«

»

Erasure + Shelter @ Wolverhampton Civic, 29 November 2014

It’s the end of November and Christmas is approaching at a million miles an hour. Here at Gig Junkies, we think we’ve been good little guys and gals so we’ve busily been writing our little Christmas list for Santa Claus. We’ve asked for a barn-storming, sing-a-long poptastic full-on party! And Santa – he say yeah! Yippee! So tonight we’re here at Wolves Civic for a full, over-the-top party with a electronic synth god and a guy with a voice to die for – courtesy of Erasure.

Erasure-14
So right at the turn of the eighties, people dreamed of being in bands.  Once upon a time there was a guy, who formed in a band that went on to have stratospheric success – one of the biggest bands in the world (aka Depeche Mode). But this guy left after the first album. Then he formed a duet with a truly unique blues singer (Yazoo with one Alison Moyet) – more huge success. Two years, two albums later, that too was over was over. Then another act, with a former Undertone (Feargal Sharkey) and yet another hit. Moving on. He placed an advert in the Melody Maker and came across an unknown singer, a young lad called Andy Bell. With a pretty good voice. This time it’s lasted, a music marriage made in heaven…..

Tonight’s support is duo Shelter - who give us synth poptastic music to bop along to, to get us in the mood. They have a debut album out – ‘Emerge’ and play several songs for us including ‘Diablo.’ They had singles out earlier in the year ‘iPop’  and ‘beautiful’ with Andy Bell – check them out on the Ministry of Pop – the UK’s newest independent label for great pop and dance music.

Tonight’s gig is sold out. And the eclectic crowd are well up for the party. One lass is stuck outside – a ticket problem – and is kicking off  and doesn’t appear to make it into tonight’s gig. She’s not happy. Meanwhile back in the venue – lights down and here they come – Clarke suited and booted behind his techno gadgets, and the gregarious and charismatic Bell in top hat, sparkly jacket and shades. First track ‘Oh L’Amour’ is danced up, but that makes no difference – we’re already singing and bopping away.

Bell: “ Good evening everyone! Feels like I know everybody individually you come here so much – looks like we have a full house tonight!!” [Big cheer from the crowd].

And the light’s are a-blazing, pink, white, purple  and we be dancing and singing at the top of our voices. Bell is dancing, joined vocally by two backing singers – his voice floating. And we get a couple of tracks from new album ‘The Violet Flame’ – ‘Reason’ is. we’re told, their take on Northern Soul…

As Bells strips off his jacket – the crowd cheer, and he’s soon in Blonde t-shirt and spangly shorts.  And the hits keep coming – ‘ You Surround Me’,… “We’ll be together again….” we’re into ‘Stop!’,’Victim of Love’ – and we singing away – “Just one psychological drama after another, You are guilty [GUILTY we shout as one] and how you ever entered into this life, God only knows, the infinite complexities of love….”

The beautiful ‘Ship of Fools’ is danced up – well hey, few bands have the genius of Clarke – and he’s clearly been inspired to ‘modernise’ and dance up several tracks here tonight. And more and more, the hits – they keep on coming;  Erasure and giving the fans exactly what Santa ordered  ‘Blue Savannah’, ‘Chains of Love’, ‘Love to Hate You’ – their take on the classic spurned love song  ‘I Will Survive.’ Hey hey indeed. ‘Chorus’ is morphed into a fun on rave, drum and bass – Clarke’s gone all Ibiza. We blame Depeche Mode synth god Martin L. Gore – who Clarke teamed up with in 2011 for VCMG.

Encore and they give us ‘Always’ and ‘Sometimes’ and we’re singing: ”Ooh sometimes…”

Erasure live are a great celebration of life!  Clarke, the genius, has written phenomenal pop songs, I defy you not to sing  along to.  Bell’s voice is a real delight and continues to have a phenomenal range. Erasure were here to gig us a party – and indeed they did and then some – I’ve rarely seen a gig were everyone is dancing and singing at the top of their heads with gigue grins in such a manner. You will dance, you will bounce, you will know pretty much ALL the songs you can sing along to. And you will smile.

A total Christmas uplifting treat thank you Santa!  Don’t stop! Go and party! As Always – More than a little respect….

*********************
Setlist:
Oh L’Amour
Star
Reason
Breath of Life
You Surround Me
Elevation
Stop!
Drama!
Victim of Love
Ship of Fools
Sacred
Breathe
Dead of Night
Blue Savannah
Chorus
Love to Hate You
A Little Respect
Chains of Love

Encore:
Always
Sometimes
*********************
Listening:
The Circus (1987)
Total Pop! The First 40 Hits (2009)
The Violet Flame (2014)

*********************

Pictures courtesy of Ken Harrison. Review for Gig Junkies and 102.5 The Bridge.