Brighton Magazine

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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Review: Erasure @ Brighton Dome Concert Hall

With over three decades together and having played the city numerous times, Vince Clarke and Andy Bell of Erasure are no strangers to Brighton
Pic By Andy Strumey

On Monday night their fans were out in force for another Sold Out show, and ready for the legendary electro pop duo to take to the Brighton Dome stage.

But first up were support act Bright Light Bright Light - who mix a blend of camp stage presence with electronic pop, and who feature a lead singer wearing the most colourful rainbow suit seen since Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters.

Erasure soon take to the stage with the crowd cheering backing singers, Valerie and Emma, who are first to take their positions; silhouetted in giant light boxes, dancing to the Ron Grainer penned Tales of the Unexpected theme tune.

Andy and Vince follow and, as the familiar disco tinged intro to early- in-the-career single Oh L'amour strikes up, the crowd cheer loudly and everyone's ready for a Monday night party. 

Up next is the duo's late eighties hit Ship of Fools, with the setlist taking an emotional journey of well known pop bangers such as Chains Of Love, Victim Of Love , Drama! and Blue Savannah, through to their lesser known more reflective output; including a sprinkling of rarer album tracks and fan favourite, Phantom Bride

Their recent singles Love You To The Sky and Just A Little Love get an appreciative reaction, as does the newer material from their critically acclaimed current album World Be Gone, which covers more world weary themes.

Vince being the quieter of the duo sits high atop a 10/15 foot podium on a stage set described as Tron meets the Hamburg Red Light District.

It's visually impressive and perhaps more than a nod to Depeche Mode, Vince's first band's stage set from their well documented 1993/1994 Devotional tour, where, the then, three keyboard players were distanced from vocalist Dave Gahan.

Those sitting high up in the Dome balcony were perhaps the only ones to gain a good glimpse of Vince doing what he does best, playing on his synth set up. 

Occasionally he would add extra percussion to tracks with his electronic illuminated tambourine. He also stepped away from the synths to strum along on his guitars.

Frontman Andy Bell recently had a chest infection and subsequently cancelled the first three dates of the tour in Dublin, but was back on top form in Brighton, hitting all the high notes and sustaining the deeper vocals.  

Dressed for most of the show in a bizarre splattered jacket and t-shirt combo, the clothes were gradually peeled off to reveal an Aztec painted nearly nude full body stocking. The crowd cheering while the reveal took place. 

Often self deprecating and never one to take things seriously, the amusing between song banter included stories about his mum asking him to visit the shops as a kid to buy her denier stockings and a packet of fags, through to Britney Spears playing Brighton Pride this summer.

It was of course predictable that the highlights for the crowd were to be their old classics from the 1980s including Who Needs Love Like That, Sometimes, a brilliant cover of Blondie's Atomic, and the huge finale A Little Respect .. and a chance for the crowd to glimpse Vince when he came down from his podium to play guitar next to Andy and the backing singers.

The crowd left the Dome singing A Little Respect into the cold Brighton night. It was a night none of them will forget ….

by: Andy Sturmey


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