1998/02/12, The Forum, London, UK

Event Horizon 1998

January 14
January 16
January 17
January 18
January 20
January 21
January 22
January 24
January 25
January 26
 Brussels January 30
 New York
January 31
 Washington (cancelled)
February 1
February 3
February 5
 San Francisco
February 6
 San Francisco
February 7
 Los Angeles
February 12
February 13

"Anybody figured out yet why we like to play the least often in the places where the most crap is written about us?"

Setlist of the gig was the standard American one.

Support act: Scoda Blush.

Setlist | Reviews | Still movie

  • Intro: Fly and Collision of Comas Sola
  • Intro: Afterhours

  • First and Last and Always
  • Ribbons
  • Come Together
  • Train/Detonation Boulevard
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • War on Drugs
  • Giving Ground
  • (We Are the Same) Suzanne
  • On the Wire/Teachers/On the Wire
  • Will I Dream
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • Summer
  • Anaconda
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • Temple of Love
  • Comfortably Numb/Some Kind of Stranger
  • Something Fast
  • This Corrosion
  • Thanks to Bart Kalita (b.k@btinternet.com)

    Setlist | Reviews | Still movie

    Written by Peter Walters (peter@central-systems.co.uk) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    [the reviewer deals with both London shows here]

    "Has anybody figured out yet why we like to play least in the places where the most crap is written about?"

    The Sisters are back in the UK. I saw them in June at Brixton, and having not seen them live since Crystal Palace four years before, the evil red lighting and sinister start to Kiss the Carpet had gripped me like not a lot else before. Despite the fact that I watched a nervous 3-piece kick off a tour with poor sound, I had a great time leaping around to This Corrosion, Vision Thing, Dominion etc. and grinning stupidly at Andrew trying to be very clever and do Kylie's Confide in Me. NEARLY worked.

    Hence seeing them only 7 months later was not quite such a momentous occasion: I've surfed the web, I've seen the set lists, and I've seen this band play (most) of these songs not long before. But I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a well oiled band (very obviously both confidently and competently in the swing of touring) and a much improved (but not perfect) sound quality. Even Andrew was looking more slick than I've seen him do before (does he really look like Mr.C from the Shamen, Michelle?)

    The Sisters have definitely changed, Andrew looks like he is trying to concentrate on the bands songs much more than ever before, rather than the aesthetics from which the band became noticeable back in the early eighties. It IS a different band, with a different sound and perspective, and things have changed in the 12 years since 18 June 1985 -- hardly surprising, but something from which many seem unwilling to get on with (I overheard a guy explaining that he comes to Sisters gigs to meet certain people, not to see the Sisters at all).

    Anyhow, despite my uncertainties about the strength of new material (does Summer, Romeo or even Come Together hit you in anything like the way More, or Vision Thing or This Corrosion would?) the band made a sterling effort, and I felt the audience got to grips with things generally much better than Brixton. Comfortably Numb has grown into a positively stunning encore piece, with the usual Corrosion, Dominion and Vision Thing going down a storm. I reckon you still get your moneys worth, you get serious entertainment, not a bunch of bored looking blokes who don't care 'cos they've got a color spread in NME anyway.

    Oh yer, I thought Scoda Blush were horrible, a dodgy goth version of Pearl Jam ('this songs got German lyrics in it'... really... like we care...)

    Written by Lucian Randall (lrandall@carltonbooks.co.uk) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    After the deeply tedious business last summer at Brixton - all toothless, resentful nostalgia from the band and no edge to proceedings - I swore I'd never go to another Sisters gig again. Of course, I broke my promise (hoping to hear new material post-split with record company and wanting to take a friend who'd never seen the band), and, as it turned out, I'm rather glad I did.

    Towards the end, Eldritch got into that same unpleasant ranting mode he treated us to last year, but at least it was only for the last few songs. What was he saying? Something about England being crap? Difficult to tell. We thought he might have been slagging off the sound at the Forum and, if he was, he was quite right. It was incredibly dreadful, at least from the side of balcony where we were standing. It's difficult to believe that this was the same venue that Eldritch once hired out himself just to do the vocals for Emma for the b-side to "Dominion" (the venue was then called The Town And Country Club, fact-fans, and it was a great place). But, sound-quality aside, at the gig he also seemed to be shouting at people to stop making noise during Something Fast. Oh, come on, time to grow up, Andrew. Let the fans enjoy themselves.

    For the most part though, the band we saw was a more powerful beast than last year's model. The gig seemed to be less a trawl through a tired old greatest-hits package and more of an energetic revitalization of past glories with a satisfyingly high number of (relatively) new ditties interspersed intelligently between the favorites and attacked with the kind of vigor that suggests Eldritch realizes he's got something to prove, something to motivate him over and above paying his rent for the next few months and that there's light at the end of the tunnel.

    The crowd sensed this and reacted with a fair old amount of enthusiasm, although it wasn't the abandoned "space to lose yourself in, or more probably find yourself" (to paraphrase Eldritch) that it once used to be. Time moves on. But - at least for now - the sad decline of one of rock's true originators seems to be halted.

