Forgive my deviation. There is an election on and you would probably expect my usual politicaly motivated article, but even politicos need a night off.
I spent the evening like the good gay son escorting my mother on a night out. We went to see the singer Marc Almond on home turf at Leeds City Hall.
Mark is probably most famous for his song ‘Tanted Love’. I had grown up with Almond playing in the background as a kid with mum telling me what he was like when they were together at school.
I must admit going into this concert I was a bit indifferent – I like ‘Tainted Love’ but otherwise Marc Almond isn’t on my playlist on a day-to-day basis. But I went to the gig nonetheless, duty-bound to accompany my mother.
Marc came onstage and his nerves showed – as he has admitted they do until he gets his confidence. By the third song, the wobbling voice and stiff stage presence had dissapeared. His moves would give any pop diva a run for their money.
His voice was smooth and dark, which obviously suited a lot of his songs. His songs about romance focus on the darker and at times seedier side of love. His tone and melody gave this darkness a poetic romanticism. It created a clash of depression and enjoyment.
Not only did he sing well, but his body moved fluidly with his words. There was no choreography to speak of, but his movements fit well with his singing. He was certainly a crowd pleaser and in no way a one hit wonder or a blast from the past – he felt very relevant, and my only regret was that I’d not given him the benefit of the doubt beforehand.
Marc Almond is still writing and performing new songs and is one to listen to again, if not for the first time. He had me on my feet by the end of the evening and I don’t dance! That’s got to be the sign of a good artist. It was a thoroughly good evening.
Almond has released his 20th solo album, too, titled The Velvet Trail. He’s currently touring.
I shall leave you with a few of his songs: