Monday, October 13, 2008

Alison: My Aim Is True

Last night John and I took the train to Glenside for an intimate evening with the wonderful Alison Moyet.

Of course, most of you dear readers know that Alison made her start as the vocal half of the band YAZOO - featuring Vince Clarke, shortly after he left Depeche Mode. Famous for their dance singles "Situation", "Don't Go" and "State Farm", the truth is that Yazoo - or Yaz as they were forced to be known here in the states - were a much deeper, darker band than those songs let on.

Lyrics that cried out in sadness, joy and heartbreak were found in both of the Yazoo releases - then, a quickly as the formed, they broke up and went their separate ways: Vince met up with Andy Belland created Erasure - Alison took a turn at a solo career, which was quite successful.

This past summer Vince and Alison reunited for a Yazoo world tour - not so much for a nostalgia hook but more because they had never really gotten the chance to play their canon of music live on stage.

John and I traveled to NYC to see them at the legendary Beacon Theatre; what a joy it was! The seats were a couple rows away from the ceiling - and the stage looked so barren before they arrived. Two small risers were set - one with a mic stand and one with a computer stand. Concern on how they would possible fill the room abounded; Vince rarely moves while playing and Alison tends to remain in place with a simple sway.

However, our fears were squelched when they came on as a huge computerized wall of lights fired up and accompanied each song with its own creation. As someone who was a Yazoo fan from the beginning, it was truly a memorable evening!

That is - until last night.

I knew that (for whatever reason; economy, location, day) sales to the Alison Moyet concert were light but you would never have guessed if you simply listened to the crowd as it joyously responded to every song performed.

John and I arrived at the Keswick Theatre and were guided to our seats by an usher – how excited we were to see that we were sitting in the pit – with no seats in front of us to the stage! The next 90 minutes I felt as if Alison was singing right to me – she would glance over and smile and I was overwhelmed with joy; being so close to the stage and the speakers, her hypnotic voice, complete with ample reverb, just enveloped my senses. She performed songs from her new solo disc The Turn (out this week!) – plus a good assortment of classic tracks, including a few Yazoo staples as well as "Love Resurrection" – one of my favorite songs of the 1980s, hands down.

Alison closed the night with one of my all-time favorite Moyet numbers, written by Jules Shear; "Whispering Your Name". What a powerful song! My other highlight was listening to her sing the first single from Yazoo, "Only You" – with just a grand piano – you could hear a pin drop in the hall.


Do yourself a favor and pick up Alison's new release The Turn - the depth of songwriting is as strong as ever and her trademark chocolate voice still oozes through! Especially on the song "One More Time" - man, that now goes on my Alison Moyet hit list!

And you hear that - and other tracks from the disc - at this site:

And, to hold you over - here is dear Miss Alison Moyet - performing One More Time live on British TV!


Anonymous said...

I heard she still knows how to belt it out!

Anonymous said...

Great review...gotta love Alison...