THE Stranglers are among the bands called the kings of punk although their musical hand is the most diverse.

Now into their fifth decade, they are set for a 17-date UK to support a new album which features all their hits plus new tracks.

The band known as the Meninblack took time out from rehearsals for the tour to film an online video feature for The Base Sessions including exclusive acoustic tracks.

The Stranglers got together in 1974 and their confrontational style fitted the era which saw the rise of punk to become the dominant sound in the later half of the decade.

While their fellow kings, The Clash, The Sex Pistols and The Damned faded from view in the following years, The Stranglers continued to write and record, producing songs which took their sound way beyond the boundaries of punk.

Their no-nonsense approach may have meant a lower profile in the media than they deserved but The Stranglers’ tally of hits speaks for itself - 16 million record sold, 24 top 40 singles and 18 top 40 albums.

The Stranglers Black and Blue UK tour heads to Birmingham’s O2 Academy on Saturday March 19 while their new album, Decades Apart, is set for release on March 8.