Tag Archive: Erasure

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….

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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)

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

Erasure + Frankmusik @ Wolverhampton Civic, 23rd October 2011

Another day, another review, again for Birmingham Live!  You can see the full review on their site here.

Unfortunately we couldn’t get any pictures at the gig, even though Ken Harrisoncame along –  complications beyond our control with the Photo Pass.

Once upon a time there was a guy, who formed in a band that went on to have stratospheric success. But he left after the first album. Then he formed a duet with a truly unique blues singer, huge success. Two years, two albums later, it was over. Then another act, with a former Undertone, and yet another hit. Moving on. He placed an advert in the Melody Maker and came across an unknown singer. With a pretty good voice. This time it lasted, over twenty five years later, tonight we’re here in Wolves to see Erasure.

Vince Clarke founded Depeche Mode, formed Yazoo with Alison Moyet, and then briefly formed The Assembly featuring Feargal Sharkey on vocals. In the early 80s, he was a song writing phenomena, the man with the golden touch.  In ‘85 he formed Erasure with Andy Bell, and after a slow start with the ‘Wonderland’ album, the hits began to flow with the platinum selling follow-up ‘The Circus.’ Between ‘86 and ‘97, Erasure had no fewer than 24 Top 20 hits. And they haven’t gone away – issuing new albums every couple of years since. This summer they’ve played festivals, including The Forestry Commission’s annual concerts series in the UK, followed up by this world tour promoting new album ‘Tomorrow’s World.’ They’re busy boys.

Support tonight comes from Croydon-born Vincent Frank, tonight on stage asFrankmusik. Originally starting out as a beatboxer, he is now very much commercial electropop. A talented lad, he’s done remixes for the Pet Shop Boys, Lady Gaga, Mika and CSS, and in his own right as Frankmusik he made it onto the BBC Longlist for Sound of 2009, supported Keane and the Pet Shop Boys on tour, and has gained chart success. He’s also produced Erasure’s new album, probably the reason he’s supporting them tonight. Good vocals, good-looking lad, more commercial success surely isn’t far away.

Tonight’s stage looks like an offshoot of Gotham city. Gargoyles and metals towers adorn the stage with a huge circular backdrop. On come Erasure, to a great response and applause from a packed Civic Hall – Bell in glittered jacket and feather headress, with two backing singers, and Clarke, his synths hidden behind another winged gargoyle, the lighting such on the first song he looks like he’s Batman – his head poking above the ‘suit’.  Starting off with ‘Sono Luminus’ they then follow up with the first of a series of hits they play tonight – ‘Always’, during which Bell flashes a sneaky peek of his shoulder, to which the crowd respond. Bell’s voice is still great with wide vocal range hitting high notes whilst belting it out, just when he needs to.

The set features a smattering of songs from the new album, third song and current single ‘When I Start To (Break It All Down)’ has great harmonization. The jacket off, Bell is chatty and jokey  “…. found a sequin in me crap….!”

‘Blue Savannah’ shows Bell’s true falsetto range. Then to ‘Drama!’ and ‘ Breathe of Life’ during which an overly warm Bell is untied from his corset, on stage, to be replaced by an armless Devo t-shirt, much to the entertainment of the audience.

And then we wave our arms in the air for the sing-along lullaby that is ‘Ship of Fools’, followed by ‘Chorus’ which aptly has a chorus just made to dance to with appropriate hand gestures - “….covered up the sun, ‘til the birds have gone away, and the fishes in the sea, have gone to sleep…..”  

Clarke ventures out from behind the synths for a couple of tracks, guitar in hand. One of their best songs tonight is their classic spurned love song – Erasure’s take on ‘I Will Survive’ –  ‘I Love to Hate You’ which has a rising melody that Bell truly belts out. Then to a couple of new tracks – ‘I Lose Myself’ has a musical composition, which live, is reminiscent of a cross between New Order and The Cure’s ‘The Walk’. And then main set concludes on two more classic hits – ‘Sometimes’ and ‘A Little Respect.’

Back on for an encore of just two songs, but yet more hits. The first is definitely a moment of Name That Tune In One – “Oh L‘Amour’ to which the already bouncy crowd bounce more and clap along. Then tonight is completed tonight with synth crescendo and starting line “We’ll be together again….” – ‘Stop!”

Erasure live are a great celebration – live, their sound has far more bass, far more range than on ‘vinyl’. Clarke has written phenomenal pop songs, which you just find yourself singing along to. And the new album contains tracks as good as any past hits. Bell’s voice is a real delight and continues to have far more vocal range than you would expect. There’s something shy about them live, but they want to entertain you and show you their great pop songs. They’ve not succumbed to the passage of time – there is something still current – you will dance, you will bounce, you will realize just how many songs you can sing along to. And you will smile. They’re not the cheapest act out there tonight’s tickets were £34 on the door, but it was a ‘happy’ feel-good gig, great crowd and a really pleasant and enjoyable night out. Go and see – ‘cos you will not be disappointed at all.  Respect.

*******

Setlist

1. Sono Luminus
2. Always
3. When I Start To (Break It All Down)
4. Blue Savannah
5. Fill Us With Fire
6. Breathe of Life
7. Drama!
8. Be with you
9. Ship of Fools
10. Chorus
11. Breathe
12. Victim of Love
13. Alien (Acoustic)
14. Love to Hate You
15. I Lose Myself
16. A Whole Lotta Love Run Riot
17. Breath Of Life
18. Chains of Love
19. Sometimes
20. A Little Respect

Encore:
21. Oh L’Amour
22. Stop

*******
Listening:
Frankmusik   

Complete Me (2009)
Do it in the Am (2011)

Listening:

Erasure   

The Circus (1987)
Total Pop! The First 40 Hits (2009)
Tomorrow’s World (2011)
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