The men in black keep on rocking

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Far from slowing down The Stranglers continue to play a gruelling number of gigs every year - fitting in mini-tours in between major dates and festivals.

And it is one of these that brings the indefatigable Men in Black to Holmfirth’s Picturedrome on July 15.

“Everything’s fine in the band these days. This time of year is traditionally busy with the festivals but we did a mini-tour last year and we go to places that we don’t usually go to,” says guitarist and lead singer Baz Warne.

And despite the band being on the go since the 1970s the crowds coming to see them in huge numbers.

“The promoters told us that after 2014’s Ruby Anniversary tour we wouldn’t get as many at the gigs, but this year was as good, if not better. In fact, we sold out just as many gigs.”

The band who broke through in the punk/New Wave era and gave us hits such as ‘Peaches’, ‘No More Heroes’ and ‘Golden Brown’, are busier than ever these days.

“We’ve been working really hard and going to new places. We have just got back from Greece which was fantastic and we had two great sold out gigs.”

“I’vebeen in the band for 15 years and it’s amazing to think that the crowds keep coming back. People seem to want The Stranglers.”

The band is Baz and original members JJ Burnel on bass and keyboard player Dave Greenfield and the Grand Old Man of Rock, drummer Jet Black, who is now 77 years old.

But due to his health, Jet limits his appearances to the UK only and usually for only three or four numbers - the rest of the drumming duties being handled by his protégé Jim Macauley.

“Jet is still there in spirit and body occasionally,” jokes Baz.

“There will come a time when we all can’t do it, but when he decides he wants to play he will. He usually comes to all the UK gigs and it must be difficult for him seeing someone else playing.

“But he’s as tough as an ox, so he may play at some of the gigs.”

As for the set-list for the summer shows?

“It will probably be about 90 per cent the same as the March tour as there’s still a lot of people who haven’t seen us. But we might change things.”

The band is already working on its next album

“We are gearing up to starting to write,” he says.

“There’s a lot of e mails and ideas flying around between me and JJ.”

And they are also planning next years’ dates.

“We’ve got a massive European tour in November and then we’ll be touring with Simple Minds then for 2016.

Tickets are available from the Box Offices and all the usual agencies.