# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Marc Almond - The Dancing Marquis

  by Mary O'Meara

published: 14 / 7 / 2014

Marc Almond - The Dancing Marquis
Label: SFE
Format: CD


Flawed latest release from the yet always remarkable Marc Almond, which combines together two recent limited edition EPs alongside two new tracks

Two recent limited edition EPs have gathered together to clink slinky cocktails in the same room for this release, so this is not a new album as such and Cherry Red Records in fact describe it as an expanded EP. Fans of Almond therefore will already be familiar with the Tony Visconti produced numbers which kick-start this unusual procession, ‘The Dancing Marquis’ and ‘Burn Bright’. These are two songs with distinctly different temperaments but both fit comfortably in Marc Almond’s colossal catalogue – the first is bombastic, in your face or rather in your nostrils as we are invited to inhale the singer’s unique scent, a tongue-in-cheek comment perhaps on the growing trend in celebrity perfume branding? ‘Burn Bright’ is a beautiful hymn to a starry, starry night....wistful, lush and almost reverent in tone. Various esteemed songwriters have contributed to the sum that makes up the whole here, including Jarvis Cocker who penned ‘Worship Me Now’ especially for Marc. This track could possibly have sneaked onto a Soft Cell album, albeit with a more stripped down, less grandiose production. It’s instantly catchy, sleazy and hypnotic but also ironic in the same vein as the title track – an insight into the ludicrous world of celebrity culture where famous-for-being-famous individuals are paraded on pedestals by themselves and/or the media and their fans/followers are born to “get on their knees and give praise” – which of course, happens all the time. The record includes two bonus remix tracks of ‘Worship Me Now’ – both worth a listen but not especially remarkable. Strangely enough, much as I like the pre-released tracks which make up the bulk of this album, my favourite numbers on this record are the final two – ‘So What’s Tonight?’ and ‘Idiot Dancing’ - neither of which feature guest collaborators or producers, yet I feel they are stronger tracks and the ones I’d play again and again. When I first heard ‘So What’s Tonight?’ (before examining the sleeve notes) I actually thought it was probably a Jacques Brel composition. Both these tracks have the theatricality typified by Almond along with a searing melancholia, a street-wise authenticity that makes this artist a true and treasured talent. These closing tracks are scuff-marked and real, less glossy than the earlier tracks but for me, more powerful. I would have liked to travel further along this interesting trajectory that fades out with “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I don’t care...” somehow encapsulating the escapism that music and dancing can give us – “all the bills I never pay, all the pills I have to take – gone forever more” – a protest against the mundane and oppressive as the singer dives into another night of “idiot dancing”. Marc Almond always provides a glimpse into other possibilities and, although the glamour may be faded around the edges, it becomes more beautiful, almost untouchable due to this fragility. The material from the two EPs is certainly decent, and it’s hard not to be moved by the lamenting ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ but I can’t help feeling some of these tracks are trying just a little bit too hard in places. Almond comes into his own with the final two tracks which demonstrate the sense of abandon and anarchy that makes him the extraordinary performer that he undoubtedly is.

Track Listing:-
1 The Dancing Marquis
2 Burn Bright
3 Tasmanian Tiger
4 Worship Me Now
5 Love Is Not on Trial
6 Death of a Dandy
7 So What's Tonight?
8 Idiot Dancing
9 Worship Me Now (Starcluster Remi
10 Worship Me Now (Spatial Awarenes

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live reviews

Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 23/4/2015
Marc Almond - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, 23/4/2015
Mary O’Meara at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester is swept away on an emotional roller-coaster of a performance by the iconic and inimitable Marc Almond


Photoscapes (2017)
Marc Almond - Photoscapes
Keith Ainsworth photographs Marc Almond at a show at Warringon Parr Hall on his latest UK tour


Tasmanian Tiger EP (2014)
Sparklingly eclectic and energetic new five-song EP from Marc Almond
Burning Bright/The Dancing Marquis (2013)

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