Live Reviews

Sisters of Mercy – Live

The Ivories
London Astoria

The venue is reasonably empty for a Sold Out gig. Goths’ dressed to the nines huddled inwards to hear the unknown sound of The Ivories. As the not only drop dead gorgeous, but extremely talented drummer bangs hard on her drums, heads turn, and the front of the stage fills up with boys, and their camera phones, desperately waiting patiently to take a souvenir pic. The singers scuttle reminds me of The Kills or Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, and the music is reminiscent of early Siouxsie & The Banshees. In a nutshell, watch this band, they are on fire! Just like Giant Drag snuck in and took the world by storm, this almost (1 male bassist) girl band definitely have the makings of something great. I remember murmurings of their CD being launched in stores over the next week…

Finally the mainliners – Sisters of Mercy. The stage fills with smoke…but it doesn’t stop there, the smoke just keeps on coming, and coming, and coming!…until eventually we cant see a damn thing! You can only feel the hot, sweaty tattoo-clad bodies next to you, whilst almost gagging on dry ice. Funny in the beginning…until we all realized it was going to last the whole friggin gig! Out of smoke, and lights you can see a vague silhouette of Andrew Eldritch in a long white, luxurious fur collared coat. Perhaps the ambivalent atmosphere was a mask for years of serious drug intake? or perhaps it was just supposed to be mysterious?

With Andrew as the only original band member, the new guitarist, and bassist, are rumored to be from Leeds…hence referrals to Leeds in some of the lyrics. As the newbie’s basque in the limelight, and ignore the screeching feedback, the crowd divides into 2 camps-bored!, and die hard’s! Not only could you not see anything(I was in the front!), but you could hardly hear any of the vocals. With Andrews voice being so close to the baseline you would expect the levels to accentuate his voice as much as possible-like their damn CDs. The backing vocals, and baseline were so much louder than the vocals, if you closed your eyes it was like being at an instrumental, with random shoutings of “hey now, hey now now now”? If that wasn’t confusing enough, the track “Temple Of Love” emerged out of I don’t-know-what-the-hell-just-happened?

They came back for 2 encores finishing the 1st set with golden oldie “Dominion“. Then something random happened again, ending with Goth-sing-along “This Corrosion“. All in all, great band, but at this particular show the sound engineering was shocking! At a live gig you expect to hear and see your living legend, not leave confused, and haunted by reminding complaints the whole journey home. Hopefully they sort it out for the rest of their tour, or their annual tradition might not be so well received in the not so distant future. I think as a mainliner with so many years experience, being shown up by the opening act is just plain embarrassing!

Niki Kova’cs