Reviewer: Zara Ellis
The Public Reviews Rating:
Marc Almond has finally returned to the beautiful Lowry theatre in Salford with his new Pop Troubadour Tour. Former 80s Soft Cell front man is celebrating 30 long, successful and well deserved years in the music industry and even at 55; he shows no signs of slowing down yet, thank god.
The evening began with a support act, which is a regular accompaniment to Marc’s shows, Baby Dee. Dee’s set list comprised of quite loud and emotive songs on the piano like “Live another Day” and “Teeth Are the Only Bones You Can See”. It could be said that Dee is quite a required taste and does need some time to get fully used to, however she is energetic, colourful and full of character on stage. But the night really began when Marc came on stage and started singing “the Stars We Are” from the same entitled album, in which the audience came alive and responded to his smiles and waves with instant cheers.
Marc’s band, as always were a credit to him this evening, displaying their musical talents in the extremely supreme and catchy song “Mother Fist” with Martin Watkins – keyboard/synthesisers, Kyle – base guitar, Tim – drums and Neil who is Marc’s guitarist and loyal musical director. The stage was deliberately set quite bare in order for Marc to take centre spotlight throughout the night which was the right decision, as Marc does not need the distraction, as he is charismatic and charming enough to carry it off all on his own. Credit goes to the stage light effects as they were impressive, reflecting the mood of the song that was being sung at the time by using striking colours, setting the ambience of the room.
During the evening Marc remarked that it was lovely to be back at the Lowry on this rainy evening, which didn’t deter his fans from coming to see him and he joked that they could be watching Downton Abbey or the X-Factor instead. Marc’s humour is clear all throughout the evening; he has an excellent rapport with the audience and isn’t scared to connect with the unscheduled events that arise, such as members of the audience coming into the show late, joking that they had missed “most of the best bits”, displaying his humorous and charming side which makes him so endearing and allows the audience to engage with him even more than usual.
The set list from the evening comprised of usual selections such as “Something’s Gotten Hold of my Heart”, “Tainted Love” and the achingly touchingly performed “If You Go Away”. But surprisingly Marc stepped out of his comfort zone and sang “Always”, “Hand over My Heart” and the beautiful “Backstage I’m Lonely” from the “Stardom Road” album, which paid off, as it was an absolute pleasure to hear some of his other songs from his incredible back catalogue live, as well as his always welcomed regulars.
Marc’s music is always unbelievingly fantastic that by the closing song everyone was predictably on their feet, singing an acapella version of “Say Hello and Wave Goodbye”, and despite the song lyric, waving goodbye was not what people were wishing for, as Marc is eternally just one word ‘unforgettable’.
If you get a chance to see the legend live who is Marc Almond, then take it, as he is not only a singer, but an actor with words – A true professional.