Promoting the release of his latest studio album release, ‘Chaos And A Dancing Star’, Marc Almond performed a show with the talented Hollywood based songwriter, record producer, singer and pianist, Chris Braide, with whom he last collaborated five years ago for his 2015 album, ‘The Velvet Trail’.

Almond, with his band (including Neal X on guitar and Chris Braide on keyboards) and backing choir, began with the new record, playing all tracks, beginning on the awakening ‘Black Sunrise’. moving onto ‘Dreaming Of Sea’ (featured in the 2017 film ‘Scales’), the retro ‘Hollywood Forever’ (inspired by a visit to the Hollywood Forever cemetery) and ‘Chaos’. He then introduced special guest Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) on the flute for ‘Lord Of Misrule’, which he recorded with him on the record.

To pay hommage to Jethro Tull, Almond and Anderson played ‘The Witch’s Promise’, a song that inspired Almond as a teenager. As a return favour, Anderson performed a Soft Cell cover, ‘Bedsitter’, before leaving the stage. Almond finished the first act on his new single ‘Slow Burn Love’, a pop song with hints of ’80s heritage and the last track on the album, the transcient ‘The Crow’s Eyes Have Turned Blue’, which closed the first part of the show.

For the second act, Chris Braide performed some of his own songs on piano forte with Almond singing, such as ‘Damn You’ (Lana Del Rey), as well from their album ‘The Velvet Trail’, with ‘Scar’ and its continuation ‘The Pain Of Never’. before Almond left Braide onstage on his own to sing ‘Kill And Run’, which he wrote for the 2013 film The Great Gatsby. Almond returned to do more vocals to Braide’s keys, including Soft Cell’s ‘Torch’ and Marc and The Mambas’ ‘Black Heart’ and more from ‘The Velvet Trail’ with ‘Winter Sun’ and ‘Zipped Black Leather Jacket’, which saw Braide move onto guitar.

The pair finished on two T-Rex songs, ‘Dandy In The Underworld’ and ‘Children Of The Revolution’ as well as two Soft Cell songs, ‘Tainted Love’ and ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’, for which Anderson returned to play flute for. Apart from Almond forgetting some of the lyrics for a couple of songs, the more than 2.5 hour long show did not leave much to be desired.

10/02/20: Marc Almond + Chris Braide @ Royal Festival Hall, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.