By the time I’ve negotiated diversions and city centre traffic (and found somewhere to park), Frankmusic’s support slot has already started. The sound is great, which makes a real change for Southampton Guildhall as normally acts here sound really murky.
Unfortunately, as I make my way into the main room it’s clear that, visually, there’s a lot left to be desired as FM himself stands still in the middle of the stage with a lethargic backing singer either side.
Erasure are the complete opposite, from the off Andy Bell is prancing around the stage, camper than Millets warehouse, and bedecked in a spangly red jacket which he soon removes.
Before long Vince Clarke is cutting him out of his corset-cum-waistcoat and the crowd are very happy!
The band, veterans of many a tour, wisely sprinkle their hits liberally among new tracks.
Strangely, as receptive as the crowd are for Always, they go wild for How I Love To Hate You and the music is eclipsed under frantic chanting.
There’s a real feelgood vibe to the crowd here, a pleasant change for a large scale gig and the mix of cider and classic pop seems to be a winner!