Originally published by L.S. Media. March 11th 2011.
The audience greeted the long awaited return of 80’s Synth Pop superstars Blancmange to Liverpool with the kind of noise you’d expect at the Liverpool Echo. It may have been two decades since Neil Arthur stood in front of a Scouse crowd but Liverpool music fans have long memories and the recollections of being entertained by Blancmange have long been smiled at.
Looking slightly nervous as he arrived on stage and accompanied by musicians Pandit Dinesh and Graham Henderson, Neil sang his way through much loved tracks and new songs from the latest studio album Blanc Burn and at every natural break the crowd, clearly enjoying themselves, cheered louder and louder, which made Neil visibly relax and enjoy the evening as much as those who had waited patiently for the band to return.
Neil kicked off the set with I’m Having a Coffee from the new album and quickly followed it up with I Can’t Explain from the 1982 debut album Happy Families and the fan favourites and well crafted God’s Kitchen and Living on the Ceiling.
During the show Neil announced that band mate Stephen Luscombe was not very well at the moment and amazingly for an audience there was genuine affection and sadness at such news that it spurred Neil on further. All four studio album were delved into and re-explored on the night, with tracks such the incredible Waves, Game Above and the incredible Blind Vision being played by the three talented men on stage.
Even with the band experiencing a few technical hitches with the computers and equipment there was a lot of joy in the crowd and on stage and even during one of the songs where a hitch happened, Neil carried on and took audiences back to the days of the Royal Court with a rendition of the country classic Old Shep which again had the jovial crowd roar their approval.
It has been too long since this great British band toured and entertained audiences up and down the country but on this showing, hopefully it will not be too long before they are back.
Ian D. Hall