Gig review: Erasure - Corn Exchange, Edinburgh

Erasure frontman Andy Bell. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Erasure frontman Andy Bell. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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GIVEN that their heyday as a thrustingly successful production machine for sleek and memorable pop hits came to an end the best part of two decades ago, Erasure’s catalogue has started to seem like something of a retro enthusiast’s choice.

Erasure

Corn Exchange, Edinburgh

****

Scratch a little deeper below the surface, however, and you find a duo who aren’t content to rest on their laurels.

Having released music throughout their career, Andy Bell (sequinned shorts and top hat, singing voice both pristine and adult) and Vince Clarke (grey suit, taciturn, nose buried in a laptop) were here touring their most critically and commercially successful record in over a decade, this year’s The Violet Flame. Its tracks, including the singles Reason and Elevation, were spread sparingly throughout, not overbearing in their distraction from the ream of hits surrounding them, but deservedly showing off the enduring qualities of a vibrant creative partnership.

Otherwise, especially for a group who haven’t had to seek unhappiness of late (Bell lost his partner two years ago and has had both hips replaced), this show was a celebration, not just for a partying sell-out crowd, but of an oeuvre which only gets better with age.

Amidst a gaudy backdrop of blazing lights, two afro-wigged backing singers and a steadily-escalating hi-NRG thump, pristine and authentically recreated versions of Oh L’Amour, Victim of Love, A Little Respect, Chains of Love and many more sounded urgent, joyful and utterly contemporary.

Seen on 20.11.14

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