Trip the Light Fantastic 2000
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Thanks to Mark Robertson (Mark.Robertson@CliffordChance.com).
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The sound: the drums were rubbish at the outset - Doctor rather memorably being switched on full volume halfway through the opener, then turned down because it was too loud. The guitars, for the most part, sounded good from where I was standing (and I thought there was particular clarity, Andrew, on Snub, Bir Mist and Crash & Burn, despite it muted and sort of slow burning guitar sound, seems the keyboard enhancements to the chorus are the main points there) but I felt it was Von's voice that (finally) got the treatment deserved: you could actually hear it.
He was in a good mood - Hello's and How are you's all around, apart from an initial bit of babble that I can only assume was in German. Some crowd movement, and as early as Alice he was encouraging community singing, so it would appear that it would have been better than the Notts gig. I am happily corrected on that point, though, given I was not at the latter gig.
Grinning indeed...what a contrast to the atmosphere at Nottingham on Sunday! Good to see that the crowd had remembered how to enjoy themselves...and then look how Eldritch responds...which feeds the crowd...who feed the band back... ...it's like a drug thing.
Lights - ("Tripping the Light Fantastic") Fine, but didn't notice much change from previous tours.
Old songs/new songs - I would expect most bands to completely change their live sets over a five year period (for their own sanity as much as anyone else's) In fact the Sisters' hasn't really changed that drastically - but then that's probably been more a reflection of their absence of new releases. And not having that official studio recording makes it harder to relate to that song, either lyrically or musically.
However, everyone has their favourite songs they want to hear. And perhaps some of the new songs aren't as strong as they might be, or might become...who knows? Personally, I think it's not so much to do with the actual songs, but more with the Sisters' 'rock' sound, which suits some songs better than others. The live sound just sometimes sounds a bit two-dimensional.
My suggestion for the show (can someone pass this on to Andrew, please) is to have a troupe of dancers come out during the instrumental number (Snub Nose?). Perhaps some French Can-Can dancers or how about Pan's People doing a head-banging number?
As for set-lists, don't ask me. I was having such a good time, I'd forgotten that they played Alice!
Top- drawer entertainment! Let's hope tonight's show is just as good!
Well Sona Fariq went down like a lead balloon didn't they? That's the first time I've ever seen a band where nobody moved during the set and comfortably the loudest cheer was when they announced that the next would be their last song.
As for the Sisters - I'm still grinning. The place was moving about singing from the first track (Anaconda) and by the time we got to Dominion (about 6-7) Eldritch was holding the mike out to the audience mid-way through the song, which I've not seen that early in a gig before.
Yes, we liked the lightshow. Just in case anyone wants to post a negative review of the gig, there is an appropriate quote from Eldritch at Crystal Palace that I'd like to use: "I had a good time. I don't care about you. I had a great time." (Am I amyl-retentive for remembering this? :-)) I only managed to get to about three rows from the front, but still.
I'm told the venue sold out about an hour after the doors opened, but I don't actually know this for sure.
I discovered that although I couldn't find anyone I knew in the sea of black, being slightly over six foot tall and wearing a white t-shirt made it quite easy for them to find me. I'm not quite sure how the fans are meant to be able not to look like goths (thinking of AE's usual criticism) as the merchandise stall was selling 7 black t-shirts and only one white!!! I had to get a nice blue and purple T/S from a bootleg guy outside at the end.
One last thing - there were a lot of people who hadn't been to a SoM gig for five years or so, who were disappointed by the quantity of new stuff and the lack of favourites like Corrosion, Body Electric and Comfortably Numb/SKoS. It seems to be quite a small proportion of the fanbase who get bootlegs even though on Dominion it's the rule not the exception. Still I was slightly disturbed by the number of people (me included) who were able to sing along to at least the chorus of Crash and Burn, despite it being only its third airing in the UK and fifth overall.
I don't remember any of the taking the piss out of the crowd that people always complain about, apart from:
"You're very flirtatious" (presumably aimed at someone)
LOTS of talking in German.
I definitely think AE was enjoying himself, and the number of bows and such he took at the end...
Comments on the Forum gigs... The sound was good, if standing in the second row much of Eldy's voice disappeared though. The first night was all in all better, most people I talked to said the same thing. The second night they used a bit too much smoke.
Very good versions of Dominion, Summer and Alice the first night. The second night Romeo Down, Ribbons, Flood II, "Snub Nose" and Vision Thing was the highlights, I still hear Flood ringing in my ears :)
Love to all I met in London, I really had a great time.
Written by Don F Robertson (email@example.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours site
Smoke spills across the stage, the wreathes building into a dense fog bank, back lit by blue and purple. The intro tape plays on and on and on (perhaps assisted by Doctor Jeep) as the tension mounts. There are shouts, clapping and the occasional insults as patience is stretched beyond endurance for some of the audience. Finally, Eldritch takes the stage, flanked by his two guitarists.
The crowd is relatively subdued through Anaconda and Ribbons, though Crash And Burn is well received. They launch into Alice and a mosh pit explodes at the front of the stage. The human pyramid builders, absent in recent times, are back, arms reaching symbolically to the sky. There is a fevered energy present tonight that charges the crowd. From attending the various gigs it is interesting to note how the atmosphere and energy flow varies from venue to venue.
Eldritch takes the opportunity to introduce Chris Starling (Sheehan) to the audience as he performs the guitar solo during Dominion, furthering the impression that he is now a permanent member of the band. As of writing the official web site remains silent as to the fate of Mike Varjak.
Two encores, identical to the Barrowlands gig, are performed, suggesting Something Fast, Flood II, Snub Nose and Vision Thing have become standard, with substitutions made to vary the main set. In case there’s any doubt left in the minds of certain sections of the audience, Eldritch announces, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, we are The Sisters Of Mercy, and we are a rock’n’roll band.’
As I queue, sweaty and exhausted, for my jacket my only regret is I didn’t get a ticket for tomorrow’s show. Waiting (desperately) for the next one to arrive.
Ticket scanned by Christer Andersson ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
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