LIVE REVIEW: Marc Almond @ Tyne Theatre & Opera House (04.11.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Images by Idene Roozbayani

On the cusp of the fourteenth anniversary of his seminal electronic breakout collaboration with instrumentalist David Ball, synth pop duo Soft Cell, eighties trailblazer Marc Almond doubled down on his own latent theatricality for opulent new orchestral arrangements of the sixties hits which influenced him, his unique brand of torch song Northern Soul showcased alongside original work from new album Shadows and Reflections.

While fresh spins on Billy Fury’s I’m Lost Without You, Bobby Darin’s Not for Me and Burt Bacharach’s Blue on Blue heated up the house, Gene Pitney duet Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart sided up alongside paean to equality The Sun Will Rise, and an a cappella do-over of Scar to ground the night before an about-face into the Almond back catalogue.

The VelVets’ I Got to Find Me Somebody bled over into a ramped up, camped up takedown of Tainted Love, the Southport crooner going on to pull up a stool and threaten a “little medieval madrigal” before ending the night (as he by now always must) with synth-bath eyeliner-fuelled classic Say Hello, Wave Goodbye.

Standing in the stalls of the old Tyne Theatre & Opera House swaying in the aisles, fans upped seats and flocked the stage for a rousing finale as Almond – perma-black-clad and bathed in shimmering light – affirmed that if he could love he’d love them too, his trademark charm fine-honed over four decades in the business; handshakes and hugs amiably delivered, the gutterhearts and new fans alike stamped their feet for more.

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