Erasure - Manchester Apollo
"No point. Erasure? They've been and gone mate," says the genial tout outside Manchester Arena when I ask enquire why he wasn't lurking in his usual spot outside the Apollo tonight. Their now notably multi-generational fanbase apparently never got the memo and duly fill the room to near capacity. Good thing too, because tonight's trawl through the duo's back catalogue is a delight. So it should be - the Apollo is Erasure's spiritual home. They've played here on pretty much every tour and they had an extended residency that must count amongst the venue's longest during the Chorus tour.
After an excruciating opening set from producer Frankmusic (a bizarre affair in which he eschewed his own songs for takes on the likes of 'Call Me Al' and 'Sex On Fire' that could be bettered in any karaoke bar in the land), Vince and Andy took to the stage, accompanied only by a pair of backing singers. While this show may not have the bells and whistles of their heyday, there was a loose mythological theme, with (in typical Erasure fashion) Vince largely hidden behind a Mac equipped gargoyle (an iGoyle?) and Andy starting the show in a gladiator's helmet. Most importantly it sported a well chosen setlist - interspersing their biggest crowd pleasers ('Love To Hate You', 'Stop', 'A Little Respect', et al) with lesser known cuts to please the faithful at the front, including surprise opener 'Sono Luminous', and an acoustic version of 'Alien' from 2000's little vaunted Loveboat album.
"Been and gone"? Not if this show is anything to go by.