Sun, 17-Feb-1991

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Leeds Polytechnic, Leeds, England, UK

Press review of February 16th and 17th, 1991 gigs by Dave Simpson
PIC: ANDREW CATLIN

The 2nd night of The Sisters of Mercy's 10th Anniversary in 1991

and the introductory concerts to their 45-gig Tour Thing II-travels in 1991.

The first one was a free gig the Reptile House Members at Leeds University the night before.

An audience recording from this night is in circulation among the fanbase...

see down below for a transcription of a press review of both gigs.

Setlist


Review / Press cutting

RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL

THE SISTERS OF MERCY - LEEDS UNIVERSITY / LEEDS POLYTECHNIC

ELDRITCH is playing a dangerous game coming back here. positively heroic, the victorious cry of a champion back from
Some people have never forgiven him for the things that went on the ropes.
on after the split. They're out there now, waiting for him to fall   "Thanks... for everything." No, Andy. Thank you.
on his face. And, you know what? He very nearly does.
SUNDAY
SATURDAY   If yesterday saw Eldritch coming dangerously close to losing
  If the mask of detachment that for so long shadowed Eldritch's his grip, tonight he takes no chances. He's in ferocious form,
every move has finally begun to slip, tonight it almost crashes to laying waste any suspicions that his gargantuan self-
the floor. But Eldritch has never stuck to the expected and he can                   assurance and artistic belief might be faltering. The
always be relied upon to immerse himself into the sort of performance of "Ribbons" is the most grippig few minutes of
situations which, by rights, shouldn't concern him at all. All the the whole weekend, Andy turning his flock like a scorned
dry ice and lighting technology on offer cannot conceal that messiah: "I tried to tell her about Marx and Engels, God and
here is a man walking a very public tightrope. For years now, Angels/But she looked good in ribbons!!"
he's hidden behind hats, beards, silence and sunglasses, but   The band have transformed overnight into a powerhouse of
tonight he lies harshly exposed. electric overload. Where last night's "Amphetamine Logic"
  "First And Last And Always" and "Amphetamine Logic" are sounded lame and insecure, tonight it whips itself into a
always safe bets, yet the band seem ill at ease, delivering panicked frenzy, all staring eyes, motor-beating hearts and
these pinnacles in far too robotic a fashion - the mechanised "nothing but the night to live for".
efficiency of this unproven line-up falling far short of the   Steve Sutherland's criticism of the Wembley show re: the
implosive tension of the original band. Eldritch senses trouble, drum machine, appear to have been noted. Not only are the
and yet, at his most vulnerable, pushes himself further, band militarily rehearsed but the rockier songs from the
removing his shades to reveal an Andrew (a man who always insubstantial new LP have been shelved, their sheen-like guitar
knows a good Bowie when he sees one) as the strung-out Major wank unsuitable for the thud-fizz of the Doktor's metal beat.
Tom of the "Ashes To Ashes" vid, a frail, ashen, chain-smoking, Indeed, this a far less rocky incarnation of the Sisters than
paste-eyed figure, wracked by worry and punishing doubt. expected. Andreas Bruhn, in particular, retains that stark,
&nsbp; As the drum machine false starts the intro to "Burn", European decadence of the records, and Tony James, for all
Eldritch stands metaphorically naked, the crowd responding his sins, just plays bass. No clashing egos here. Only Tim
with a cruel, excruciating chant: "Let's all laugh at Eldritch"! If Bricheno is unconvincing, displaying the same pedestrian
the first five years of the Sisters were spent creating an elaborate tendencies that gave us the dullard All About Eve.
enigma and the last five in stretching it to breaking point (the   Tonight, though, Eldritch could tear us apart if backed by the
white suit, Patricia, the adoption of Tony James and MTV rock), Portsmouth Sinfonia. He's Burton, Presley and the Devil rolled
now, surely, Eldritch has gone too far. into one, and I even caught a Humphrey Bogart impression
 Suddenly, something twitches. Eldritch hunches over the mike during "Alice". Hecklers are neatly disposed of, as are the
like some strange psyche-out of Alvin Stardust and wrenches songs - a shimmery, sensual "Body And Soul", a monolithic
out "Marian". He grins at the crowd, delivering a devastatingly "Dominion" and a storming "Vision Thing". Andy's thespian
impressionistic vocal and hanging, drained, over the mike tendencies are foremost during "Temple"; glancing at the
stand long after the song has ended. Things click quickly after crowd like a harlot giving the come on and giving an
this. "This Corrosion" (Eldritch as Robert Palmer as Bryan Ferry) admirable impression of a helpless imbecile.
crackles, the band finally looking into that dread-filled,   The shades are off again for "Jolene" ("Look, nearly human")
deadened groove that made their mentor's name. In a snatch of and the stops are out for a crushing "1969", which closes the
ironic theatre, Eldritch raises an eyebrow a la Roger Moore as weekend and a decade's worth of Sisters in a chaos of
he lashes out the "Hey, now, what is this?" refrain with mock frazzled, strobe-lit intensity.
surprise. From God knows where, the enigma returns.   As Eldritch walks away, he leaves the tingling taste buds of a
  "Gimme Shelter" is a cold, brooding eulogy, despite thousand baying for more. Another 10 years, perhaps?
Bricheno's overly matter-of-fact playing (yes, Wayne is the best   Some people are so undemanding.
guitarist the Sisters ever had) and "Temple Of Love" is DAVE SIMPSON