1998/02/13, 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

"When this is a civilized European city we'll be pleased to play here. Until such a time, we will walk the wire" -- before On the Wire.

The setlist of the second London show was a derivative of the second San Francisco gig -- without Alice, but with Temple of Love. Vision Thing changed its place -- together with Jolene it made up the unplanned encore band used to thank the great audience.

"We are the light at the end of your sorry little tunnel" -- after On the Wire.

Somebody from the audience was unlucky enough to get on stage during Vision Thing. Free education courses concentrating on Andrew Eldritch's opinion about audience's presence on stage -- "this is my space, don't even think about it", as heard in 1999/10/14 Ft. Lauderdale gig -- were held immediately, with Eldritch and his mike stand as tutors. No others willing to learn the course showed up.

Support act: Scoda Blush.

This gig was released on Visions at the Forum bootleg CD (minus Come Together, Ribbons, Flood II, This Corrosion, Vision Thing). Romeo Down is mislabeled as Till The Morning Is Gone, Train as Body Electric.

Setlist | Reviews | Links | Pictures | Still movie

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

  • Kiss the Carpet
  • Ribbons
  • Come Together
  • Amphetamine Logic
  • Body Electric
  • 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
  • First and Last and Always
  • This Corrosion
  • Jolene
  • Vision Thing
  • Thanks to Lesley Palmer (Isabelle@palmerl.demon.co.uk)

    Setlist | Reviews | Links | Pictures | Still movie

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

    "We are the light at the end of your sad little tunnel" - Andrew Eldritch

    Another day, another gig. Well not quite, as this was a blistering, snorting performance that was the best of the four Event Horizon shows that I've seen, and maybe better than any of last Summer's gigs. The Sisters routinely show that there's no-one around to touch them, and an on-form stormer like this is truly a sight to behold.

    The Forum was packed, rather more so than Thursday, though both shows were sellouts. The sound was better tonight and the razor-wire sharp guitar lines on Kiss are sharp and crisp. The band quickly ramp up the pace through a blistering run of rabble rousing classics with Ribbons and Body Electric in particularly fine form. Von is at his brilliant, belligerent best, goading the audience, and screaming the lyrics as Pearson and Varjak build each song to orgasmic peaks. The crowd are a seething mass, surges of people break against the crash barriers, pyramids rise and fall, there is a general impression that chemical consumption is high.

    The excellent sound means that the new songs can be better heard (though we note with regret the absence of the excellent War On Drugs). The guitar riffs on Suzanne are unusual and effective. Will I Dream is fast and melodic. The light show on Summer is outstanding - awash with yellows fading to red for the "sunset yellow" line in the chorus.

    Von is totally wired, giving it loads and being really sarcastic and aggressive towards the audience. Dominion is introduced as "This is about the mainland, you wouldn't understand". Some poor fancy dress costumed g*** in the front row is lambasted with "what did you come as". And in the songs he's charging around the stage, waving the mike stand around, resplendent in Motörhead t-shirt and an everchanging array of hideous shirts (including for the encore a god-awful lycra snakeskin thing that looks like a reject St Pauli away strip).

    There are encores - it wasn't perhaps the defining performance of Comfortably Numb (maybe that song benefits from a less wired atmosphere), but FALAA and Corrosion ("let's end the tour with a community singalong") are sensational. There are huge roars for a third encore and after a long break the band return, Von takes a long bow before the screaming rabid hoards, and it's a splendid blast through Jolene (No doubt everyone will be keen to hear that yesterday Von lifted his shades for the "eyes of emerald green" line). This is followed up by a truly staggering Vision Thing. One foolish fan gets up on the stage and runs towards Von. There is a blur of chrome and steel and a emphatic, victory cry of "YES!" as the hapless punter gets absolutely twatted by the mike stand, before being carried off for an "interview" with Robbo. Von has obviously enjoyed this and the mike stand is then javelined into the front rows as a maelstrom of guitars, lights and drums just go on and on and on. It's pure bliss, a vision of heaven with everyone on speed, and a fantastic way to end the tour. What a night! What a band! More! More!

    Written by Alex Page (mchu7ap2@fs2.ee.umist.ac.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Due to sheer ineptitude and oversleeping, I arrived in London at 4 pm, two hours late but moving fast. Meeting up with some friends proved too difficult, but Harry and I got to the Forum in plenty of time. The numbers of black-clad people increased dramatically as we got closer, and we were very amused to see some Sisters fans going off down the wrong branch of the Northern Line from Euston.

    Stopped off for a bevvie in the Bull and Gate, where we bumped into a few old faces. I assume that other Dominionites were there, but if so I didn't say hello to any.

    Once inside, we were delighted to see not one but two bars going. We had upstairs tickets, on the second row back and a bit to the right. We got the drinks in and listened to the strangely relaxing intro tape.

