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A Little Something To Make You Sweeter


Review by Evelyn O'Connell

Erasure: Caught live at Hammersmith Apollo

SATURDAY, March 5 saw Erasure kick off their London gigs at Hammersmith Apollo, with fairy wings, sparkly shorts and the liveliest songs to make you dance & sing.

The atmosphere in the room was thick with anticipation; what was in store for the Erasure fans tonight?

At dead on 9pm the beats started and an enthusiastic crowd started their whistles and cheers.

Andy Bell and Vince Clarke teased us with hints of their tunes before a light behind the front curtain revealed four figures standing in a wood, two in fairy wings, one in a flight helmet with a satellite on top behind keyboards and computers, and one very grand figure wearing angel wings. The curtain then came down to the loudest applause I’ve ever heard.

Erasure launched straight into Who Needs Love Like That with an impressive energy that Andy Bell managed to maintain all evening.

Wearing a white costume to match his angel wings, Bell twinkled on stage, and trust me that twinkle is the right word to describe him.

He shone like the star he rightly is and pranced around the stage the way only a huge gay icon can.

To say he is more camp than a row of tents is an understatement, but that is one of his many appeals and only a man so truly confident in himself could have got away with his outrageously fantastic stage costumes.

One of the highlights of the evening was when the fans started to serenade Bell with A Little Respect and he blew kisses to the audience, commenting on how sweet and lovely they were, and recalling how he and Vince had arrived at 4pm to see their loyal fans queuing in the rain and accepted a single red rose from an audience member.

He also asked people how they were and where they came from.

Erasure fans are extremely loyal, but Erasure are just as loyal to their fans.

Material from the new album, Nightbird, was included in the set, with Bell’s amazing diva-esque voice reaching perfection all night.

The enigmatic Vince Clarke even made a vocal solo on the rap in a cover of Blondie’s Rapture.

One costume change later and Bell arrived back on stage in a black Elvis suit with the two backing singers who were formerly fairies now dressed in a Marilyn Monroe style singing Ave Maria, that really is something you have to see to believe.

Hit after hit ensued with Oh L’Amour and A Little Respect.

Another costume change revealed Bell in blue sequined shorts (they were very short shorts) and two blue ostrich feather fans, to tantalise his audience with Blue Savannah (what else?!).

This is where the concert reached its pinnacle; it had been a fantastic night until then and I really didn’t think it could get any better, but Bell then belted out favourites Love To Hate You and Stop which had the audience going wild and ended with Bell sprinkling fairy dust on the audience at the front.

Bell had two paper aeroplanes that he alleged had his home phone number and his hotel number on and flew them into the audience before doing their encore.

Erasure had obviously saved the best for last and treated us all to my personal favourite Erasure song, Sometimes.

Sadly, that really was the finale; Erasure had played some of the most memorable tunes ever and had the Apollo full of people singing along and dancing.

Whether they were straight or gay, no one cared - they just came to see Erasure play and duly witnessed one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen. It really was a little something to make me sweeter.

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