LivE Dates

2012    

 United Kingdom

 

 

1 March

Leeds

O2 Academy

2 March

Dunfermline

Alhambra

3 March

Glasgow

O2 Academy

5 March

Liverpool

O2 Academy

6 March

Nottingham

Rock City

8 March

Cambridge

Corn Exchange

9 March

London

Roundhouse

10 March

Birmingham

O2 Academy

12 March

Oxford

O2 Academy

13 March

Portsmouth

Pyramids Centre

15 March

Lincoln

Engine Shed

16 March

Brighton

Dome

17 March

Bristol

O2 Academy

19 March

Leamington Spa

Assembly

20 March

Guildford

G-Live

22 March

Newcastle

O2 Academy

23 March

Sheffield

O2 Academy

24 March

Manchester

Academy

 Belgium

 

 

31March

Lessines

Rene Magritte Centre

 France

 

 

2 April

Lille

Le Splendid

3 April

Angers

Chabada

4 April

Rennes

Le Liberte

5 April

Limoges

C C John Lennon

6 April

Bordeaux

Rock School Barbey

7 April

Toulouse

Le Bikini

9 April

Montpellier

Rockstore

10 April

Marseille

Espace Julien

11 April

Lyon

Transbordeur

13 April

Paris

Olympia

14 April

Magny Cours

Bol D'Or Rocks

 Switzerland

 

 

15 April

Zurich

Dynamo

 Italy

 

 

17 April

Florence

Viper

18 April

Milan

Live Club

 Austria

 

 

19 April

Vienna

Szene

 Czech Republic

 

 

20 April

Prague

Meet Factory

 Germany

 

 

21 April

Berlin

C-Club

23 April

Hamburg

Fabrik

24 April

Cologne

Luxor

 France

 

 

25 April

Caen

Big Band Cafe

 Holland

 

 

26 April

Utrecht

Tivoli

 Belgium

 

 

27 April

Leuven

Het Depot

 

Gig archive

 

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places of interest

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Ugly, Guildford, 1978

history- memorabilia

12 February 2011Rattus Norvegicus

Stranglers IV Rattus Norvegicus

In April 1977, the band's debut album release Rattus Norvegicus was eagerly anticipated. Their record company at the time, United Artists, got fully behind it's release and it was promoted with a huge marketing campaign of posters, shop displays, stickers and other goodies.

With so much memorabilia available to promote the album, it is a real treasure trove for any collectors out there...

NB Please click on the small image and a larger one of the item will open up on your screen. Apologies that the larger pictures have had to be watermarked but, unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous people out there who like to copy and sell such items, which devalues the originals. This is by no means a complete listing and there will be other promo items from around the world.

Posters

Boston Strangler poster '76Prior to the band signing to UA in December '76, their gigs had been promoted using a shock-horror poster which caused some controversy at the time. The graphic image depicted a real life victim of the Boston Strangler lying in a pool of blood. This 27" x 19" poster was also the first outing for the Kevin Sparrow designed logo which has been with them ever since...This image reappeared on 1978's Nice and Sleazy single.Grip poster '77

 

The band's debut single in January '77, (Get A) Grip (On Yourself), was promoted using a striking image of the group. The small white corner flash bottom right was designed so gig details could be added to it as well. Size 20" x 30".

UK posterThe UK release of Rattus was advertised on walls all around the country using two poster designs. Firstly, this beautiful poster based on the album cover. It is larger than the standard format and measures 30" x 24". Sadly, the second has eluded me over the years. It features a graphic of the rat/sunset design. (NB I'd love a scan/ photo if anyone has this other poster...)

US poster

The album's American release was promoted using a 24" square album cover poster, which had an A&M logo bottom right. This was a common format for US album promo posters in the late '70s for many bands.

 

US tour '77The band undertook a short US promotional trip and a handful of accompanying gigs in mid '77, their first trip across the Atlantic.

This jaunt had it's own small, specific poster with a punk collage type design which measures 15" x 22". On first viewing, it appears to be some dodgy bootleg knocked up by someone. Closer inspection reveals a small copyright mark which states A&M records 1977 at it's base.

Windowstrips

Rattus was also promoted in record shops using long, thin posters called window strips which were stuck to the inside of shop windows. There were two designs, firstly the actual album promo and secondly, the text only one for Peaches. Dimensions for both 5" x 15".

Rattus windowstripPeaches windowstrip

Shop displayRattus shop display

Rattus was also advertised in shops using large, freestanding cardboard displays. The board measures 38" x 29" and has a flip-out 'foot' on the back to enable it to stand up. As you can see, the rat image differs slightly from the actual album artwork. Clearly these displays were very limited at the time due to costs and very few seem to have survived over the years...

Sticker

StickerA 4" promo sticker for Rattus was also produced in huge quantities and they ended up everywhere, including the side of Dave's Hammond.

Rumour has it that the entire front window of the Rough Trade shop in London was covered in them at the time due to their refusal to stock the album!

Press kits/photos

Presskit folder US presskit Japanese presskit

On the left is the generic diecut presskit folder which was used to house Assorted promo photosvarious A4 press information and photos around the world. In the centre, is the US press kit, which featured a small press release and several A3 sized reprints of some UK music paper reviews. On the right is the Japanese presskit (image courtesy of Mike McConnell's site).

There were also many 8" x 10" black and white promo photos of the band around at the time, especially sought after now if they feature both band and UA logos on their base. To the right are just a selection of what were produced for Rattus Norvegicus.

 

Badges

Rattus tour badge set

Some beautiful badges were produced at the time as well, either to promote the album or to sell on tour. The set of six 1.25" multicoloured badges above were made featuring some rather odd slogans! Very punk!Grip/Nashville badges

The first badges produced once the band signed to UA were the Grip and Nashville ones, marking both their gig at the Nashville which was recorded for potential first album release and their single debut.

US promo badgesA&M out in the States produced a set of promo badges for the album which featured a rather nice touch. Both of the 'I was a victim of The Stranglers' badges had longer pins which stuck out pricking their unsuspecting 'victim'! Size 1.5".

 

MiscellaneousWater Rat invite

Other items of note from this period are the 4.5" circular card invite/flyer for the rodent themed launch party for Rattus which was held at the Water Rat (where else!!!) on the King's Road, London that April.

 

Peaches sheet musicAlso, Peaches was such a huge hit that summer that it was given the accolade of having sheet music printed shortly after it's release.

The A4 foldout featured a rather fetching blue design which would have made a better cover than the later tacky 'peach' sleeve anyday!

US promo shirt

Updated 5th September 2011 Another promo item relating to Rattus has recently come to light. It is an American promo tshirt featuring the 'I was a victim of...' tagline similar to the set of A&M badges. Lettering is printed in white on a red shirt and there is a small A&M company logo below the design

Thanks to Garry CW for the Rattus display photo (better condition than mine!)

 

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