Liam Rudden: How can you not have heard of Erasure?

THE bar tenders at Dine restaurant are young. I discovered this last Saturday while sinking a couple of pre-concert cocktails '“ Old Fashioneds to be precise, made to perfection by Shereen.

Andy Bell of Erasure
Andy Bell of Erasure

As conversations turned to plans for the evening, on two occasions the reply that we’d shortly be nipping over to see Erasure at the Usher Hall was met with the query, ‘Who?’

Now, when I say young, they weren’t that young, but then Erasure have been around for a while now; Sometimes, their first big hit was released 32 years ago, way back in 1986. I know!

It has always fascinated me just how transient fame can be. To one generation Andy Bell and Vince Clarke will forever reign supreme as ground-breaking pop stars extraordinare, while their influence has passed later generations by completely.

That said, I wouldn’t know half the bands those bartenders hold in equally high esteem.

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    Later, the sold out gig certainly proved a gathering of music fans of a certain age, though an on-stage time of 9pm might not have been the most prudent of moves as more than a few were already the worse for wear, no doubt trying to recapture the hedonistic clubbing days of their youth, back before expanding waistlines and adult responsibilty robbed them of their night life.

    So, along with 2,000 other oldies, all determined to have a good time despite the aging process, we partied like it was 1986 again as a croaky Bell – Erasure had cancelled three sold out concerts in Dublin earlier in the week due to ill health –- worked his way though hits and tracks from the cracking new album World Be Gone, as Clarke nipped between lap-top, keys and guitar.

    If Bell wasn’t feeling 100 per cent, it didn’t stop him being his usual outrageous self, camping and mincing about the stage much as he did back in the 90s when I last saw Erasure during their record-breaking run at The Playhouse.

    Thankfully, however, there were no gold lame shorts on this occasion – they were too much first time around – instead, his jacket was removed to reveal a skin-tight ‘tattooed’ body stocking of a T-shirt. Brave move.

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    That every generation has its own heroes was brought into stark focus again the following day at the Capital Sci-Fi Con where a few TV and film stars of yesteryear had gathered to meet fans.

    Among them, veteran stars such as Julian Glover, a Games of Thrones favourite, character actors whose masks are more famous than their faces and a former Doctor Who, Sylvester McCoy, and his sidekick Sophie Aldred.

    Have to say, I felt sorry for some of them. They may attract hundreds of fans at conventions dedicated to the film/show they appeared in, but here many just sat forlornly behind tables of their publicity photos as the youngsters passed by oblivious.

    Fame, it really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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