Review: Erasure

What does every crowd in the middle of a cold, overcast, and slightly damp forest need? That's right, 1980s synthesised pop performed by a man in a spangly jacket.

Friday evening's rain managed to keep both farmers and gig-goers happy as the sometimes torrential downpours cleared in time for Erasure's performance at High Lodge in Thetford Forest.

The show, which was the latest date on the duo's Total Pop tour, was the perfect antidote to an evening of unfamiliarly cold and wet weather.

Opening with Hideaway, they worked their way through a fast-paced set of hits including A Little Respect, Sometimes and Blue Savannah.

Singer Andy Bell, whose black jacket seemed to sparkle more and more as the sun went down on the forest clearing, warned the crowd he would be singing a lot of their 'very old songs'.

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But with a career which is now in its fourth decade, Erasure performed tracks which ranged from the 1985 debut single Who Needs Love Like That and 1991's Love to Hate You to the 2005 top-four hit Breathe and a brand new track from their forthcoming album.

Much to the crowd's delight, they were all in keeping with the duo's well-known synthpop sound and featured Bell's crystal clear and note-perfect vocals and the keyboarding skills of songwriter Vince Clarke.

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The singer admitted his mind wasn't 'what it used to be' as he missed the odd word and came in a little early on a song or two, but his voice seemed to have got even better since their performance at Norwich's UEA in 2007.

Bell often signalled his appreciation to the crowd, who danced and sang along through the night despite the falling temperature and ever-present threat of rain.

As Erasure performed final song Stop, the frontman encouraged fans to grab some chips on the way home or have a cup of Bovril to warm up.

Support came from singer Sophie Ellis-Bexter, whose relaxed manner as she chatted to the crowd eased picnicking gig-goers in to an enjoyable night.

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