Album review: Marc Almond, Variete

MARC ALMOND: VARIETÉ*** CHERRY RED RECORDS, £12.99

IT HAS been known for some time that life is a cabaret for Marc Almond. On his first album of entirely original material in more than a decade, he returns to old themes with alacrity, celebrating outsider characters from drag queens to predatory older women and relishing both the stories and the melodramatic language on tracks such as the 1950s-influenced pop croon It's All Going On and the finger-clicking brass-soaked stomp of the title track.

With songs entitled The Trials Of Eyeliner and Soho So Long, Variet is mischievous, lightweight fun compared to Almond's darker, more tortured journeys into European chanson, but it is affirming just to hear him revelling in the camp irreverence of it all.