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Claudia Brucken - Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 11/3/2015

  by Billy Seagrave

published: 18 / 4 / 2015

Claudia Brucken - Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 11/3/2015


Billy Seagrave at the Ruby Lounge in Manchester watches former Propaganda singer Claudia Brucken play an emotive set to promote her third solo album, 'Where Else'

A mid-week gig at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge with an expectant crowd can often be a challenge. Claudia is a former member of 1980s synth pop band, Propaganda, and the Ruby Lounge has been chosen to showcase her latest offering and third solo studio album, ‘Where Else’. A quick mention to tonight’s support acts is more than justified and appropriate. Up first with the difficult task of getting proceedings off the ground, is Elizabeth Vince, whose haunting and melodic vocals are wrapped around a simple yet potent synthesised layer of sound. The stand-out track ‘Alone’ has shades of Tori Amos. Next up is hard-working local band, YKO (Y Key Operators). There is a richer fuller sound emanating from their performances of late, and ‘Risk It All’ seems to catch the attention of the ever-growing crowd. There is no doubt this crowd have turned out to see Claudia. Is it nostalgia? A thirst for the past? A taste of something that has been missed? Certainly there is a buzz that is slowly building. Everything is set as our host takes centre stage, ‘ I Want You’ opens the evening, and is quickly followed by ‘Nothing Good is Easy’ and ‘I Lay All Night’, these, the first three songs on ‘Where Else’, gently pulling in this crowd, all of whom are as consumed and as attentive as Brucken’s vocal prowess. The new material is definitely current and powerful. This is coupled by genuine warmth emanating from our host, which totally encapsulates the mood of the audience. The next track is a Nick Drake cover, ‘When the Day is Done’, ‘Walk Right In’ and ‘Never Mind’ precede ‘Cloud 9’, the crowd immersing themselves into this polished performance. ‘One Summer Dream’, ‘How Do I Know’, ‘Moon Song’, ‘Letting Go’ and ‘Time to Make Changes’ all too easily captivate a very appreciative audience. A cover of David Bowie’s ‘Everyone Says Hi’ reinforces Brucken’s vocal power. Sadly for our host and the audience, Claudia introduces the last song of the evening, perfectly timed and a throwback to days gone by. ‘Duel’ from the Propaganda era is the queue for the crowd to get out all those heady dance moves that so many have hidden for so many years. ‘P: Machinery’, another Propaganda number and the first of the encores, gets the audience dancing, before she finally finishes with ‘Sweet Sound Vision’, the last track from ‘Where Else’ which she has played in its entirety tonight. As the audience would verify, this was the past brought forward, the future taken back to the start. Photos by Billy Seagrave www.seagravesocialphotography.com

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Claudia Brucken - Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 11/3/2015

Claudia Brucken - Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 11/3/2015

Claudia Brucken - Ruby Lounge, Manchester, 11/3/2015

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