    Scoda Blush were in my opinion damn good. Admittedly slightly clichéd in places, they were loud, brash and deep. Credit has to be paid here to their drummer, who kept up some skull-pounding rhythms with nary a beat missed. Overall, they could do with a little polish, but they got the crowd going and that's basically what a support act is for.

    Then there was a wait which was just a little too long for me - I felt myself relaxing after the excitement that SB had created. But then the lights dimmed, the stage filled with smoke, and the Doktor started with the rhythm to "Kiss the Carpet" (always one of my faves). Harry insisted that it was in fact about to erupt into FALAA, but by then he was well trolled and probably best ignored. Then the guitarists strolled on, picked up their instruments just in time to start playing. A few bars later, and I could make out through the smoke one of the yellow backlights reflecting off a pair of mirrored shades, and a smoldering cigarette beneath. Von had arrived. The crowd went wild as he pottered around at the scaffolding at the back, and then they went absolutely berserk as he strolled forward to sing the first line of the song.

    This was my first Sisters gig. I spent 30 British pounds on the train, 20 on the ticket and 40 on booze and merchandise -- but I could have left after Ribbons and be happy. The songs flowed, each one more shimmering and vibrant than the last. The new songs impressed me. Suzanne was good, though would sound better if the sound quality had allowed me to here the much-vaunted Anglo-Germanic pronunciation. Romeo Down I missed, due to a quick trip to the bar, but I caught the end and again it has the makings of a classic. However, neither match the majesty of Summer.

    After a few pints, and under the influence of "Body Electric", Harry started dancing in a frenzied fashion. Most of the upstairs audience was doing the same. I remained seated, as my 6'2" frame would have spoiled the view of the lass behind me, and kept to rocking back and forth and waving my arms. However, when it came to FALAA, This Corrosion and Vision Thing, I was unable to keep myself in order and danced like a bloody lunatic.

    The Sisters stormed the show. There wasn't a dull moment as Eldritch prowled the stage like a demon, disappearing into the smoke at the back before charging to the front and screaming the lyrics, looking the punters in the face. The guitarists were tight, smooth and played brilliantly. The only qualm I have is that they don't have a live bassist - why? I know the job's a bit boring, but I think it would make their sound even more versatile. The stage diver was well funny too.

    I left the gig exhausted and sated. Harry insisted that they'd played Flood I and Lucretia, and I'm glad to see that this doesn't appear to be the case.

    Come back soon Andrew! And look out, all you shitty boy bands and crappy dance acts that scar the charts with your weak, insipid filth. The Sisters of Mercy are back, and they're gonna rule the world.


    Written by Anthony Chefles (tony@phys.strath.ac.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    A good gig. A damn good gig, even though I arrived quite late, around 7:45, completely smashed, unsuccessful in my attempt to sneak my pal's minidisc recorder in, and worst of all, no War on Drugs. We got the recorder back at the end of the night. At least I got my camera in and rattled through 25 exposures in probably as many minutes.

    Anyway, the new stuff was brilliant. (We Are the Same) Suzanne sounded sort of Dominion-ish in tempo and absolutely stonking, while Romeo Down... well, what can I say, Chris's description of it was spot on. Unfortunately, alcoholic amnesia prevents me from remembering, among many other things, anything about Summer, which I hadn't heard previously, and the only recollection I have of Will I Dream is that it sounded vaguely like Come Together, but I do remember liking it at the time.

    Moment of the night: Was in the second row at the left, when Eldritch strides over to where I was - perfect photo opportunity. So, as I try to keep the camera steady while being shoved to and fro, The Man looks directly into the lens and simultaneously pulls open his shirt and raises the eyebrow Roger Moore style - I hope I caught that precise moment on film, just have to wait until they get developed. Meanwhile, Juliet was over at the other side of the stage trying to bare her breasts to Mike. I dunno if she succeeded. If she did, and if Mike's reading this, could you remind me what they're like? :(

    Written by David Roberts (david.roberts@unmf.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Having been fortunate enough to see The Sisters in both San Francisco and London (the second date), I really can't understand what all the fuss in the German press was about (particularly in Zillo). It is now obvious that the accusations leveled at the German music scene by other countries are true, in that a large proportion of the people who compose it are stuck in a rut circa 1985 and cannot accept that the Sisters have moved on (considerably) since then. To play the same set as during the FALAA tour (as a lot of the people who wrote in to Zillo seemed to want) would not only have been extremely boring, it would have also laid them open to accusations of being some sort of sad eighties goth nostalgia band - a bit like half the dross in the German alternative scene!

