and I’d forgotten how much I love The Stranglers. Papa T was a big fan and listening to hit after hit gave such a satisfying feeling of nostalgia. What a voice. What a guy. The audience was super into it too, singing backing vocals for Always the Sun – one woman sitting near me in the front row was beside herself. It made me wonder if, in 25 years time, I’ll get to sit in a renovated church in somewhere like Crawley and watch Gerry Halliwell bring back the Spice Girls. One can only hope.
Hugh told the story of his musical career, starting from the very beginning of The Stranglers and waltzing all the way through to his solo albums. Each tale was illuminated by a song – the whole experience was so much more than just a gig in Worthing.
Atom, the guys behind the event, are doing some pretty cool things out of that beautiful building in Worthing – ABC this coming weekend, Fun Loving Criminals next month! Check them out. It’s well worth the pilgrimage west. Just don’t eat at the Chinese restaurant around the corner from St Paul’s. It was, quite simply, bad.
Anyway, here’s Hugh singing the Mariachi version of Golden Brown. He sang an acoustic version of this by the way. Now don’t be jealous, go out and form your own exceptional memories.