soft cell, live in cologne

Wow, what a night. Never ever thought I'd see them in concert (ok, I hoped since this spring I would) and then they appear as they've just took a short break between two albums and have never been busy with anything different ? and get away with it! Sure, there was a bit of nostalgia floating around: all the fishnet tights, leather pants & mascara-clad people dressed in red, black and gold. Memories of the best parts (and parties) of the 80's immediately came back, when Soft Cell were around and always added to the celebration atmosphere. Cologne has always been a Marc Almond stronghold, therefore it wasn't a surprise to see the hall well-packed. However, there was just enough space for everybody to dance, scream and sing along.
Cheekily, Soft Cell opened with "Memorabilia," and continued with "Mono Culture," and "Heat," before gliding through a healthy mixture of classic hits "Youth," "Bedsitter," and "Torch." New (yet unreleased) songs included "Divided Soul," "Last Chance," "Somebody, Somewhere, Sometime," and the gorgeous "God Shaped Hole" from the latest Some Bizarre compilation. Marc Almond even forgot some lines to this one, but the band played on as he tried the best to catch up with Dave Ball under bursts of laughter about his messing up.
The audience was thrilled and overwhelmed to see these songs performed so passionately even if most failed to sing loud enough when Marc gave them their chance to. The show was accompanied by cool lightning and perfect mixing desk duties. Soft Cell easily managed to keep themselves distanced from dependence on yester-year's glorifications or beloved memories. Of course they played "Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go?" (the ticket even stated this as 'The Tainted Love Tour') but for attendees still not knowing more about Soft Cell, they made it not easy. "The Art Of Falling Apart" and "The Best Way To Kill" (which Almond said "probably reflects best how I really felt during the eighties") were welcomed nearly equally enthuiastic. The first encore ?naturally- had to be the unforgettable "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye," while a second included "Martin" and "Sex Dwarf", thus ending the concert with loads of screaming fans and the promise to return next year...
All the difficulties Dave Ball had in the early days performing live seem to be blown away through his experiences with The Grid and it was a pleasure to see them both performing and enjoying it at least as much as the audience. As both of them waved goodbye with a big smile on their faces they had once more underlined that Soft Cell always stood on their own terms. It was a perfect night out and I wish I could share some of the power and the passion it gave me with you.