The Sisters of Mercy, The Red Box, Fri 13th June.
The descent of hundreds of black clad gothic types on Dublins Red Box
must have freaked out many of that part of the citys raving regulars.
The scene was set, the atmosphere was electric and then the band came out
and played. Did they start with one of the old faves, like Temple of
Love or Dominion?
Fuck no, they started with a 15 minute version of Pink Floyds Comfortably
Numb. Blackened eyebrows were raised. When that finally finished the
power-chords started to crash. Very noisy, very gothic, but what fucking
song was it. The vocals started, deep, distorted and almost completely
indecipherable. Someone said later that it was Ribbons. No such luck
with the second song, that remains unidentified.
When the songs were identifiable, they were disappointing, Under the Gun
and Temple of Love with no backing vocals, Dominion with no sax and a
version of Blood Money, a very old B-side. Playing obscure songs is
usually something to do when people get tired of hearing the same old
songs, but this crowd wanted to hear the classics.
Why was the gig so bad? The first problem was the band, there was none.
Mister Eldritch, two guitarists and a drum machine is not a band. Was a
bass player or some backing vocalists too much to ask for? Combined with
a dreadful mix, the Sisters sounded no different from a thousand other
bad power-chord goth bands.
The stage show was pathetic, the lights were positioned behind the band
so that all the crowd could see were silhouettes. This may be very
atmospheric, but only if the music matches the atmosphere, which it didn't.
There are three possible explanations for the dreadfulness of this gig:
1. Andrew Eldritch has completely lost it, 2. Andrew Eldritch is a
greedy bastard who only played the gig to pay for another Merc and
couldnt give a shit about giving people value for money, or 3. that
blonde bloke on stage hiding in the shadows was not Mister Eldritch at
all, but some evil and untalented bastard. If so, the real Thin White
Puke should sue.
Make up your own mind.
by Donnacha DeLong