GIG REVIEW: Erasure at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith

WORTH A LOOK?: **

WHERE: Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith

WHEN: 23/2/18, tour runs to 26/8/18

SETLIST: Oh L’Amour; Ship Of Fools; Breathe; Mad As We Are; Just A Little Love; In My Arms; Chains Of Love; Sacred; Sweet Summer Loving; I Love Saturday; Victim Of Love; Phantom Bride; World Be Gone; Who Needs Love Like That; Take Me Out Of Myself; Blue Savannah; Atomic; Drama; Stop!; Love You To The Sky; Always; Here I Go Impossible Again; Sometimes; A Little Respect

We first saw Erasure at this very venue, then called the Hammersmith Odeon, more than 30 years ago.
  • Read on for reasons including why the Eventim Apollo atmosphere was so odd

Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why a gig you’ve been looking forward to for quite so long is just so disappointing.

We saw Erasure at the now-no-more London Arena in the 90s and then probably not until a decade or so ago at Southampton Guildhall and our memory of our fondness for their back catalogue has clearly faded in that time.

For it’s a setlist that’s peppered with 10 or so electropop belters (appropriately, none of which was written after 90s behemoth Stop!) and filled out with far too much that was penned in the last two decades but is nowhere near as catchy or memorable as early hits like Dollar’s Oh L’Amour, the one that kickstarted it all (Sometimes, see below) or best song and set closer A Little Respect.

What’s worse is we’re not drinking and it’s immediately obvious how drunk everyone else is. We’ve not known an audience less well behaved since a recent pre-Christmas jaunt to see Madness at The 02.

We’re three-quarters of the way back in the standing section and this 5,000-capacity venue is rammed to its rafters and there’s another sell-out show tonight.

Fellow members of the audience are complaining about various things including the plastic bottles being thrown around and the very slow bar service, which we assume is a venue ploy to defuse the tension but as we’re only on Diet Coke it seems a little harsh to us.

At one point a guest in the disabled section rises to her feet to dance to be met with a volley of abuse which she responds to by spinning around, spitting back swear words and flipping a finger on each hand.

In fact it’s so noisy we can’t hear any of lead singer Andy Bell’s between-song banter.

Was our mistake to go to a gig sober, not buy a seat in the Circle (where our friends had a much better time) or to give Erasure a go when their back catalogue of at least the last 20 years or so is not worth remembering?

  • Picture by Brightlightspix via Facebook courtesy Erasure. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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