The buzz in Newcastle’s City Hall had already begun with the eclectic and certainly energetic supports of Bright Light Bright Light. They were a great kick off to the evening, of similar genre to Erasure themselves, complete with an garish lights show and outfits to live up to their name, it was like a trip back in time to the tune of epic drum sounds and a heavy reliance on synthesisers to make up the depth of the music. But considering they are a three piece, the sound they produce was really impressive and the doubling up of the frontman as lead singer and saxophonist was a fun and unexpected twist.
Erasure’s presence on the stage was immediately felt- they clearly have a very strong fan base in the middle aged women category, although there were a surprising amount of men in the crowd too, admittedly throwing some slightly more conservative shapes compared to their female counterparts. The chat of frontman Andy Bell was a bit mundane, but well targeted at his audience, who hotly anticipated each song after the next. Songs like ‘Breathe’ and ‘All I Know’ were very much enjoyed, with, like their supports, very impressive lights shows, if a little reliant upon the aesthetics rather than the quality of sound. There were of course your typical camp, Flares-esque contraptions like ‘Chains of Love’, which sound like they’ve come straight out of the Eurovision Song Contest, but they’re the kind of songs everyone loves and knows the words to, which is very important to include for a band who’ve been around for a while.
For the whole evening there seemed to be plenty of transporting from the ridiculous to the sublime.
For the whole evening there seemed to be plenty of transporting from the ridiculous to the sublime, with songs such as ‘World Be Gone’ which, although sonically quite tame, offered lyrics both beautiful and extremely relevant. As with any band that’s been around for a while and is more widely known for its first ten years in the business, there were lulls when they played one that’s either new or simply less well known, and for this reason the set could have been about half a dozen songs shorter (the whole set list was about 30 songs in length- at least we got our money’s worth I suppose). However, these lulls gave Andy and Vince a deserved break from a very energetic delivery of each number- most especially Andy’s surprisingly bendy dancing.
Obviously, ‘A Little Respect’ was always going to be the highlight of the evening, but I was surprised at how many people got up, knew all the words and totally lost their inhibitions to this one. Even the kids who’d evidently bought this for Mum’s Christmas present, unaware that they would be expected to come with her seemed to lose their stubborn frowns, start singing along and doing whatever slightly feminine bop you do to an Erasure song. After all, underneath all the campness and over-production, Erasure were one of the pioneers of the electro-pop music movement and should be remembered for that.