Hugh Cornwell, Moochers Jailhouse, Stourbridge.

HUGH Cornwell produced, as expected, a polished and professional performance during his first visit to this relatively new Stourbridge town centre venue which is gaining an ever-increasing reputation for live acts.

Cornwell is perhaps one of the biggest names to have appeared at Moochers since it opened and there can be no doubt that he proved a popular draw with the Londoner, who has been making music since the early 1970s, attracting an enthusiastic following of loyal fans who he took time to meet after the gig.

Cornwell has released 11 solo albums since he disbanded The Stranglers in 1990 and it was these, along with tracks from band which made him famous, that formed the basis of his performance.

There have been times in the past apparently when Cornwell would only reluctantly play Stranglers songs, but there was no such problem here with songs featured from Peaches, Something Better Change and No More Heroes from 1977 to their biggest hit Golden Brown and Always The Sun, which amazingly made only number 30 in 1986.

Using just a bass player and drummer to accompany his guitar playing, Cornwell oozed charisma and pleased the fans by barely cracking a smile throughout the set, yet it was plain he loves what he does.

The encore featured No More Heroes and a rousing version of Walk On By to finish off what was a great evening for Cornwell fans, Stranglers fans and just music fans alike.