Erasure and sent fans home hot, sweaty, smiling and brimming with the sense of sheer joy from that evening. Those hit laden 80’s may have gone now, but, you know what, it’s great to have these two still doing it.
Gig review: Erasure – Brighton Centre – 18/10/2021 – Kilimanjaro
Erasure are an English electropop duo formed in London in 1985, consisting of singer and songwriter Andy Bell with songwriter, producer and keyboardist Vince Clarke, previously known as co-founder of the band Depeche Mode. From 1986 to 2007, the duo achieved 24 consecutive top 40 hits in the UK. By 2009, 34 of their 37 chart-eligible singles and EPs had made the UK top 40, including 17 climbing into the top 10. At the 1989 Brit Awards, Erasure won the Brit Award for Best British Group.
ERASURE: (Andy Bell and Vince Clarke) are touring with their eighteenth studio album, THE NEON, with a run of UK live dates this Autumn.
ERASURE: Andy Bell
ERASURE: Vince Clarke
Erasure last played in Brighton back in Early 2018. It was that long ago! It was at a time before anyone knew what COVID was. A damn fine concert at The Dome – catch up on that gig here with words, pics and video clips. A top night as I recall. Now synth-pop maestros Andy Bell and Vince Clarke are touring again with their acclaimed 18th album ‘The Neon’. The tour kicked off at the Glasgow Armadillo auditorium, included a sold out show at the London O2 Arena and the tour climaxed in Brighton, at the Brighton Centre on 18 October 2021.
Andy Bell had said before this tour, “We’re so excited to be able to – at last – announce dates for The Neon Tour! We’d hoped to have seen you sooner, but can’t wait to see you all in 2021. Until then, keep safe!”. We gathered tonight in an almost capacity crowd at the Brighton Centre to finally see Erasure back in town and do what they do! We were here to dance, sing and have a party!
Erasure: The Set
The lights dimmed and a huge rapturous roar from the Brighton crowd welcomed lead singer, Andy Bell and synth wizard Vince Clarke to the stage. The video wall came to life with a representation of the Joe 90 opening imagery and a rework of the Joe 90 Theme. Whilst still being only a two man set up, Erasure tonight proved they really do still know how to kick up a crowd and put together one hell of a party.
Chorus, from the album of the same name was up first. The stage lighting burst on, almost dazzling at times as the searing white lights fired up. The second track, Hey Now (Think I Got a Feeling) was from the new album Neon and as the album was released a while ago now it was familiar to everyone in the room.
Mr Bell was at his flamboyant vibrant best tonight, dancing, twirling and putting on a good strut on the stage. He was clad in blue tartan styled bondage trousers, and a yellow sleeveless T shirt. As usual Andy Bell was in sharp contrast to Vince Clarke’s reserved and business like attire and demeanour. They both looked fabulous.
Next up, from the Tomorrows World album was Fill Us With Fire, with the stunning harmonics to open the track and the video screens to the side of the stage projected the off stage filming of the duo and backing singers. Behind Vince a massive video wall projecting colourful matching graphics. A more melodic opener for another track from that album, Fill Us With Fire, as the tempo increased as the song progresses.
Mr Clarke was situated right at the back of the stage, at times almost invisible with the smoke being pumped out onto the stage, at one point Andy did mention the smoke machine mist was a little on the heavy side. It was clear tonight that we were being treated to the Erasure back catalogue with some of the new album tracks thrown into the mix. The title track, going back to 1987, was next and taken from the album The Circus. I took a look around the crowd and the lower floor of the Brighton Centre was packed with people dancing.
Hats off to the team who transformed The Brighton Centre into almost a pulsating nightclub packed with with impressive flashing lights, strobes, neon and whirling spotlights, frontman Andy Bell was putting on an utterly breathtaking performance, his voice and range is as strong and perfect as always. Andy was pretty much flanked by two gorgeous back-up singers for the entire set. The stage was a mix up of neon edged furniture, a giant swing and a roundabout, I did fancy a go on the swings! These backing singers were astonishing, I think I had seen them before when Erasure had played in Brighton. Great job and they also got involved with the on stage banter which at times was down right hilarious.
With so many hits behind them Victim Of Love, Love To Hate You, A Little Respect and Ships Of Fools, it is clear to see how Clarke’s eye and creativity for great lyrics and an ear for that unique disco fired synth-pop had, and still does, put him way out in front of other similar bands. He is at the back, standing there behind what looks like the command panel from the bridge off the Starship Enterprise. He is there twisting knobs and sliders and hitting those keys and from time to time he would sling his black acoustic round his neck and play that as well!
The Set Continues: Neon
Another great track from Neon was up next with Nerves of Steel and is Erasures latest single release. Shot A Satellite and Careful What I Try to Do were also included in this 25 song set, both songs from that new album. The party now got into full swing as some of the big hits were coming at us and these included Sometimes and Love To Hate You. Last time I saw Erasure they covered the Blondie track Atomic. Tonight it was Love Is A Stranger (Eurythmics cover)- “I do like a Soft Cell song” Andy remarked at the end of the song. Brilliant!
At one stage, Andy just sat down on the stage and just chatted. It felt as if we were friends and that we had been invited round to his house for a good old natter. I love the way Andy engages with his crowd. The massive hit Stop was next and followed with Push Me Shove Me and the sublime single release Victim Of Love closed the set.
Erasure left the stage. Now, I swear by now everyone was on their feet and the Brighton Centre may have had some of its foundations shaking as the massed feet stomped on the ground, hands clapping in the air and voices screaming for more!
The guys returned, this time Andy wearing the biggest silver and red glittering boots you could ever see. Superb. The last songs started and firstly opened up with Andys wonderful voice filling the venue with the opening lines of Oh L’amour and then of course Vince fires up the back track and instruments. Last song of the night was A Little Respect. What a way to end! As we left people were still singing it! Erasure left a great impression tonight, this set was of a higher more constant tempo than when they last visited. If the crowed got tired then an Erasure banger got the place jumping again. Some great new songs tonight, no ABBA covers though.
Those two songs to end the gig rounded off the evening perfectly. I guarantee Erasure had sent fans home hot, sweaty, smiling and brimming with the sense of sheer joy from that evening. Those hit laden 80’s may have gone now, but, you know what, it’s great to have these two still doing it. If their new album and this performance is anything to go by, then I can happily confirm there’s plenty of life left in Erasure.
Would I go see them again?- oh yes – in a heartbeat.
Erasure are on the WWW here
A shout to DJ Wayne G. There was no support act as such tonight, but DJ Wayne G was on hand, as he had been supporting Erasure on their tour, spinning the wheels of steel/CD/MP3 mix. He fired up some great dance music and disco classics to get everyone in the mood. Nicely done.
Thanks also to the great team at The Brighton Centre, always a pleasure to be in your company. The sound mix was top tonight as were the visuals. Great job you guys.
The Brighton Centre are on the WWW here.
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