Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 - Erasure "Tomorrow's World" Tour

2011 is a very memorable year for Erasure and their global audience as they are at this point in time on tour for about six month already, having first toured their 'Total Pop' double album before changing over to promoting their brandnew album "Tomorrow's world".

The album is produced by Frankmusik whose credentials also include working with the Pet Shop Boys and others.

He also supports Erasure on tour. His 28 minutes set is a mixture of peculiar yet amazingly energetic remixes of some classic songs that include the likes of Whitney Houston songs and even Paul Simon's "Call me Al" isn't spared.

Nevertheless the versions are done with respect to the originals and aren't too out there although they are dressed in a 21st century sugarcoated dance sound.

His original songs "No I.D." and "Do it in the a.m." with which he closes his set are, for me anyway, far more enjoyable than the songs that came before them.

On a whole, Frankmusik is not exactly my cup of tea yet I can recognise talent when I see it and he could go far in the future.

Interestingly enough, his influences on Erasure's 14th studio album "Tomorrow's world" seems to have fans divided since the sound is really slick and all songs are made perfectly to fit radio - short and sweet and many people therefore miss Vince's unique and often times amazing synth creations.

Be this as it may the album has garnered Erasure their biggest success in over a decade and at the time of writing this review, "Tomorrow's World" rides high in the charts. It is on nr. 6 in the US electronic music charts only one week after the album release across the pond.

To the fans "Tomorrow's world" will become yet another classic Erasure album and the new songs fit in perfectly with older gems and I like them live even better than on record.

The tour brought Erasure to Wolverhampton and the fans turned out in high numbers and Erasure didn't let them down.

Opening the show with "Sono Luminus" from the lesser appreciated Erasure album from 1995 showed that

a) what a great song that actually is and
b) that Erasure is a band that is caried through all ups and downs by their fans, which are obviously quite numerous.

The setlist included tight versions of "Always", "Stop", "Love to hate you", "Respect" and "Sometimes" and many other tunes that made Erasure a British institution and loved around the world.

Andy Bell looked amazing, well toned and fit and he himself remarked that he had enjoyed "12hours of sleep last night and my voice sounds very angelic".

Valerie and Emma Chalmers are as much Erasure on stage as the boys themselves and they add more than just female voices to the show.

What is also great for fans is the fact that the ever-so-shy Vince Clarke actually comes out from behind his laptop/synth quite a lot to play guitar right next to Andy, who, as always, enjoys the limelight and centre stage.

Productionwise the "Tomorrow's World" show is amazing and Andy's voice is still there and sounded very energetic.

New songs like "Be with you" or "A whole lottla love runs riot" sounded as exciting as their older material and Erasure have proofen time and again that they are still a force to be reckoned with and there is no sign of slowing down.

May they go on forever!

Frankmusik (centre) with his keyboardist Kathy and myself posing for a picture

Erasure fans turned out en mass

Support act and "Tomorrow's World" album producer Frankmusik

Vince, Andy and the girls in full swing

Erasure fans are awesome

Living legend Vince Clarke

Read the review for the "Tomorrow's world" album HERE

Saturday, October 8, 2011

And the story continues ...

Click images to enlarge

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

Next stop: Erasure on October 23rd 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"Home of Metal" exhibition in Birmingham/England


HOME OF METAL is an amazing exhibition currently on display in Birmingham/England, long hailed as the birthplace of Heavy Metal, with the major success of Black Sabbath creating something truly unique.

The exhibition is a must-see experience for all heavy rock lovers even though it obviously highlights bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Napalm Death and other bands from this unique geographical area.

The exhibition offers its visitors the chance to put on a wig and play drums or guitar and enjoy making music for a while but, more importantly, offers an insight into the times and lives of four lads from Aston (a Birmingham suburb) collectively known as Black Sabbath. Sabbath' musical whiz-kid Tony Iommi even lent some of his equipment to Home Of Metal.

Artwork, tour programs and stage clothes are on display and videos are looped featuring interviews with fans and band members - many newspaper clips from the late 1960's to mid seventies are on display, too to show the visitor what the economic- and political environment was like back then for these bands growing up in and around Birmingham.

£ 6,- p.Person is the entrance fee which is more than reasonable.

I am living in Erdington these days and never knew of its musical background

Also on display: "Metal Hammer" magazines from 1997 - 2011

Sabbath all the way

Probably more Quo than Sabbath - you gotta start somewhere

Family Tree

Monday, May 30, 2011

SADE "Soldier of love" World Tour 2011

LG Arena, Birmingham - May 29th 2011
support act: The Jolly Boys

(Picture left: My girlfriend making sure we get a portion of fries before the show)

Shortly after entering the massive building that houses the LG Arena we came across an acoustic stage where a local band called "Charishma" performed. We only enjoyed one song but really liked what we heard.

The music was very much in the same vain as tonights' main act: SADE

Before Sade came on we had the pleasure of enjoying a strange yet remarkably compelling music act from Jamaica: "The Jolly Boys" - all 'old age pensioner' type musicians but really fun to watch and listen to as they mostly delivered cover songs from Johny Cash's great "Ring of fire" to the Rolling Stones classic "You can't always get what you want". All presented in traditionally instrumented Jamaican style.

Their gig lasted just under an hour and only a couple minutes later the main show began.

"Soldier of love" is Sade Abu's first full length studio album in 11 years and Sade, born in Africa to an English mother who returned to the UK with her and her brother Benji when she was a mere 4 years old, looks stunning. Not only for a lady born in 1959 but she simply is a very beautiful, elegant artist with a voice to match.

The stage show was high-end with videos, great lights and musicians who could emerge including their instruments from sort of out of the ground and rise up pretty high on that dark, athmospheric stage.

Less is more was the theme of the evening as the often sparse instrumentation left enough room for Sade's voice to really shine and where the return of saxophone and guitar solos could be celebrated.

The new material did blend in with the older classics like "Sweetest Taboo" or "Is it a crime?" and of course "Smooth Operator".

My girlfriend had entered our details into a draw and via the 'Birmingham Mail' we won those precious concert tickets.

I clearly wouldn't have decided to go and see Sade but am so glad that fate got me those tickets.

That was a night for a middle aged guy like myself: Real musicians, live vocals!

It was simply mesmerizing!!

Great colours and backgrounds

Colour or plain black and white: For a lady in her early 50's she looks more than amazing

The stageproduction was superb.

Merchandise was way too expensive and not my size anyway


SADE and band at the LG Arena in Birmingham, May 29th 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lucky Me!!

My girlfriend entered my details into an online draw and won us two tickets to SADE in Birmingham this coming Sunday!!