    As far as this tour is concerned and the 2 dates I saw, I think that the San Francisco gig edged it slightly, although in London it was good to see that old Eldritch disdain for the audience coming to the fore again - I really think he has a taste for the fight once again, which is good because he's about to release new product in the most adverse circumstances he's ever faced from the point of view of press attitude towards the band.

    I thought, on the whole, that the new songs sounded really good: Romeo Down is a potential classic, as is (and always was) Come Together - 5 years on and still unreleased! I just hope they get a good producer on-board who can fully realize the epic potential of the new material, Romeo Down in particular. Summer sounded like it maybe needed another verse just so it could build a little bit more and thus reach more of a crescendo but hey, what the fuck do I know! Will I Dream sounded very Vision Thing-y (the album rather than the song) but at least it has both guitars playing their part instead of canceling each other out, as was the case occasionally on that album and tour.

    I thought that the combination of Messrs. Pearson and Varjak on guitars has come a long way since the Distance Over Time tour - they interact far better than Tim Bricheno and Andreas Bruhn ever did and judging by the new songs they actually seem to have brought something to the party too.

    Overall I think that the outlook for the future is very positive and, barring a disaster in the studio, I think we can look forward to a real return to form with the new LP.

    Written by Dazza + Co (lucretia@haunted.demon.co.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    The gig alone was storming, IMOSHO. :) No Valentine, but what was the candle et al for? Comment of the evening was an American asking me "are English people always this mellow at gigs" shortly before the mic stand got launched into the audience. And what happened to that brave yet foolish stage-stormer - can he still walk (luckily the bouncers got him away from Von?). We were supposed to pay for that t-shirt? So many blonde sheep... Anaconda '98 please. You haven't seen our tunnel, Von.

    Written by Dazzler (darren@sar.dra.hmg.gb) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site

    Andy appeared to be in a very good mood. Looked extremely cool in his black Nehru jacket, yellow Mandarin-style shirt and Motörhead t-shirt.

    He actually pulled his shades down and gave us a stare during the "eyes of emerald green" line in Jolene.

    He introduced This Corrosion as "time for some communal singing".

    During Vision Thing he spun his mike stand out into the crowd. Luckily it was caught almost casually by a guy sat on someone's shoulders just behind me, and then was passed back to Security.

    During one of the encores (I forget which) a fan managed to get on the stage. Andy seemed pretty unfazed by it and Security quickly dispatched the intruder.

    Possibly the finest gig the world has ever seen.

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

    Nice mix of old and new songs in that set, I enjoyed it. For me personally, of the three totally new songs aired, it was the Varjak/Eldritch penned Suzanne which I instantly fell in love with, absolutely classic Sisters in my book, up there with my favorites already. Great bassline to start, great riffs. I'm just mystified why people aren't raving about it more.

    >Von is totally wired, giving it loads and being really sarcastic and aggressive
    >towards the audience <...> Some poor fancy dress costumed g*** in the front
    >row is lambasted with "what did you come as".

    She was stood next to me, and I'd been chatting to her and she seemed really nice. When he said that, she was totally guttered, almost in tears (my friend, big guy 6ft+ actually thought he'd directed it at him and was all for smacking him one). I ended up having to make up some crap to calm her down, so I falsely reassured her that "What did you come as?" was in fact the working title of the new song they were playing and not directed at her at all. Not being privy to the kind of thoughts we know Von has expressed about goths recently, she thankfully believed me. (I'm sorry but I don't think the mass public humiliation of a single individual like that's gonna solve anything).

    Finally, does anyone have a clue what the mystery liquid was in Von's bottle that he threw out to us on Friday night? It tasted gorgeous, and pretty strong too! Wouldn't mind getting some of that :-)

    Written by Leila Sykes (l.sykes@uclan.ac.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    > does anyone have a clue what the mystery liquid was in Von's bottle
    > that he threw out to us on Friday night??

    Tasted something like 99% vodka, and 1% mixer, and the alcohol destroyed any remnant of recognizable flavor. Just what I needed ;)

    Written by Paul (madder@icon.co.za) for Dominion mailing list

    "We are the perfectionists, not you. Now shut the fuck up."

    "We are the light at the end of your sorry little tunnel."

    I was at both gigs and found the crowd more responsive on Thursday night, but the Von played a lot better and sharper on Friday night to a more subdued audience. After hearing the new songs four times now, I find that two are crap and the others are brilliant.

    What a mindfuck of lights and sound, no need to analyze or dissect, if you didn't like the gig you need a lobotomy. This was the Sisters at their best.

    Written by Pete French (pete@nicecuppa.ohm.york.ac.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Well, I thought night one was good, though was none too impressed by some of the new material. I shouldn't have worried - night two was fantastic and the new stuff sounded superb. The boy Sampson has said it all, excellent. Now I so wish I had been able to do the rest of the dates.

    Sigh, I just remembered why I like this band :-)

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