Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

Erasure @ O2 Apollo, Manchester 09/10/21Deletion – The Neon Tour
O2 Apollo, Manchester
October 9, 2021

Electronic duo Andy Bell and Vince Clarke aka Erasure are touring in support of their 18th studio album 2020 ‘The Neon’. Higher than War’s Martin Mathews and Melanie Smith (photographer) were at the first of their two sold-out shows at the Manchester Apollo. Hard to believe that Erasure has been releasing music since the mid-1980s and has more than 30 UK Top 40 hits.

It was the first time I saw the duo, so I was really looking forward to the show. The stage set was simple and cool, with neon lighting that reflects the album and the name of the tour, and brilliantly lit with a central video screen with graphics for the songs.

The show opened with the theme of Joe 90, and Andy and Vince were joined on stage by two fabulously dressed, brilliantly backed vocalists, wearing multicolored fake fur coats. The twenty-three song shows started with their 1991 hit Chorus. Andy was as flamboyant as ever and appeared in a gladiator-style corset with checkered pants dancing around the stage. Between songs, he engaged with the audience and discussed everything from Coronation Street to Christmas and also took the time to thank a huge fan who he said had been to every show so far on the tour.

Deletion 1 @ O2 Apollo, Manchester 09/10/21

Erasure 5 @ O2 Apollo, Manchester 09/10/21

The set list for the show included a mix of songs that span their impressively long careers, plus the newer songs that sat well with the big hits, such as. Sometimes, Chains of Love and Blue Savannah. However, this was more than just a retrospective biggest hits tour – the big hits still sounded fresh, current and just as dynamic as they did in the 80s and 90s. The crowded crowd, including me, loved the show, danced and sang along, they roared with approval as the pop classics kept coming.

Erasure 4 @ O2 Apollo, Manchester 09/10/21Erasure 3 @ O2 Apollo, Manchester 09/10/21

At one point during the case, Andy gave Vince a pair of scissors and asked him to cut him out of his cross, which he then removed and replaced this with a yellow gorilla-printed t-shirt. A cover of The Eurythmics hit Love Is A Stranger was an unexpected surprise and the night’s only song without erasure. Andy explained afterwards that he is a big fan of The Eurythmics and that they were one of the first bands he saw live. The hits kept coming, and after a lively, energetic rendition of Victim Of Love, they briefly left the stage before returning to a two-song encore that saw Andy perform wearing a red and silver glittery pair of platform heels.

When the last song ended, 1988’s hit A Little Respect, the audience was showered with rainbow-colored confetti fired from cannons on either side of the stage. A fitting end to a fabulous show and a thoroughly enjoyable ballad through some timeless pop classics.

Photo gallery

Please note: Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal. If you would like to contact the photographer, please send an email to: mel@mudkissphotography.co.uk

Set list:
Hi now (think I got a feeling)
Fill us with fire
Who needs such love
Nerves of steel
Blue Savannah
Chains of love
Turns love into anger
Be careful what I try to do
Save me honey
Shot a satellite
Love to hate you
Love is a stranger
Push me push me
Victims of love
Oh love
A little respect

The Neon Tour sees Erasure play dates around the UK throughout October, before moving to North America and Europe in 2022.

The Erasure website is here: ersaureinfo.com. You can follow them on Twitter as @erasureinfo and Like on Facebook.


Words by Martin Mathews, you can find more on his author profile and Twitter

Photos by Melanie Smith. More work by Mel on Louder Than War can be found in the author’s archive. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Photographs can be found here

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