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Live Review: Erasure – 23rd February 2018 – Eventim Apollo, London, UK

3 min read
Photo: Doron Gild

Erasure has sold more than 25 million albums in its 30 year history, and is one of the most successful bands of the late 1980’s and mid 90’s. Formed in London in 1985, the synthpop duo comprised of Andy Bell (vocals) and Vince Clarke (keyboards) have achieved 24 top 40 hits in the UK by 2007. After releasing their 17th studio album World Be Gone last year, they have embarked on a tour of the UK, South America, and North America that will take them through August of 2018 (with many dates already sold out well in advance).

Having toured Europe as special guests of Robbie Williams for four months last summer, there is significant excitement around this band returning to the live stage and we got the chance to see them near the end of the UK leg of the tour at the first of two sold-out shows at the London Eventim Apollo this weekend.

Taking the stage at 8:50pm, Bell opened with one of the bands earliest hits, Oh L’Amour, which instantly got the crowed singing along. Wearing a tattoo-inspired bodysuit and a sequin t-shirt under a paint-splashed jacket, he was then joined on the stage by two backup singers, and Vince Clark who was setup above them in a raised platform. Bell’s acapella vocals were the perfect way to kick off the show.

Throughout the roughly 90 minute set, the band performed two dozen songs consisting mostly of their best-known chart hits, with a smattering of other songs including two from their latest album: Sweet Summer Loving, and Just a Little Love (where Clarke was joined by his 12 year-old nephew who accompanied him on guitar). As one would expect, Bell can’t quite hit the high falsettos at his age, but his lower register sounds even better and he has noticeably toned back the dancing (except during Drama!) in favor of a steady pacing from side to side of the stage. That didn’t diminish the energy though as the crowd gleefully welcomed the best-known hits, like Victim of Love which was met with instant cheers. Blue Savannah had the entire theater singing every word, as did some up-tempo classics like Stop! and Drama!, which saw the crowd hold up their fists and shout “Guilty!” in perfect unison.

Excellently paced, there was little talking throughout the set (and probably a good thing because from where I was standing Bell was mostly inaudible), and I felt the only lull in energy came towards the end of the set with Here I Go Impossible Again, but was quickly brought up again with one of the biggest hits of their career, Sometimes. After leaving the stage briefly, the band returned for an encore to close the show with, of course, A Little Respect. It was a great way to cap off an amazing show by the legendary duo, and the audience continued singing the song loudly while exiting the venue, long after the band left the stage.

Oh L’Amour
Ship of Fools
Mad As We Are
Just a Little Love
In My Arms
Chains of Love
Sweet Summer Loving
I Love Saturday
Victim of Love
Phantom Bride
World Be Gone
Who Needs Love Like That
Take Me Out of Myself
Blue Savannah
Atomic (Blondie cover)
Love You to the Sky
Here I Go Impossible Again

A Little Respect