18th January 1990
Twas my daft Sister who introduced me to Erasure, playing The Circus album incessantly, anytime I popped round to visit. Although I had gone along to see Vince in his Yazoo days, I was never a great one for electro-pop. That being said, The Circus soon wormed its insidious way into my affections, particularly the darker songs like Hideaway, Spiralling and the politically germane title track.
From there it was but a brief jump to the follow up release The Innocents. I mean, who could resist that primitive yet infectious disco thump of A Little Respect? The second side of the album (vinyl days, remember) saw the boys experimenting with slightly less commercial material, some of the songs having almost a gospel feel. I dare say it was decent enough stuff, but I preferred the pure pop on the first side.
1989’s Wild! showed the band at perhaps their most adventurous, and the four hit singles from the album: Drama, You Surround Me, Blue Savannah and Star were all skilfully constructed complex creations. The second side once again, was less immediate.
The Wild! Tour was a musical and visual extravaganza with Bell and Clarke joined on stage by a multitude of dancers and singers. The gig regretfully, took place in the cavernous barn that is the SECC, but Erasure through sheer weight of camp effortlessly overcame this handicap.
This was perhaps the last gig I attended of what could be termed a mainstream pop band, and looking around me I did feel more than a touch out of place. Here I was in my early thirties, in an audience who were in the main just bairns - many of whom I was old enough (just) to be their father. It was disconcerting in the extreme, I have to say.
I have appended what is a typical set list from the tour, although I am sure the Glasgow gig probably deviated from this slightly. The only songs I can clearly recall are Piano Song (which may have opened the show), Hideaway and A Little Respect, which Vince managed to recreate musically by just strumming an acoustic guitar, which was a pretty neat trick. Erasure also performed the memorably silly La Gloria, with Bell having a whale of a time dressing up in an outfit which Carmen Miranda would probably have rejected as being just a bit too gaudy.
I may be making this up, but I think at some point during the show the boys played the Bingo trick on the audience. You know the one, where everyone in the audience are each given a free bingo ticket; but which leads to everyone getting a line at the same time, resulting in a deafening, simultaneous “House!”
All Good Fun, but a chapter of my life closed that evening it is fair to say and I promised myself, thereafter I would stick to attending gigs given by folks at least as old as I was.
Set list (Typical from Wild! Tour)
Knocking On Your Door
Who Needs Love Like That
Chains Of Love
Heart of Stone
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
A Little Respect
Push Me Shove Me
Brother And Sister
Victim Of Love