Soft Cell
@ Razzmatazz Apollo, Barcelona
Friday 9th November, 2001
By Alejandro Vidal

Soft Cell

Soft Cell, eh? Well with the current revival in everything from nineties rave to, well, just about everything in the eighties. It was inevitable that Soft Cell would return to push their iconic synth pop sound. Now while we here at Absorb are staunch defenders of the future and abhor retroism, we can accept a bit of nostalgia every now and again and attending this gig certainly felt like crossing through a time warp. A crossing that many others were willing to take judging by the large turnout.

With the irrepresible Marc Almond on vocals and Dave Ball on synths, the duo waste no time in establishing the criteria by launching straight into their first big hit 'Memorabilia'. The sound was admittedly impressive and Marc's searing vocals proved why he is such an iconic and mythical figure for many. But it wasn't all wallowing in the past y'know, they did play some new material. But tracks like 'Last Chance' seemed to be lost on the crowd who were here to hear the hits.

With Marc seated on a stool and people throwing roses at his feet, it could only be appropriate to belt out a few ballads but eventually the time came to dance. The "Dancing, loving, dreaming" refrain of 'Bedsitter' kicked in and signalled everyone to start moving rhythmically. This eventually led to an extended mix of their most famous hit, 'Tainted love'. Still sounding as brilliant as ever and still a definitive statement of the whole new romantic movement.

The star on the night obviously being Marc, like an updated Jacques Brel, a cabaret star with the dramatic and sometimes erotic lyrics totally kitsch. The set ended with the fantastic 'Martin' and we eventually gave in and wished we were living those times. The sounds that Dave Ball delivered awakened our memories. Decadent sounds for a decadent era.

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