Blancmange, Gig Review. Hanger 34, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

There are moments in Pop history that unforgivably seem to be forgotten by the majority, that some groups, lauded rightly by those whose lives were changed by the positivity of one song, have been allowed to be seen as a memory, a reaction to past events and the recall of certain emotions. Bands such as Blancmange offered a way of communication, of sincerity that arguably was unique to them, and one that for everybody who made their way to Hanger 34 on cold Saturday night in Liverpool would have been ecstatic to celebrate; it was a celebration that was wild and proper.

The mood of the evening at Hanger 34 was forever enshrined in the Pop culture status of the city’s love for music with Blancmange opening their set with their reading of Abba’s The Day Before You Came. Already considered a classic amongst the fraternity of the electronica genre, this particular recital was heart breaking, affirmative in its expression and spell binding to take in. In Neil Arthur’s voice, the song, always so haunting and understanding of the loneliness of the human condition became something more, it stood out like the finest of poetry, captivating, brutal, unashamed and forthright, it will surely be considered as a pivotal rendition of a faithfully loved and much admired track.

To start at so high a peak could be seen as folly in many eyes, the ability to keep up a demand, to be able to live with the constant pressure of scrutiny, is one that many would fold or buckle under the strain of, and yet with a flourish, with genuine appeal, Blancmange produced a set of intrigue, mystery and buoyant Pop drama that flooded the veins of happiness to the very core.

With popular songs and positively overwhelming adoration from the Hanger 34 audience guiding the night, it was impossible to not get caught up in the heat, the Pop surged adrenaline that was evident and keenly sung along to. Songs such as Unfurnished Rooms, What’s the Time, Waves, the superb and heart thumping Living on the Ceiling, Blind Vision and a stop the breath moment of uncalculated cool as the scarcely played Running Thin was offered to the strong crowd, all contributed wildly to the evening of blistering solidarity and panache.

Blancmange, one of the true heroes of the time, positive, heroic and full of serenity, to come to Liverpool and be recognised as such is always heartening; a grand evening started by one of the best acts of the genre.

Ian D. Hall