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  • Is it me that's feeling insecure?

    8. Nov. 2009, 22:14

    Thu 29 Oct – Marc Almond

    So. Tantrums, check. String section barely audible, check. Questionable support act, check. The bitter and the boring surrounded by the disenfranchised of society looking sheepish in the foyer, check.

    What else did we have? First night nerves were extremely evident, technical hitches fraying Marc's nerves to the point of losing it on stage with Neal X and the nearest technician.

    The good? Great selections from the back catalogue and not hit after hit after hit, but some carefully chosen favourites from most eras. Untitled and Torment from The Mambas' albums were popular with the audience. Only The Moment sounded gorgeous, as did the other songs that benefited from that fabulous three-piece brass section. Jacky, Champagne and Mother Fist were tremendous. The theatre whose glory years are truly behind it, but completely in keeping with Marc's dirt behind the neon ethos was a fitting venue.

    Not so good? The Marc Bolan cover where the audience were forced to sing along. Too much Russian material. Losing Gone But Not Forgotten not once but twice due to technical hitches/histrionics. The new songs from next year's album of new material. The tour programme from Wilton's Music Hall 2008 being sold on a 2009 tour.

    The predictable moment? The audience singing Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, which has occurred at several gigs that I have attended in the last ten years. Still gives me goosebumps even though it's become a bit staged.

    The verdict? I'm sure the rough patches will be ironed out by the time the tour concludes but an interesting evening nonetheless. He's not Britney Spears performing a carbon copy show night after night. We had a real vulnerable performance, complete with gaping flaws and more direction changes than spaghetti junction, but I'd rather see someone real than an artist going through the motions or blatantly paying off a tax bill. Marc still loves performing and for all the hiccups on the night, it was well worth putting up with the grime of central Birmingham on a rainy Thursday night.
  • Resurrection Hoes

    13. Jul. 2008, 7:05

    Sat 12 Jul – Dead Pop Stars

    The Incredible Sharons. Dead Pop Stars, Cheap Sluts or Musical Legends? Judging by the evidence, they were everything to everyone on a cool summer night at Castle Ring in Staffordshire.

    Back from the dead for one night only, the girls slutted their stuff on stage for 27 minutes before heading back to the grave. They came, they saw, they sucked a few cocks, they stole the contents from a few handbags, they gagged and then they were gone.

    "Unless I have orgy-red on my lips, I can't face the world can't you see?" sings Sharon 1 whilst Sharon 2 flashes her labia to the cute guy on the mixing desk. This was the very essence of who The Incredible Sharons were. They never treated their studio sessions that seriously, but when it came to album launch parties they took the music industry by the balls (literally) and never gave up until those suited, coked up execs were milked dry.

    After 18 years, it would be fair to say that expectations were running high on what the night would bring to the baying crowd at Castle Ring. Normally a site associated with witchcraft and dogging, no doubt promoters such as LiveNation will now be considering further concerts at this venue judging by last night's punter-pulling performance.

    "TIS was fab, innit", I heard one of the weeping fans exclaim during the final number of the evening "Disco Drongo". Simplistic in her summary, as the summery evening fell into darkness, I could not agree more.

    Never has a cheap band been so rich in its legacy. Long live the dead pop stars.