PUNK legends The Stranglers are back in town this weekend on their world tour celebrating 40 turbulent years in the business.

In 1974, they started playing in their local pub in Guildford, went on to become pioneers of the British punk explosion and are still standing long after their contemporaries have left the stage.

Mean, moody, uncompromising and along the way they have delivered such classic compositions such as ‘No More Heroes’, ‘Peaches’, ‘Golden Brown’, ‘Duchess’, ‘Always the Sun’, ‘Strange Little Girl’ and ‘Skin Deep’.

Having released their 17th studio album, ‘Giants’, to widespread critical acclaim from their once-loathed adversaries in the media, The Stranglers are now revered as one of the most influential bands to have emerged from the British new wave scene.

Their ruby anniversary tour brings them back to the Alhambra where they were in terrific form when they last visited two years ago.

Drummer Jet Black, as well as having one of the top monikers in rock and roll, took one of the most unlikely routes into the business.

When the band started out as The Guildford Stranglers, they were initially based in ‘The Jackpot’, an off-licence run by Jet, then a successful 35-year-old businessman.

“Yeah, I woke up one morning and decided I wanted to be in the band and here we are after 40 years,” Jet told the Press.

After initially developing a pub rock following, they soon burst into the punk movement, opening for both Patti Smith and The Ramones on their British tours.

The Stranglers quickly found their trademark sound, a swirling concoction of psychedelic keyboards, growling vocals and hard-edged bass.

Their long, ground-breaking and often controversial career has seen these anti-establishment ‘enfants terribles’ of the music industry - onced banned by the BBC - become almost pillars of the establishment as witnessed by their performance at the 6Music Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with a full orchestra.

As Jet looked back on the band’s early days, he said, “The oldest memory I have is, ‘Will we get to the end of the first week?’ We had no real plan, it was just an adventure really and nobody’s more surprised than us that we’re still doing it 40 years later.

“Nobody really knew what to make of us in those days. Most people hated us - they just didn’t understand what we were doing.

“That was because immediately before us it was the era of glam rock and we just didn’t look right and didn’t sound right to them. I think just we confused a lot of people.

“It took them a while to get to know us but in the end they got to realise we were a little bit different.” Fortunately, the band’s feelings towards journalists seem to have mellowed since the days when they used to leave them gaffer-taped to a pillar halfway up the Eiffel Tower if they asked the wrong questions.

The Strangers have always enjoyed the following of a devoted group of fans and no more so than in Scotland.

What is the secret of the band’s long-running success story? Jet replied, “We deal in excitement. That’s what audiences can always rely on. What we deal in is excitement and we aim to deliver that.

“Of course, there’s always been a lot of enthusiasm up in Scotland and it will be great to get back there. Dunfermline’s a great venue, we loved it last time and we’ll back up with you for T in the Park.” Four decades on and at the grand old age of 75, Jet’s still loving life in the fast lane with The Stranglers and looking ahead to a heavy schedule which also takes them to the Far East and North America in this special year for the band.

“We’re going into Europe straight after the UK tour so yes we’re going to be very busy from now on,” he said.

*The Stranglers play the Alhambra tomorrow (Saturday).