Tuesday, 12 June 2018

10 years ago, I went to Manchester to see Yazoo live

Earlier this year (2018) I saw Erasure live. 30 years ago (1988) I also saw Erasure live. But 10 years ago (2008) I saw another Vince Clarke group live. It was, of course, Yazoo. And I saw them at another Apollo venue, Manchester Apollo whereas I saw Erasure at the Hammersmith Apollo, both times (although back in 1988 it was called Hammersmith Odeon).
It all started through an internet fan forum when this question was posed by another user: "What is your synth-pop top 5?" My answer was this:
However, I added an extra comment to my answer: "The only ones I haven't seen live are Yazoo (Pretty much impossible now, I guess... Although reunions are always possible...)". A few days later their reunion was indeed announced
in the form of their Reconnected tour and tickets went on sale. I bought one for Manchester on the 7th of June.
The night before, I flew to London and early the next morning I took the train to Manchester. I settled in at my hotel, found where Manchester Apollo was and once there I met my Swedish friend from the same internet forum for the first time in person and had a couple of pints at the local.

Then I went back to my hotel and had a chance to walk around Manchester for a bit. I was to return there again in 2011 for Roger Waters and in 2016 for the city's very own Stone Roses.
Unfortunately, back then I believed what was stated on concert tickets, ie that cameras were not allowed, so the only photos that I took inside the venue and during the gig are those that I took with my mobile, a SonyEricsson W880.

I even filmed one video with it, at a very low resolution, but I also manaaged to find one more on YouTube from another user.

What is true, is that compact cameras are allowed, it's professional (SLR) cameras and video cameras that are not usually allowed.
The gig started with "Nobody's Diary" a song that was never performed live before the 2008 tour (as indeed were all the songs from their second album "You And Me Both"). And because Yazoo had only released two albums, we heard a lot of our favourite tunes from back then.

After the end of the gig, I remember my Swedish friend stating that "this woman was born to sing!"
After the gig, we sat and waited outside the Apollo for a while; there was a rumour going on that either Alison or Vince may show up.

Finally, I took the bus back to my hotel.
The next day,at Manchester Piccadilly station from where I would take the train back to London, I spotted a billboard advertising a Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band concert at Old Trafford, that had already taken place. I was about to attend my very first Bruce Springstten gig at the end of that same month in Paris, but that is of course a subject for another blog post...

01. Nobody's Diary
02. Bad Connection
03. Mr. Blue
04. Good Times
05. Tuesday
06. Ode to Boy
07. Goodbye 70's
08. Too Pieces
09. In My Room
10. Walk Away From Love
      I Before E Except After C
11. Anyone
12. State Farm
13. Sweet Thing
14. Winter Kills
15. Midnight
16. Unmarked
17. Bring Your Love Down (Didn't I)
18. Situation
19. Don't Go
20. Only You

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Chameleons Vox live in Athens

The first 3 gigs of 2018 were all electro gigs, as I mentioned on my previous post, the last of them being Kid Moxie at Death Disco. The 4th one, even though it was not an electro one, was also at Death Disco. And it was pulled straight out of the 80's Manchester scene. Chameleons Vox aren't the original Chameleons of course. It's just their lead singer, Mark Burgess, with "whoever wants to play with him". But how did I get into the Chameleons? Back in the day (somewhere around 1984) a schoolfriend lent me their "Script Of The Bridge" album (along with "The Crackdown" by Cabaret Voltaire and the 12 inch of "Paris Latino" by Bandolero - yeah, I know, whatever) and forgot to ask me to give it back. I remember listening to the record and enjoying it because "there was so much music in there". What I was referring to was that its duration was around 55 minutes. So, if you liked that kind of music there was lots of it on the album for you to enjoy. The problem was of course, that vinyl records didn't really sound that good if they were over 45 minutes. I remembered that when the weekend before the gig I dug the record out, to listen to it again. I realized then that i probably needed to buy the remastered CD in order to enjoy their music in full.

On the night, which was sold out, they played songs from "Script Of The Bridge" but also from some of their later albums.

I enjoyed it thoroughly, probably because I was at the front of the stage. But there was a catch to that. I was also in front of one of the speakers.

I did not realize it then, but my hearing did suffer as I got out of the venue. On the train home I couldn't hear all the sounds clearly, and I was also hearing some sounds (sort of "beep, beep, beep") that weren't actually there. It took 48 hours for my hearing to come back to normal. It was probably worth it, but I'm not going to do this again. So, don't try this at home kids, you have been warned...