Words/Photo Wal Reid
It’s always an amusing sign of an older more mature crowd, when there is the absence of smartphones trying to capture that picture-perfect IG moment (that’s Instagram to you & me).
Alison Moyet is doing well. She’s shed the kilos and looks better than she did back in the late 80s (unlike some of her peers). She has cleverly reinvented herself while keeping her sound current in this auto-tune laden industry.
Reverting back to her Synth roots, her bluesy contralto voice signalled a welcome return, her voice once the envy of singers and hits dominated the airwaves when I was a fourth form high school student – and this before Adele was born. Actually, she probably was The Adele of the 80s, or should that be the other way around?
Its no secret that she won’t play arguably one of her biggest hits Invisible, that was apparent when someone in the audience screamed it out to which she quickly snapped back, “I hope you’re joking,” before adding, “Where have you been for the last thirty years?”.
She continued to cajole the packed crowd managing “Shut up” before pointing to the stage “I have a set list” . Her trade off playing Yazoo songs met approval with the crowd. Her banter unfiltered, conversation rapid-fire, and her words although short, pertinent.
She built a quick rapport with the vocal crowd, shouts of “I love you,” or “Ali” shot out across the stage from all directions. Stories of her late Mum on The English U or a fab reworking of Is This Love to the Yazoo hits of Nobody’s Diary or Only You, struck a chord with the reminiscent crowd.
Hell, even I remember those songs, the synth laden hooks similar to bands of my youth, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk or OMD, the pulsating bass and electronic wizardry of the keyboards that featured so much in the 80s.
The looming figures of ex Scissor Sisters musical director, John Garden surrounded by his grandiose keyboard station and the wooden but amazing backing vocalist Sean McGhee, who co wrote The Rarest Birds with Moyet, shared the stage with the affable singer. Their presence and musical prowess complementing Moyet’s set, which included songs off her latest album Other.
But it was her hits that got the biggest rouse of the night, Situation and Love Resurrection awoken punters and got them on their feet, to the delight of Moyet it was a fitting end to the night setting up one last chance to see her last concert tomorrow night in Christchurch.
As the boys whipped out their acoustic guitars for a tender Whispering Your Name, the crowd sensing the finale as Vince Clarke’s (Depeche Mode/Yazoo) famous riff for Don’t Go started up. It was another good excuse to get up out the chairs for one last knees-up.
Moyet is a realist, heck knows she’s been in the game long enough. Her music long reaches it’s listener, transcending time or language. Good to know there are artists in this world who can still call the shots and remain musically relevant in this day and age. Alison Moyet is living proof that music does indeed improve with age