Erasure bring the crowds out to Manchester Apollo
The masters of Synth-Pop bring their new EP to Manchester!
Slightly unusual for me is to arrive for a gig and there is no support artist, support was in the form of DJ and producer Wayne G, who duly kept the amassing crowd happy for the evening with some great tunes and many singalongs. With a full house and the crowd ready for a night of one of Synth pops finest bands.
Formed by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke in 1985, Erasure quickly established themselves as leading voices in the growing synth-pop scene, going on to inspire ’90s electronic culture and to become prominent figures in the LGBT+ community.
With my camera in hand stood along side my fellow photographers and getting a real up-close look at the set I really impressed with the setup, three elevated circles addressed around a neon set and a large oval display that would become a protector of graphics for the set.
As the lights dropped the neon oval brought me way back to my childhood and literally living 200 yards from tonight’s venue. For me the smile on my face must have been unrecognisable as was the entrance theme, Cue Joe 90, all those weekly shows came flooding back in an instance. I am loving this gig already.
Vince Clark takes his usual stance at the back of the stage hidden, behind his synthesisers, wearing a smart grey pin stripe suit. the backing singers take their cue on the mikes to the right of the stage as Andy Bell heads straight to the middle of the stage, Dressed in electric blue corset and green and blue tartan trousers. I suddenly felt a little under dressed.
Opening with “Chorus”, and “Hey Now (Think I got a feeling)”, along with “Fill us with fire”. There is a feel of euphoria in the air, finally the 40 + brigade have a band to let them bring back the nostalgia, the show is not all about the greatest hits its also a chance to air their latest offerings, a chance to showcase the work that was completed during lockdown, as you would expect the transition is seamless. Clarke may be holding court at the back, but Bell makes up for it as he is a real showman.
Pleasing the crowd with hits like “Blue Savanah”, “Chains of love”, “Sometimes”, they really do have an excellent catalogue of hits to draw from. Pop classic after pop classic had the crowd dancing and singing along for fun.
Whilst we accept that Bell is a fantastic showman, one of the things I draw from his performance is, he is there for his own enjoyment, how he portrays himself would be no different if he was on stage at Wembley arena or like tonight at Manchester’s Apollo theatre, or even strutting his stuff in his own living room, he is totally comfortable in his own wonderful skin.
Bell asking Clarke to cut him free from his corset was a surreal moment, as he replaced it with a yellow T shirt, throwing in a Eurhythmics cover “Love is a Stranger”, gave Bell a chance to say that he was a long-time fan of the band.
Finishing the set with “Push me shove me”, and “Victims of Love”, it was a quick turn around for the encore of “Oh L’amour” which went down well and the final song and most recognisable of “A little respect”, which ended with a multi coloured explosion of confetti to a very appreciated audience.
Erasure are standard bearers of pop great tunes, a thirst for performing and ultimate show men.