Blancmange at The Venue, Worthing, 9th December 2022
There’s a moment every year when it suddenly starts to feel like Christmas, and this year Friday night at The Venue was that moment. For those not local, the eponymously named venue in question is what used to be converted church St Paul’s Arts Centre. Retaining the original stained glass windows and balcony, and festooned with giant snowflakes and balloons, it felt more like walking into a weird office party than a gig (in a good way). It’s a very cool location, in architectural features and temperature, but coats firmly staying on didn’t stop the crowd from singing and dancing their hearts out as the current formation of synth-pop royalty Blancmange hit the stage.
With a set list spanning the decades, the songs held a certain charm that combined the original sound with subtle reworkings from different eras. Tracks from new album Private View received a great response; latest single Reduced Voltage showcases a deeper version of electronica that stands up in today’s market, and vinyl copies of the album had sold out at the merch desk before the show began. Neil Arthur clearly still loves being on stage and there was lots of chat and interaction with the crowd.
And those hoping for a little nostalgia weren’t to be disappointed, as the set was interspersed with favourites including Waves, That’s Love That It Is and Blind Vision, before the inevitable flourish of a finish with Living On The Ceiling. With the room still singing along to the riff, the band left the stage briefly before returning to close with Don’t Tell Me. A night full of atmosphere and top tunes – and good to see the live music circuit in Worthing continuing to expand.
Review / photos by Callum / Siobhan
14th December 2022