Marc Almond is continuing with his prolific career with the launch of his latest album “Shadows and Reflections”. In recent interviews, Marc mentions his love of torch songs, and this collection certainly confirms that, with a mixture of hits from the 60s, from the well known to the more obscure, plus a couple of his own thrown in for good measure.
These songs really suit his voice, and are best played on vinyl to capture the mood of the era. Having bought the album, I waited to desperately purchase tickets for his gig at the Usher Hall, but unfortunately could not get as near the front as I had wished for.
I booked into the Travelodge on Princes Street, and hastily got ready, before making my way to the Usher Hall. Shaun and Yvonne were both going to be there, but I hadn’t made any definite plans to meet up with them. I was there early, and got speaking to a lovely couple who had travelled all the way from Chester-le-Street to see him. I sat with them at the bar and had a few drinks, then finally I got a message from Shaun who had arrived. He had managed to get a seat a bit closer than I had, but told me that Yvonne had got a seat right up at the front. I sat down and the Overture began, which was not unlike the score to a glamorous 60s movie.
Marc came on stage, looking very smart in a charcoal grey suit and cuban heeled boots, and started to get things going with “Shadows and Reflections”. Following this was Billy Fury’s “I’m Lost Without You” and The Young Rascals’ “How Can I Be Sure?” More of the hits followed, “Blue on Blue”, “Not for Me,” but the audience remained seated and very quiet. A couple of people came in late, and he muttered a few sarcastic comments their way, obviously annoyed at the disruption they had caused. I tentatively filmed him singing a couple of songs, as although I was about 7 rows back, I worried that he might be annoyed or distracted if he saw me. I really wanted to get up and dance, or stand up and sway at the very least but it felt like it was never going to happen.
“Embers” was beautiful. The red and orange projections warmed the the stage and I felt that this was his best performance of the evening as it felt like he was truly singing from the heart.
“Child Star” was another joy to behold, and brought tears to my eyes and a shiver down my spine.
Finally, when that memorable trumpet intro to “Torch” sounded out, another of Marc’s superfans, Gail, who was clad in a Cindy Ecstasy style blue sequinned dress got up to dance. Immediately everyone followed suit, and after “Torch”, Marc invited everyone to get out of their seats and dance everywhere. A crowd of people headed towards the stage, and I decided to do the same, where I met up with Shaun who had already made it to the front row. He asked me if I wanted to try to get a selfie with Marc and I eagerly nodded. He said we’d need to leave half way though the last song, so I agreed. We danced to “Jackie“, “Hand over my heart“, and “Find me Somebody“, before slipping outside half way through “Say Hello…” I had even got so close to Marc that I handed him my fur hat but he just smiled and looked a bit puzzled before giving it back to me! I should have known better as his partner is a vegan!
Shaun and I slipped out of the Usher Hall and went round to the left hand side door, towards the back of the building. We could see a large van there waiting to load his equipment in. Looking into the side door, we saw Langy (Mark Langthorne) his handsome partner and manager talking to some of the crew. Next thing, we saw Marc heading towards the door wrapped in a grey blanket, and absolutely shivering.
“Marc, can we get a quick selfie please,” asked Shaun, who is a bit of a celebrity selfie expert himself.
Marc agreed and I got the selfie that I had been dreaming of.Marc then ran off into the distance, and we couldn’t see where he went as a bus had blocked our view, but we were pretty certain he hd gone into a posh Sheraton hotel across the road.
We met up with Yvonne, and Gabi, and then headed across to the Sheraton hotel for cocktails in the hope that we might see him, but to no avail. It was a great night, we sat and gossiped about fans, music and Marc, and had excellent cocktails in the lounge. Yet another great night all in the name of Marc Almond.