Erasure , Manchester Apollo
Graham Clark, Features Writer
If ever there was a contest to find the best support act to tour with Erasure I am sure Bright Light, Bright Light would win. Coming from South Wales Rod Thomas grew up on a diet of Erasure, Grace Jones, Elton John, David Bowie and The Pet Shop Boys.
If this was 1985 he would be on the cover of Smash Hits, but this is 2018 and better still he is supporting his heroes on tour. Dressed in a day glow colourful suit, his hand and arm movements reminded me of Freddie Mercury.
He has supported Elton John on 54 gigs and with tracks such as In The Name and Running Back To You he really should be in the singles chart. A very interesting prospect.
Erasure released their last album, World Be Gone, last year. Unusually for them it showed a more introspective side to the duo. Thankfully the live show concentrates more on their back catalogue.
The gig commences with vocalist Andy Bell straddling a chair striking a pose looking like he was part of the musical, Cabaret. Vince Clarke still keeps a low profile on top of a podium on a stage set consisting of giant neon squares.
The two female singers each appeared inside one of the big squares creating an effect that looked like they were ghosts in a mirror. Carefully placed throughout the set, they never took the shine visually off Andy Bell.
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"It's raining outside but we will let you get all hot and steamy inside" suggests Bell. By the time he does his trademark dance on Victim of Love you realise he wasn't joking. His vocals came to the fore on the subtle Lousy Sum of Nothing, even improving on the recorded version.
Their first big hit, Sometimes, closed the set. The encore of A Little Respect saw Vince Clarke and the two female vocalists now centre stage with Bell, the neon squares flashing every colour of the rainbow. A colourful night indeed with seldom a dull moment.
Erasure , Manchester Apollo, 11th February 2018, 17:30 PM