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Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Sisters of Mercy - ABC - 07/07/14 (Glasgow)

The dark prince of Goth that is Andrew Eldritch is currently on the road and waiving the banner of The Sisters of Mercy above venues across the UK.
As a rallying call in 2014 you could be mistaken in thinking that the flag wouldn't draw the rabid response from the khol eyed children that it once did, but all around me drenched in petula are those who pledged allegiance for life, and meant it.
They stand proudly peackocking in monochromatic shades and resolutely believe that they can capture the halcyon days of their youth on communally tribalistic nights such as this.
And they can.
Slap on the pancake, crimp what is left of the hair and backcomb it to within an inch of Robert Smith’s life, and squeeze into those leathers and Festers yer uncle.

Fuck everyone else as that moment is yours, and why shouldn't it be?

It’s was a Monday night in Glasgow and the summer sun was out, but the city belonged to those who marched to the beat of an alternative drum.

In a sense the whole evening was a rather glorious celebration of a staunch refusal to fit in, and I can get on board with that.
Of course it was in the main people exercising some middle age rebellion, but the world can always do with a bit of that, and while those on the outside can look in and hide smug smiles behind strategically placed hands I think the Goths know exactly who they are and by remaining true to themselves are streets ahead of those sniggering.

So all hail the Goths.

They are still kicking against the pricks, (Biblical quote used by Nick Cave to reveal Goth credentials) and doing it in style.

As the dry ice engulfed the stage and spread preternaturally out to swallow the first few rows in the ABC the dark lord who will stage manage the evening was revealed for seconds at a time and the band kick off with More from Vision Thing and you could feel the tension from the crowd being released.
All previous outings where critics lamented a poor sound are forgotten as Ben Christo and Chris Catalyst lock it down tight and Eldritch shows himself to be in fine voice.

Once they have started there is no stopping them either.
There’s a point early on where a sonic grind is found, a tempo that machine like keeps rolling forward gathering momentum as it does.
While the trio slip in and out of the banks of fog and indulge in painting solid silhouettes as they take a stance to deliver the music the crowd in attendance feel that spark of magic, the connection, being made.
Mid set and Dominion Mother Russia is revealed in all its glory and the hardcore fans take their adulation to a whole new level as the fair-weather hit single fans swoon in delight with them.
The sound in the ABC is crystal clear and lends itself to the epic nature of the material.
The volume is however kept relatively low, but the loss of ear ringing bombast is balanced with a degree of clarity that is welcomed.

Apart from the Chris Catalyst penned Arms that remains unreleased the set is largely rooted in well road tested material that’s familiarity is worn comfortably by the audience who sing along in unrestrained abandon that those who would shy away from the genres shows would find hard to believe.

With the mammoth hit that was This Corrosion finishing the set* no one would have felt short changed, but with an encore of Kiss the Carpet, Lucretia My Reflection and Vision Thing to follow it nearly finished off the cult like following that the band has.

It would have been partially churlish to insist on Temple of Love, even though it was conspicuous by its absence at that point, as it’s inclusion could have been described as too much of a good thing, but just as some caught their second wind the band were back with a second encore that would push things to the edge with First Last and Always, Misirlou and then finally the fan favourite that is of course Temple of Love.
A song that in itself delivered the coup de grace for those who were begging for the release of a delightful petite mort.

*Number seven in the UK charts in 1987 would sell enough to maintain a number one slot for about a year in the present.

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