MUSICAL missives from Claudia Brucken are so rare that she has joked about never having reached that “difficult second album” phase with any of the bands and projects she has been involved in.
Brucken – the former Mrs Paul Morley – is best known in the UK for fronting the classy German band Propaganda, who had a couple of hits in the mid-1980s before disintegrating. For the past 17 years, she has collaborated with her partner Paul Humphries, of OMD fame, and has stayed true to her sophisticated electro-pop roots.
The occasion for this all-too-rare performance is the release of her solo album The Lost Are Found, a covers collection on which she has interpreted lesser known numbers by some of her favourite artists. Her choices are surprising but disarming. Whispering Pines by The Band and ELO’s One Summer Dream were delivered here as smooth sips of cocktail lounge pop, with Brucken’s seductive contralto the cherry on top.
But her set began with her solo hit, Lips Like Ether, with its sultry riff on Donna Summer’s State Of Independence, and continued with Propaganda’s Dr Mabuse, a Teutonic synth melodrama with Humphries handling the bombastic spoken word interlude with some slight trepidation.
She and her band loosened up on Snobbery And Decay, a fine example of slick electro-pop production delivered with a soupçon of pretension, and upped the stakes with the industrial pop favourite p:Machinery and the lush yet adventurous epic Duel.