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Blancmange - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 12/11/2013

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 14 / 12 / 2013

Blancmange - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 12/11/2013


Dave Goodwin sees reformed 80's electronic act Blancmange play an exuberant set at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham

We were back at The Rescue Rooms to see a band who were last here over twenty years ago. Blancmange are on tour again to promote the ‘Happy Families Too‘ album,a 2013 re-working of their debut album using today’s technology following their other recent release, an album of new songs in the shape of 2011′s ‘Blanc Burn’. His partner-in -crime Stephen Luscombe was sadly still too unwell to perform on stage in the live environment, but the bearded Neil Arthur more than made up for it. They started the set with the single ‘Lose Your Love‘ a nicely revamped opener. From the first note the sound was tweeked to perfection with the electronics bleeping away and Neil’s voice sounding as strong as it has always been. ‘Blanc Burn‘was represented with the early inclusion of tracks ‘Probably Nothing‘, ‘By The Bus Stop @ Woolies‘ and ‘Drive Me‘. All these new tracks were welcomed by the fans just as much as the better established tracks to come. There was an airing for B-side obscurities like ‘Running Thin‘, and one of those tracks that you play yourself but never hear live ,‘Games Above My Head‘. Quickly following these surprising additions, Neil Arthur announced the start of ‘Happy Families‘. He has got a wicked sense of humour as well as a powerful voice, and he constantly joked and generally “mucked about” all through the set. We got to the middle order and he quipped, “Have you turned the record over yet?” as they raced into ‘I Can’t Explain,‘ instantly getting the crowd moving around. ‘Feel Me‘ was well received as well, and ‘Wasted‘ was another highlight with some great lighting effects. It was time for the heavyweights to kick in, and Arthur did a great impression of an Egyptian walk in the middle of ‘Living on the Ceiling‘. Shortly afterwards he wandered into ‘Waves‘, which for me was the top spot. After they had finished, a lass in the crowd shouted up that he had made her friend cry (Obviously a little nostalgia had set in), and Neil quickly replied, “Oh I’m sorry, love. I thought we did that one quite well. It was probably the best we’ve done all night!”, sending the crowd into riotous laughter. The last leg of the set included the instrumental ‘Sad Day‘ with Neil playing guitar. Arguably the best vocal display of the night after ‘Waves’ was on display for ‘Cruel‘, which brought long –term friend and guitarist David Rhodes to the fore. Rhodes incidentally played on the original album. The set was brought to its conclusion with a stonking rendition of ‘God’s Kitchen‘ that had some of the aging dancers moving like kids again. Another highlight for me was the encore with a stunning version of ‘Blind Vision‘. By this time I had made my way from the pit up to the balcony which I had all to myself to get a few more photos. I have to admit the camera was laid to rest just after the start of side two and I came to my senses just as they were saying goodbye, having found myself covered in sweat from boogying away for the second half of the set all on my own, in the dark, on the balcony where no-one could see me making a plonker of myself. Brilliant!

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Blancmange - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 12/11/2013

Blancmange - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 12/11/2013

Blancmange - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 12/11/2013

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