Hugh Cornwall: Why I won't rejoin The Stranglers

Playing in North Yorkshire - The man in black himself, legendary musician Hugh Cornwall.
Playing in North Yorkshire - The man in black himself, legendary musician Hugh Cornwall.

At an age when many of us are thinking of retirement, Hugh Cornwall is still as busy as ever with a new album and tour which swings North Yorkshire’s way tomorrow, Saturday.

At the age of 69, the ex-frontman, guitarist and songwriter of The Stranglers, is knee-deep in writing books writing about films and, obviously, music.

The ‘man in black’, who once had a scary reputation with the music press, is still proud of his immense contribution to the glory years of the punk movement’s bestselling band - just don’t ask him questions about it.

Talking on the phone, Hugh says firmly: “I really don’ t want to spend the whole interview talking about stuff that happened 30 years ago. Why would I rejoin The Stranglers? It would be like going back to your ex-wife or an old girlfriend.

"I'm happy the way I am. I can do whatever I want, when I want, with who I want."

Cornwall’s latest solo album Monster sees him combine a new collection of songs inspired by famous people round the world, from Mussolini to Lou Reed, one of his idols, with an extra album of Stranglers songs.

The latter is his first proper acoustic album, though for the purposes of Hugh's current UK tour, he will be playing those classic oldies with a full band.

Hugh said: “I’m playing my own songs that I like a lot from five or six of my solo albums but the second set is a gluttony of Stranglers songs with the band.

“I’m not going to say it’s the last tour I’m ever going to do but the show is a statement.”

l Hugh Cornwall plays Fibbers, York on Saturday, November 17.