Even before the motorbike crash that almost killed him in 2004, Marc Almond wasn’t the most confident of live performers – a fact evident in this 2000 show when he stumbles over the lyrics of Bedsitter and moans, “I can’t believe that I’ve forgotten the words to this song…” Still, this gives the old deviant an air of vulnerability that suits his fragile songs perfectly – especially his own post-Soft Cell canon. Songs like Tears Run Rings and The Days Of Pearly Spencer may have been blatant attempts to revisit the doomy synth-pop of his Dave Ball days, but subtler, stripped-down tunes such as Love To Die For and Black Kiss revealed Almond’s torch-song influences.
Both sides of his career are represented here, with Almond reserving the obvious big three Soft Cell songs for the end of the set, probably to a few fans’ chagrin. Still, when we get there, his band’s reserved treatment on guitar and keyboard of Say Hello, Wave Goodbye and Bedsitter in particular work perfectly, despite the performance glitches. A biog, discog and an interview with Almond are tucked away in there too, making this the best live document of his show to date.