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erasure_intro.jpgE-Werk, Cologne, Germany
March 28th 2005
Erasure, Client and Piney Gir

Who doesn´t know the 80s pop legend "Erasure" famous for hits like "Stop", "Sometimes", "Oh L´amour" or "Chorus"? Too many to mention them all. And quite incredible that the band is still alive and vivid after all that years just releasing the new album "Nightbird". Now it was finally time for me to see the heroes of synthetic pop live... supported by the synth-electro-clash band "Client" - who are signed at Andrew Fletcher´s (Depeche Mode keyboarder) label "Toast Hawaii" - and "Piney Gir".

We arrived in Cologne at 19.30 on that Easter Monday evening. Knowing that the E-Werk was sold out with about 2500 people it wasn´t a surprise to see that huge amount of cars parking in the streets and the very long queue of people waiting in front of the venue. It was a very mixed audience waiting for entrance... young and older pop-fans, goths, extravagant styled gays etc.

Piney Gir

The official website says the following: "Piney Gir lives in London, England but grew up in Kansas City USA in a Pentecostal Christian household. During her childhood Piney developed a vivid and playful imagination while receiving a formal education in music, untouched by the temptations of sinful secular pop. In her late teens Piney broke from the past and discovered the music of the masses with huge delight and a completely personal perspective. This unique mixture of experience has shaped and defined her music. Piney’s rich, beautiful vocals are as refined and smooth as a roll of silk but can give way at any time to frenzied yelps of discontent. Her sound is often fractured and mysterious but always touched by a sly sense of fun. Piney Gir is an enchantress, virtuoso and extraordinary new talent. Live she is an audiovisual delight with a wardrobe of wonder displaying a talent born to outshine the spotlight directed at her." I must say that I had no idea what music that band (or better girl) was doing. She was accompanied on stage by 2 guys on the keyboards.

Dressed up with a red-white puffball dress she enters the stage accompanied by her two "Blues brothers". One of them is Oliver Horton. The songs were performed with 2 keyboards and Piney Gir´s old red yamaha keyboard guitar. She used all the presets of the yamaha... also quite weired ones... acting with a special sence of humour. Her sincere silky voice guided the audience through stories and notions of an enchanted child.

There was not really a performance on stage. But due a good reason... Because of the big stage buildings for Erasure that were hidden by a big red curtain, the two support bands had only a very narrow stripe to act on. But the three people did the best to deal with the conditions and seemed to have fun performing and smiling constantly into the audience. Only lightened up by a few red and blue spots from the front, the three people on stage performed their songs. There were so many musical styles that Piney covered with her set - from Country to Electro, Indie or Blues.

Music: 7
Performance: 6
Sound: 8
Light: 6
Total: 7 (6.7)



Client is the first signing on Andy Fletcher´s Toast Hawaii label. The band consisting of Client a and Client B was founded at the end of 2001. Client A that´s Kate Holmes, former member of "Frazier Chorus" and later "Technique" who were supporting "Depeche Mode" on their 2001 "Exciter" tour. Sarah Blackwood, called Client B, was formerly singer of the band "Dubstar". The music of "Client" can be described as some kind of retro electro. The latest album "City" is out since September 2004, containing for example a duett with "Depeche Mode´s" songwriter Martin Gore.

Dressed in their usual kinky clothes - today grey blouses and skirts - the girls entered the stage. Kate took her place behind the keyboard to do the music and technical stuff together with an additional keyboard player. Sarah behind the microphone caught the audience (especially the male ones) right away with her characteristic voice and performance.

Like "Piney Gir", "Client" had not much room on the stage either. But with the use of only 2 keyboards and the microphone they do not need much space. Sarah immediately pleased the the crowd and especially heterosexual men with her repeatedly shouting “Uh” and her shoulder shuffle and some daring dance moves. During ‘What Brought Us To This’ she holds the microphone wire stretched above her head whilst singing the chorus. Highlight of the show was surely the latest single "Pornography". Including songs of the first album as well as from the new release, the set was good mixed and pleased all the "Client" fans in the crowd.

