Sunday, November 30, 2014

29.11.2014 ERASURE @ Civic Hall, Wolverhampton + support act: Shelter

Erasure’s 16th studio album ‘The Violet Flame’ came out in September 2014 and catapulted the band back where they belong: On Top Of Their Game!

With long-term fans agreeing that this has got to be their best album in a decade, most of the worldwide media seems to agree, too, hardly ever a bad word is spoken about this little masterpiece. Not surprising then that many dates on their tour are sold out and tickets are becoming a privileged thing to possess.

But is the hype worth going to see them, I hear you asking? – The simple answer, and the truth at that, is: ABSOLUTELY

Support act SHELTER open up in Wolverhampton on their first of eight dates with Erasure. Shelter themselves released their epic album ‘Emerge’ just recently and their best known song, thus far, is ‘Beautiful’, the single they recorded with Erasure frontman Any Bell, although he is not joining them on stage during their 30 minutes set.

At times very “Modern Talking-ish” to watch it feels strange to watch a new act behaving like an 80’s band yet they do it while showing great admiration for the times past and they are very enjoyable to watch and to listen to.

The 1980s, of course, is where Erasure slotted in just nicely, but 29 years going, and often going strong, is evidence enough that they are not and never have been a pure and simple 80s band and because they were daring all throughout their career it has cost them a fair junk of their fan base, although, judging by the amount of people in the hall and the sold out gigs everywhere, the fanbase is growing again and the old guard is going strong.

The set consisted of many of their greatest hits, including ‘Sometimes’, ‘Always’, ‘Stop’ and more. The songs often were performed in a remix fashion and 12-inch style, allowing classic Vince Clark synthlines to shine and allowing the audience to dance wildly, not that Andy bell was holding back much with his dancing either.

With backing vocalists Emma an Valerie by his side and with an impressive vocal range that seems to be getting better from release to release, we were in for a real treat.

‘Dead Of Night’, ‘Reason’, ‘Elevation’ and ‘Sacred’ all from their latest album fitted in easily with the rest of the set and sounded both contemporary as well as classic Erasure. Indeed it was the two-song run of ‘Sacred’ and their 2005 hit ‘Breathe’ that delivered pure magic in a less dancy kind of way.

This gig was an in-your-face reminder that Erasure aren’t done by a long shot and that they not only have plenty of life left in them but are also proud of their backcatalogue without having to rely on it completely.

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