Last night I travelled down to a rather humid London, trying to avoid the ‘Olympic Road Lanes‘, which was near impossible. On meeting some new twitter friends outside we were eventually admitted into the venue at around 7.45pm. The appearance of Bush Hall is deceiving from the outside as within the chandelier laden room is something to behold, being bedecked each side by a wall of mirrors. It was not long before Strangers gave a good account of themselves in front an enthusiastic crowd. ‘Shine On You‘ was the stand out track and it did sound a lot like Fiat Lux.
The main event was Claudia Brucken performing songs from her career be it solo, duet or in a band. This was to launch the live DVD of last years concert at Scala, which I did not attend due to family commitments, so this was my chance to witness something special. Tonight we had former Propaganda co-vocalist Susanne Freytag in attendance, someone I was crazy about many moons ago. Between them they performed ‘Dr Mabuse‘, ‘Dream Within A Dream‘, P-Machinery‘ and the timeless ‘Duel‘. Then with just Andrew Poppy backing her on piano they delivered us very emotional versions of ‘Running Up That Hill‘ and ‘In Dreams‘.
Guesting tonight we had Heaven 17‘s Glen Gregory whom duetted on ‘Snobbery And Decay‘, the chemistry was still there to be seen. Though not to be outdone a very dapper Martyn Ware who looked like a very cool poker player joined them to provide backing vocals on ‘Temptation‘. It was played in a style that could so easily be mixed with Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love‘ in some nite-club. Claudia’s partner Paul Humphreys did manage to screw up the beginning of one the songs, much to her delight and the audience. They even manoeuvred Andy McCluskey on stage who provided co-vocals to ‘Absolutely Immune‘. Then he donned his guitar and they all launched into a buoyant version of ‘Messages‘. The only thing missing was his unmistakable dancing.
A major draw back tonight was the fact the sound guy was battling against a problem that is well-known at this venue and that is you can not turn up the sound too much due to feedback. Also another restriction is the simple fact that the stage is rather cramped and hence at the back a slightly shy Stephen Lipson could just be seen. Thankfully at the conclusion of the show they did not all re-appear together, otherwise we could have lost some famous names in electronic music. So in this ‘Hall Of Mirrors‘ tonight there wasn’t any Showroom Dummies to be found, just friends enjoying the warmth of the room. 8/10.