01. In It For The Money
02. Price Of Love
03. Radio
04. Here And Now
05. Overdrive
06. Don't Call Me Baby
07. Rock'n Roll Machine
08. Pornography

Music: 8
Performance: 7
Sound: 8
Light: 6
Total: 7 (7.4)



There is surely no need to describe Erasure. The band was an institution in the 80s and is still famous today. Erasure, that are Andy Bell (vocals) and former "Depeche Mode"/"Yazoo" member Vince Clark (keyboard).

Before having a closer look onto the show, the stage design is worth a few words. A forest of ancient halfly tried trees with only a few leaves covered the stage... only inflatable trees but through the lightening they seemed alive. On the left side there was the keyboard of Vince wrapped in golden foil. On the right side was a podium for the 2 backing singers Ann-Marie and Valerie which was covered with a golden river of foil. The whole stage was surrounded by a curtain with labyrinthine ornaments.

After the intro "Mr Gribber and his amazing Cat“ the curtain in front of the stage fell down and the audience was lead into a fairy tale forest with the song "No Doubt". Vince was standing on the left side on a podium behind the keyboard, dressed in a brown uniform and a pilot´s hat while Ann-Marie and Valerie were standing on the other side dressed up as elves in feather skirts, butterfly wings and with feathers in their hair. Andy was standing in the middle, dressed in white and wearing white angel wings.

The sound was fantastic... full and clear. Vince as the only one responsible for the music run the backing tapes, played keyboard or accompanied Andy with an accoustic guitar. Andy was of course the main person of the whole show, performing the songs with his wellknown voice. The backing vocals of the girls added a certain mood to "Erasure´s" songs. For one song "Rapture", Vince took the microphone himself.

The show sureley lived on Andy´s performance, the crazy costumes and the varied light show that set the forest on the stage into a differend mood with every single song. Songs from the new album were mixed into some kind of a greatest hits show with a lot of the well known older songs. One of the highlights of the first part of the show was the song "Rapture" when Andy left the stage and Vince performed the song alone in some kind of rap. He was accompanied by the 2 backing singers. After the song, Vince and the girls left and Andy returned to stage again after changing clothes to a blue-red "Elvis-costume". He performed his version of the famous "Ave Maria" alone on stage. After the song, Vince and the girls returned with changed clothes too. Vince was wearing a golden glitter suit while the girls wore silver and golden "Marilyn Monroe" dresses. Andy changed his clothes again for the song "Blue Savannah" when he entered the stage only dressed into a golden glittering shorts, covered with two pink feather fans. It is quite sure that Andy´s dancing only dressed with the shorts pleased his gay adience very much. Very nice especially for the German audience were Andy´s attempts to speak German. He earned a lot of laughs and cheers for it. Every single song - especially the old hits - was celebrated by the audience, cheering to the stage and clapping along the songs. Of course "Erasure" had to come back for an encore after the main set.

A special gimmick of all the "Erasure" concerts was that you could bya a recording of the show just 10 minutes after finishing the gig. The Cologne concert was also filmed for DVD, so watch out the upcoming release ;)

01. Intro
02. No Doubt
03. Hideaway
04. Victim of Love
05. Knocking On Your Door
06. The Circus
07. Breathe
08. Ship of Fools
09. Drama
10. All This Time Still Falling Out of Love
11. Stop
12. Rapture
13. Ave Maria
14. Breath of Life
15. A Little Respect
16. I Broke It All In Two
17. Chains Of Love
18. Chorus
19. Love To Hate You
20. Blue Savannah
21. Always
22. Who Needs Love Like That
23. Oh L'amour
24. I Bet You’re Mad At Me
25. Sometimes
Music: 9
Performance: 10
Sound: 9
Light: 10
Total: 9 (9.45)


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