I’d always liked Erasure, it was only when I was researching for 50 Years Of Top Of The Pops that I realised how much I liked them. They’re just a constant hit machine.
I’d tried to get a ticket for their Belfast gig at the start of November, but it was sold out within 90 minutes (I know this because I called at the Ulster Hall at 10.30am on the day they went on sale) so I couldn’t believe my luck when Erasure were playing on the Sunday night of the weekend I was in Manchester, it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
They entered the stage with Vince Clarke playing the opening bars to Oh L’amour. You could hear Andy Bell’s vocals but couldn’t see him.
Eventually, you saw him, dressed in a sparkly t-shirt, sparkly hat and sparkly leather trousers. He was very, um, sparkly.
Dancing his way through Oh L’amour, the dancing soon stopped afterwards, as he declared himself to be “Stuffed” after eating a Yorkshire Pudding.
The Manchester crowd, long over the War Of The Roses, didn’t boo the reference to their neighboring county.
They weren’t solely plugging their hits, there was new stuff, such as new single Elevation.
Vince Clarke spent most of the gig in the background, pulling the strings. Or rather, pushing the buttons, but sometimes plucking the strings, venturing out to play guitar on songs such as Stop! and A Little Respect.
Clarke got some more attention, as Andy Bell introduced him as “The most beautiful man in the world” before giving him a big kiss.
By this point, Bell had a change of outfit, now wearing a pair of silver hotpants. Guess what? They were sparkly.
More hits followed – Victim Of Love, Love To Hate You and Chorus.
They left to cheers but came back for an encore, featuring two more of their biggest hits – Sometimes and Always, with someone in the crowd throwing a teddy bear at Andy Bell.
The venue is a bit away from the City Centre, so I got a bus back to Picadilly. The 203 to Picadilly became an unofficial Party Bus, with fans singing Erasure songs. When one man wanted to get of he shouted “DRIVER!!! STOP!!!” and then sings the chorus to the Erasure song Stop!, with everybody else on the bus joining in.
I think that’s what you call a good night.