These pair are my ultimate guilty pleasure. As camp as Christmas, and more poppy than a Dutch field, but you can’t deny they have tunes. And Sherwood Forest reverberated with the sound of them. Oh and there was a fight, too. I know, at an Erasure gig! With picnics and everything. Who knew?

Date: June 18, 2011

Venue: Sherwood Pines, Sherwood Forest

If you’re not an avid Erasure fan then the chances are you’re a closet Erasure fan.

You secretly adore their musical oeuvre but don’t like to admit it, fearing ridicule from your friends and colleagues as it’s considered devastatingly uncool to enjoy their dazzling camp pop. But with choruses the size of ocean liners, and tunes so catchy they should come with health warnings, Erasure simply pull even the coolest of the cool into their realm of heavenly joyous pop music.

And for an hour and a half, no one cares that they’re dancing like Louie Spence at Christmas.

The assembled rain-speckled crowd in this woodland clearing at Sherwood Pines, where the band are making a scheduled stop on their unashamedly-named Total Pop tour, are in attendance because the band’s music is simply infectious.

Pretty much all the hits from their 1985 debut Who Needs Love Like That to 2005’s Breathe are aired. From Victim of Love to I Love To Hate You, from the euphoric Chains of Love to the effervescent Sometimes through to the dark and brooding opuses Ship Of Fools and Chorus.

There was even a new song, a twisted mangle of Queen and Phantom of the Opera on Save Me, and a failed attempt at Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U, which was quickly brushed aside for Oh L’Amour instead.

Throughout the set, Andy Bell dances like a hyper-active child, resplendent in his black sparkly jacket, while his silent accomplice Vince Clark works the synths and guitars behind him, assisted by two backing singers.

They end, aptly, with Stop. And with that, people fold up their camping chairs, pack away their pic nics and trudge back to their cars, their happiness palpable.

That joy they feel? That sense of unabashed glee? That was Erasure.


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