Back when, my old Gran’s final words were “Remember son, the finest exponents of synth techno pop are Erasure” (probably), so what better than to see the boys when they rolled into Preston on Friday night touting their newly released ‘Tomorrow’s World’ album. It’s easy to forget just how big Erasure were; with five consecutive number one albums, a wealth of best-selling singles, and widely credited for triggering the Abba ‘revival’ with their splendid Abba-esque EP. Regarded in some quarters as merely bubble-gum, you dismiss the musical quality of Mr Vincent Clarke at your peril, from his time with Depeche Mode, Yazoo and The Assembly, through to the sonic excellence of the criminally underrated “Erasure” album, from which the beautifully haunting ‘Sono Luminus’ opened the set. In Andy Bell, they have one of the finest voices of modern times, and one of the most charismatic frontmen of his generation.
So, could they still cut the mustard, and would the new material stack up against such a majestic back catalogue? Well, the guys are old stagers and carefully seeded their set with the newer material contained within a wrapper of old favourites. In fairness you could hardly feel the join. The new songs sat nicely alongside the classics, with the best of the bunch on the night ‘Fill Us with Fire’ fairly fizzing along. Using the FFA Shuffle Test, (that moment when a band play a new song and the crowd either carry on dancing or do a shoe gaze shuffle until the next old favourite comes along), it has to be said that the Preston crowd liked all that they heard.
FFA caught Erasure earlier in 2011 at Guilfest and they performed a typical hit laden festival set; on tour, understandably, they give prominence to more of the new album material and old and new did all flow into one homogenous good time night. Mrs FFA, who notices these things, commented that Bell looked much physically fitter than earlier in the year in preparation for the rigours of the road, with those bulging biceps getting all sections of the enthusiastic crowd squealing.
With a gothic themed stage set, complete with gargoyle to boot, the boys were as colourful and flamboyant as ever, (well Bell was, Vinnie of course being the original Mr Cool) and more than ably supported on stage by backing singers Emma and Valerie Chalmers. Indeed the Chalmers sisters are very much old school Erasure, being one of the first backing duo’s ever employed by the band. Good to see you back ladies.
The new album was produced by rising star Frankmusik (whose production credits include Lady Gaga, Pet Shop Boys, Ellie Goulding), and Vincent Frank (for it is he) and his band actually plays support for Erasure on tour. Drag yourself from the bar and give them a listen. You won’t be disappointed.
Bottom line? Most of the tour dates are already a sell-out but FFA recommends you beg, steal, or borrow a ticket to catch a good time band that have influenced a generation. Oh, and always listen to your gran.
TOMORROW'S WORLD UK TOUR DATES:
Sun 23 October - Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Tues 25 October - London Roundhouse – SOLD OUT
Weds 26 October – Southend Cliffs Pavilion
Fri 28 October - Southampton Guildhall
Sat 29 October - Bristol Colston Hall – SOLD OUT
Sun 30 October - Cardiff St Davids Hall – SOLD OUT
Tues 1 November - Cambridge Corn Exchange
Thurs 3 November - Reading Hexagon
Fri 4 November - Brighton Dome – SOLD OUT
Buy tickets HERE
Review by Barrie Dimond