    So now I've revised my opinion from Brixton. I'll go again, Andy, but only after you release a new album. Deal?

    Written by Speedy Dave (dave@the-nunnery.demon.co.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    >It's difficult to believe that this was the same venue that Eldritch once hired out
    >himself just to do the vocals for Emma for the b-side to "Dominion" (the venue
    >was then called The Town And Country Club, fact-fans, and it was a great place).

    Fact fans may be interested to know that the venue Von hired out was in fact KILBURN'S NATIONAL BALLROOM and not the T&C.

    Written by Bart Kalita (b.k@btinternet.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Start 21.00, end 22.40.

    Great gig, too small venue (Brixton Academy doesn't exist anymore), both guitarists spoiled few songs but came through on the new ones.

    The problem with gigs in England is that doesn't matter where you stand there is always an asshole shouting some nonsense like "Knocking on a heaven's door!!!" during This Corrosion while spilling crap lager on your jacket.

    "Has anybody figured it out yet? Has anybody figured it out that we play least in the places where there is most crap written about us"

    "Itís a question of amphetamines, we have some and you donít so if you shut the fuck up weíll play some songs."

    Written by Lesley Palmer (Isabelle@palmerl.demon.co.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    > "It's a question of amphetamines, we have some and you don't so if you shut
    > the fuck up we'll play some songs."

    Err, are we talking about what Von said on Thursday night here? Actually the spiel before and after Something Fast that night went more like this:

    "Anybody figured out yet (repeats words), why we like to play the least often in the places where the most crap is written about us? This is Rock and Roll"

    <Something Fast is played>

    "...it's just a question of technique see, we have it, you don't, so you shut the fuck up and we'll play some songs"

    Brilliant misquote nonetheless!!

    Written by Christopher Joseph (christopher.joseph@trinity.oxford.ac.uk) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    > The problem with gigs in England is that it doesn't matter where you
    > stand there is always some asshole shouting nonsense like "Knocking on
    > heaven's door!!!!"

    In my case, an Italian (if I heard him correctly), who started yelling "Nine while nine" before even Scoda Blush came onto the stage, and carried on at regular intervals through most of the concert.

    > "It's a question of amphetamines..."

    Well, nearly - this was actually addressed to a bunch of us near the front who'd been singing along enthusiastically but tunelessly with "Something Fast". Andrew made a couple of sarcastic comments about our singing, and then added:

    "It's all a matter of technique. We have it, and you don't, so if you shut the f*ck up, we'll play some songs and everyone'll be happy"

    Great set, great new songs, great light-show, great audience (with the usual couple of exceptions). Not to mention the (bright yellow) Chinese shirt that Andrew waved under my nose but wouldn't let me keep :( If the new album sounds as good as the best of the live stuff, then it's going to be great. If it sounds like the worst of the new stuff, then it'll only be somewhere around good :)

    Despite the lack of comments about them, I reckoned the support band (Scoda Blush) were good - certainly much better than Cubanate were in Brixton last summer.

    Written by Chris Sampson (Chris@cgs123.demon.co.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Well you're not going to get a cogent review of this one, because this was one of those nights when it all blurred into a mess of lights, guitars and people. Everyone in the entire world was there except for Dr C (going tomorrow) and Sherilyn Fenn (where were you, darling), though this was compensated for by the presence of two Vonmeisters on stage (actually this might have been due to too much pre-gig beer).

    The setlist was the standard FALAA/Ribbons/Come Together variant, with Train/Det Blvd, but no Alice or Body Electric. The encores were Comfortably Numb/Stranger + Something Fast/Corrosion. I'm sure someone has remembered them properly.

    The Forum is too small for a proper Sisters gig, but the audience were well up for it and energetic. Top stuff.

    > Great gig, too small venue (Brixton Academy doesn't exist anymore)

    Brixton is still open. After the new album it'll be 100,000 at Knebworth so enjoy the smell of smoke in the evening while you can.

    See you tomorrow.

    Written by Jeremy Cravos (JeremyCravos@forem.co.uk) for Dominion mailing list


    To anyone who has purchased the bootleg video of the Forum gigs,

    I apologize wholeheartedly to everyone whose viewing enjoyment of the first gig on the video was impaired by a drunken tosser on his brother's shoulders during Comfortably Numb. Especially when the poor cameraman has to zoom in over said tosser's shoulder outlining a facial profile resembling more Frankenstein's monster than anything human. Please also overlook the sight this person "dancing". The delights of a gig with two bars must have gone to his head and he must have deliberately purchased beer from both "to check whether the quality was the same and I can get pissed quicker from the nearest one rather than walk that extra 20 feet".

    Said tosser is of course me!

    Fame at last!

    Note: there are several versions of this gigs' video around, and the tosser is in only one of them.

    Setlist | Reviews | Still movie | Other dates