A lurex and animal-print-clad audience filed into the art-deco glory of the Eventim Apollo. Marc Almond glided onto the stage in a black Nehru suit. He cheerfully welcomed us to a "night of glamour under the flyover", a Talk of the Town show featuring a fifteen-piece band.
Almond’s song-list included Tantalise Me, John Barry’s homage of sinister erotica bathed in purple light accompanied by soprano vocals. Following sophisticated sleaze was Lonely Go-Go Dancer to a heady drum beat and an aura of pink and white light. Almond relished performing this track from his 2001 album Stranger Things. Bongo and snare drums launched Temptation, quickly followed by burlesque star Immodesty Blaize in full-feather headdress, silver sequin skin-tight frock who disrobed as Almond entered to a brass fanfare for A Lover Spurned, a ballad of anguish from the 1990 album Enchanted. The theme of loss continued with a cover of Johnnie Ray's Lotus Blossom, a duet with the female backing singer swathed in bordello-red lighting, songs of evil women, devils in disguise and Satan walking behind you merging into the bluesy opulence of Park Avenue Beat and Barry's Fred and Cyd as Immodesty peeled off once more.
A cover of Bobby Bland's 36-22-36, with compelling jazz piano and Almond's sure voice, praised the female form as did That Dress. The eroticism ended and the hits began with the brisk Jacques Brel cover Jacky, the raunchy It's My Life Baby, and then another Immodesty disrobing. A jaunty Say Hello Wave Goodbye got us singing. The conclusion was Tainted Love, the best-selling single of 1981; alas there were only two hits from Almond’s first album Non Stop Erotic Cabaret. His unique brand of musky pneumatic sophistication and lachrymose degradation delivered, as did the operatic quality of his crystal-clear diction.