2003/04/20, Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK

Smoke and Mirrors 2003

March 30
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April 22
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April 27

Last update:

Not yet.

"You were suckers then, and you're suckers now", - Andrew Eldritch.

Setlist | Reviews | Links

  • Temple of Love
  • Crash and Burn
  • Ribbons
  • When You Don't See Me
  • Summer
  • Alice
  • Flood I
  • Will I Dream?
  • Dominion/Mother Russia
  • We are the Same, Susanne
  • Anaconda
  • Have Slept with All the Girls in Berlin
  • Giving Ground
  • First and Last and Always
  • Romeo Down
  • Flood II
  • I Was Wrong
  • Never Land
  • Lucretia, My Reflection
  • Top Nite Out
  • Vision Thing
  • Thanks to Tom Dorman.

    Setlist | Reviews | Links

    Written by Aaron Pawson (aaron.pawson@mail.btinternet.com) for Dominion mailing list

    Small venue, but the sound was OK from where I was standing. Crowd were very quiet, hardly anyone jumping around, just standing rooted to the spot throughout the first few numbers. Until about two beats into the intro of Alice that is. At that point, a small mosh pit started at the front, and the rest of the audience seemed to wake up. Similar thing happened during First and Last and Always and Vision Thing at the end. Aside from that, a fairly dull crowd.

    The most notable incident was at the start of the first encore, they launched into an acoustic version of I Was Wrong. There were a load of people talking in the hall, which you could easily hear over the Sisters as the volume was rather low. Probably this was because they had been offstage for over 5 minutes, far too long for that audience.

    Halfway through, Von stops singing, muttering "I'm used to this, but Mr. Starling's not very happy. We're going to start again, we'll start the song again from the beginning, hopefully this time you'll be quiet".

    Chris Starling walks up to the mike and says something along the lines of "Shut the fuck up".

    Von: "Now if you're quiet we'll start again, if you're not, Mr Starling won't play".

    They started playing again, only by this time abuse was being yelled by a number of people in the crowd. Got about two lines into the song, Chris Starling gets up, removes his guitar and walks to back of stage. Von then stops singing.

    Von: "Right well you had your chance, we're not doing that one now. We'll move on to the next one".

    About 1onesecond later Dr Avalanche launches into Never Land (I think), as Chris Starling grabs the electric guitar and looks rather unhappy at the side of the stage.

    Various random thoughts: The intro was far too long. Temple of Love is OK as an opener, but probably would have gone for Alice or First and Last and Always myself.

    I didn't like the reworked Lucretia, prefer the original with that thumping bassline.
    Alice as always was the song that got the crowd going, would make a good show opener I reckon.
    Not sure what happened with Ribbons but the Von certainly didn't sing half of it.
    Crash and Burn sounds pretty good.
    No Marian, I was rather hoping we would get that one, but alas it wasn't to be.
    Flood I was good, but Flood II sounded fucking amazing - superb arrangement.
    As always, Giving Ground worked well and Dominion/Mother Russia was excellent. There was a nice touch with the lights during Mother Russia as two sparkly lights appeared at the top of the stage.
    Couldn't catch all the lyrics to Slept, but it sounds good.

    Written by Andrew (andrew@sisters.force9.net) for Dominion mailing list

    "Out of darkness cometh light"

    If you looked up from the merchandise stall on entering the hall last night - that was what it said - quite prophetic in a way.

    Having seen the band on and off over the last 18 years this seemed the smallest venue since those on the First and Last and Always tour, excepting the 10 and 20 year anniversary gigs and from my perspective none the worse for that.

    Lights were great, smoke filled not only the hall but also the adjacent bar and the sound, notwithstanding a couple of glitches was excellent.

    I Was Wrong was practically abandoned, sort of restarted and then abandoned again - there was loads of chatter from the audience and as such it did not really work. It was not greeted with the reverential silence you felt the band were expecting.

    That said the full on gonzo numbers were fantastically well received, Dominion just gets better and better as does Vision Thing.

    The new numbers (sorry make that unreleased) are already sounding like classics, especially Crash and Burn, while Slept, is as Barry just pointed out almost Cohenesque in delivery.

    As for the audience/fanbase in the West Midlands, well we looked oldish - but then again we are, lots of black - natch and a few G's but in the main I would guess that the majority that picked up on the band following the success of Floodland had come to take a look.

    I began to think on leaving at the end of the night that the arrival or non arrival of new product doesn't really matter anymore. If it happens - great. I will continue to seek out the band whenever the play in my locality and as for the smaller venues, there is a great line from Spinal Tap where one of them says the audience is getting more discerning (or similar). One day Von and the boys may well be able to play a "semi acoustic I Was Wrong" or even 1959 but not while they are attracting the current numbers who all seem to want different things,

    Did you miss a top night out - yes.

    Do the Sisters still rock - oh yes.

    Written by Tom Dorman (b.dorman@btinternet.com) for The Sisters of Mercy Tours webzine

    The highlight was Eldritch, with one foot on the monitor, reaching out his hand to me because I was the only person going insane to Susanne, which is my favourite Sisters song.

    Ribbons was mainly instrumental due to "a cigarette break". I Was Wrong included much "Sshhing" to the audience and was abandoned seemingly because Von had forgotten the words to the second verse. It was briefly restarted then abandoned again after an argument with Chris Starling and Eldritch saying something to him like we won't do it because you don't want to do it.

    The audience were very responsive to the old material. I loved the new song.

    Best quote (during the intro of First and Last and Always) "You were suckers then, and you're suckers now".

    All in all, awesome.

    Written by Alexander Ord (alexander.ord@btinternet.com) for Dominion mailing list

    The sound was pretty poor at times, so much so that Eldritch barely sang more than a line of Ribbons before giving up. Chris Starling get annoyed with everyone talking throughout I Was Wrong, whereupon Eldritch stopped and started again before giving up again. It was one of those type of gigs.

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

    Frankly the best thing that could hit Wolverhampton town centre is a MOAB bomb from 20,000 feet and if Don Rumsfeld really were the no-pulse bastard he comes across as it would have happened months ago.

    As Lex said, a bit ropey after the glorious London shows. The sound was all over the place for the first half, with the guitars cutting out on the PA now and again and I Was Wrong being drowned out by mouthy Brummies. But Alice was storming and Berlin... viciously funny.

    One to forget.

    Written by the_mighty_ben_gunn@hotmail.com for Dominion mailing list

    Wolverhapmton was top (as was Forum on Saturday).

    The smoke alarm that kept going off (horn and flashing light up on arch centre stage). Made me think Snub Nose was constantly about to start.

    Written by Ian Terry (Ian.Terry@derby.gov.uk) for Dominion mailing list

    Greatly enjoyed Smoke & Mirrors at Wolverhampton, nice to see so many 91 issue t-shirts have survived repeated washing!

    I've acquired a number of Sisters  t-shirts over the years, most of them from the local record shop or from market stalls. The only one that didn't wash well was a Vision Thing one, which shrunk to child size & then fell to bits! The others, including Trip the Light Fantastic and Exxile on Euphoria longsleeves are going well. Hopefully the Smoke and Mirrors longsleeves will prove durable too.

    My 1991 longsleeve has been "borrowed" by my girlfriend, despite it being far too large.

    Written by Andrew Semple (androo_s@yahoo.com) for Dominion mailing list

    I was surprised at just how popular the RH 1991 longsleeve has been on this tour. It's a personal favourite of mine and I picked up a new one in Berlin where the merchandise stall had a few in stock!

    Setlist | Reviews | Links
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