heard on the wire

They’ll be called the survivors

Palatine Beat Groups

My Stockholm Monsters experience comprises two events that took place more than 20 years ago. The first is a vague recollection, of having heard John Peel playing one of their records some time in the mid 80s. The second was the 1991 release of Palatine, a four-disc box set that showcased the output of Manchester record label Factory Records Manchester record label

From Manchester, like most of the label’s signings, the Stockholm Monsters appeared twice in the exhaustive compilation of a label soon to collapse under the weight of its own success. And the second of those two inclusions made me wish I’d paid more attention to that Peel show a few years before.

Despite having no links whatsoever to Stockholm, the band took their name from a combination of Sweden’s capital and David Bowie’s Scary Monsters LP. At least that’s what Wikipedia says, so it must be true. They released just one LP of their own, Alma Mater, and a handful of singles, of which this was the last—and best.

Stockholm Monsters :: Partyline

Audio MP3


From five-star monsters to four-star dancers of cosmopolitan origins who appear to have great affection for the “the beautiful streets of Stockholm”. And I have great affection for their beautiful pop music, which you might have encountered through an ad for Estrella Damm, a light-brown liquid that approximates to beer.

Billie the Vision and the Dancers :: Stuttering Duckling ⬇ [free]

Audio MP3


From literal stuttering to metaphorical and a three-star single that suggested so much more than it and the band ever delivered.

Elastica :: Stutter

At least Stutter shows that Elastica were more than just a Stranglers tribute band, an undeserved if partially understandable brickbat.

Ironically the Stranglers were not immune from similar accusations, though if they were a Doors tribute they were perhaps the only band of that ilk who were much better than the original.

Elastica-riffed No More Heroes would probably feature in most people’s top-five Stranglers tunes, but would struggle to make my top 20. That said the title track is at least better than most of the songs on the weakest of the band’s first four LPs, including this one, which doesn’t really do justice to the lyric and the story behind it.

Stranglers :: Dagenham Dave

Audio MP3


And this is when they were so very good. The closing track to their 1977 debut, Rattus Norvegicus, more than nods in the direction of prog, with its four movements and keyboard twiddling, but there’s not an ounce of Roger Dean in this.

The Stranglers :: Down in the Sewer

Audio MP3


Twitter: Billie the Vision and the Dancers

Related posts: Five, four, three, two…


Comments are closed.



heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.


Hear it on the wire, by receiving email notifications of new posts.


All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.