The O2 Academy was understandably sold out, with an eclectic crowd who were pretty fired up. I’d had a listen to their new album, The Violet Flame in the weeks leading up to the gig and could definitely identify a couple of hits, and couldn’t wait to hear the classics. Vince Clarke appeared behind his sound system and the dance beats kicked in, followed by a couple of very glittery backing singers and finally lead singer Andy Bell, ever the showman in a sparkly ringmaster’s jacket and a rather large top hat crooning the opening to Oh L’Amour. It went slightly mad.
That was followed by a mixture of classic hits and tracks from the new album. Andy’s dance moves whipped the crowd up into a frenzy, enhanced by the amazing light show. After Stop! it was just hit after hit, with Victim of Love, Ship of Fools, Blue Savannah and Chorus in quick succession. Of course Andy had a costume change half way through, and came back to rapturous applause donning gold hot pants to rival Kylie’s. The eighteen track set ended on a high with Love To Hate You, A Little Respect and Chains of Love. Always and Sometimes were saved for the encore, by which point everyone was quite blissed out in the presence of one of the best British electronic music acts ever. Joyous.