REVIEW: Marc Almond at Portsmouth Guildhall

Marc Almond onstage at Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Paul Windsor
Marc Almond onstage at Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Paul Windsor
Portico Quartet. Picture by Duncan Bellamy

Portico Quartet move back to get ahead, as three become four again

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The evening started with polite applause while the orchestra players took their place, before luscious strings filled the venue.

Then there was more polite applause as Marc Almond took to the stage. Perhaps an audience were not quite sure what kind of an evening they were in for...

Marc Almond onstage at Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Paul Windsor

Marc Almond onstage at Portsmouth Guildhall. Picture: Paul Windsor

They need not be worried as the Soft Cell frontman – who stopped in the Guidhall on the UK tour to promote his new album, Shadows and Reflections – got the evening going with a Billy Fury cover of all things.

The bar was set really high with an evening of songs by Burt Bacharach, Julie Driscoll and Dusty Springfield among others, but I was more impressed with the only original performed during the show – new song Embers – where somehow Marc seemed more comfortable in his own skin.

However, it was the hits the audience responded to most – Days of Pearly Spencer and his unforgettable duet with Gene Pitney, Something’s Got a Hold of My Heart.

A Motown medley finally got the audience to its feet, with a few bars of Soft Cell’s biggest hit Tainted Love snuck in for good measure.

Fittingly the show closed with Marc’s most famous torch song, Say Hello Wave Goodbye, which we did on a most enjoyable evening.