BRIGHTON, THE DOME, 21/4/2015
It's no secret that we're fans of the brand new Marc Almond album 'The Velvet Trail' as our recent ALBUM REVIEW will attest, but the problem with loving an album is that when it comes to taking that record out on tour your expectations are sometimes unrealistically high, so it was with some trepidation that we arrived at Brighton's Dome for Marc Almond's current tour.
Naturally we shouldn't have worried, Marc Almond is every inch the consummate professional and, dressed in black jeans and a black shirt with the sleeves rolled up, remains an effortless showman displaying his considerable vocal talents to a loyal and appreciative crowd.
After last year's more cerebral 'The Tyburn Tree' shows tonight it's time to relax a little and have some fun. Almond is in playful form, chatting to the audience, admonishing those members of the audience who had the audacity to try and escape to the bar or the toilets during the show, and generally playing the role of entertainer to the hilt.
That's not to say that Almond doesn't take his work seriously, behind the flamboyant theatrics there is the expected trademark darkness running through the songs on offer tonight, and he seems to take particular delight in presenting some of the newer material. Flanked by guitarist Neal X - formerly of Sigue Sigue Sputnik among others, and also frontman of tonight's opening act The Montecristos - 'Minotaur' and 'Bad To Me' provide a strong start to the proceedings, and 'Zipped Black Leather Jacket' and 'Scar' are equal testament to the quality of the new album.
Naturally, with a history as enviable as Marc Almond's, it's not all about the new material and there is a healthy number of classic and fan-favourites along the way, but none so welcome as Soft Cell's trio of classics 'Bedsitter', 'Tainted Love' and 'Say Hello, Wave Goodbye'.
Marc Almond remains one of our greatest stars, tonight a few more people realised it.
BRIGHTON - THE DOME, 21/4/2015
Minotaur / Bad To Me / The Stars We Are / Burn Bright / Variety / The Dancing Marquis / These Darker Times / Champagne / The Velvet Trail / Scar / Life In My Own Way / Zipped Black Leather Jacket / Demon Lover / Meet Me In My Dream / Brilliant Creatures / Bedsitter / Soul Inside / Gutter Hearts / Tainted Love / Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
Review by This Is Not Retro. Photographs by Andy Sturmey.
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