Here in Scene Sussex towers we had previewed this show last year, and we have ticked off the days on the calendar waiting for Erasure to return to Brighton.
A stage hand guy came out with a roll of tape and one of the biggest set lists I have ever seen. It was two large pieces of paper – almost bedroom wall poster size!, I think we were ready!
The headliners came on, after Bright Light Bright Light, to the theme of the old TV series “Tales of the Unexpected” dancers in the boxes on either side of the stage and Andy was sitting astride a chair as the searing lights came on and immediately broke into the classic Oh L’Amour, this was quickly followed by gentle Ship Of Fools. The stage was set for a top night of nostalgia, new songs, and well Erasure! We got a full on assault as the neons around the cubes making the set flashed and changed colours in a kind of lighting frenzy.
Andy was there in our view, the music was powering at us, but where was Vince? After a scan of the stage we spotted him. There he is! He was up in some sort of techno crows nest. Never one for the spotlight, he maintained that air as he remained hidden for nearly the entire set. Vince Clarke performed his duties, in the main, out of sight and delivered his complex arrangements, programming and his general role in creating the magic of the Erasure sound.
Anyway, now we knew he was there and Andy every so often reminded us that he was way up in the Gods looking down on us. Erasure may have been fairly “quiet” for the last few years. Tonight the numbers and indeed the sounds coming from their fans was absolute proof of their ongoing popularity, and also the fact that their popularity has not really diminished. Andy looked resplendent in a grey jacket, a glittery T and some see through tattoo style tights/body stocking. Down in the photo pit one had to be careful where one looked!
Andy between songs would chat to us as if he had popped round for a cuppa. This was delightful, funny and truly engaging. It was as if Andy knew us all, tricky to explain the interaction and emotion these chats had. He chatted about his music, Mums, Britney and his tights that he was struggling with. Some one advised it was best to wear your pants on the outside. Hilarious highlight.
A small clip – Erasure doing “Stop”
Just great – the crowd was waiting for this one joining in with “STOP!”
The set moved on and ‘Just A Little Love’ from the album World Be Gone and ‘In My Arms’ from ’97. were served up. I have to say the sound was extraordinary. There was just the two of them and proves how deft Vince is at making it come together for Andy and us.
We got a mix of old and new material and we in the Dome loved it. From the huge set list I could see ‘Sacred’ and ‘Sweet Summer Loving’ were up. Andy having a great time as he danced around the stage with the two backing singers/dancers. He, at one time, hit himself in the mouth with the mic and how he didn’t lose an eye with his string of pearls swirling around his neck is astonishing! He looked great and had given us some make-up tips earlier in the set. He was hitting those notes perfectly – not one dropped note or vocal crack. And above him there was Vince managing the tech, grabbing his guitar, or shaking a neon lit tambourine. Another day in the office for him, dressed in his grey suit. He seems to be choreographing the proceedings from above. ‘Chains of Love’, ‘Just a Little Love’ , ‘Sacred’ ‘Love You To The Sky’ and ‘Again’ were also included in the set.
One of the songs performed was a rather tasty cover of Blondies Atomic.
Just a short clip of Andy and a Georgio Moroder sounding synth sound from Vince. The crowd lapped this one up after we had been given a couple of slower tempo numbers.
Some more chat with the audience as the two take complete control of the crowd, we were building up to some classic Erasure, that Andy had been alluding to earlier in the set. ‘Drama!’ led us into ‘Stop’ and ‘Always’ and ‘Sometimes‘ the crowd almost drowning out the punchy sounds. Brighton was in fine voice tonight!
For the encore Vince hit the stage and joined Andy for “Respect“. Great to see them together perform this number. We had waited a while to see them together and they did not disappoint. As we left people were still singing it! Brilliant. Erasure left a great impression, sometimes it felt the set tempo slowed a little at times, but then an Erasure banger got the place jumping again. Some great songs, no ABBA covers tonight though.
A great night, brilliantly executed, great fun. Nicely done. Thank you Erasure! Respect.
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All original pictures – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2018.
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