Worth the 26-year wait

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Erasure - North Pier Theatre

This historic venue may have bowed out of the 2011 summer season rather ignominiously but it was back with a bang on the last weekend of the Illuminations with a brace of concerts which lit up the town.

And whilst it was comedy couples Cannon and Ball and The Grumbleweeds whose shows were pulled prematurely to allow for essential backstage modernisation to take place, it was a duo of a very different kind which saw North Pier Theatre born again as a venue capable of attracting a whole new type of audience.

Twenty-six years after their first hit, the synthesiser and keyboard based duo Erasure made their Blackpool debut with a concert which has surely paved the way for a new end of the pier era.

Erasure’s audience is an oddly all age affair – part reverential, part somebody’s wedding reception where the drinks have been spiked but mostly a party which energetically camp frontman Andy Bell clearly loves and more serious instrumentalist Vince Clarke quite enjoys.

The set is a balance of material from their latest Tomorrow’s World album and the hits which are chanted back work perfect by their fans.

“It’s a real honour to be here – we’ll be back,” enthused Bell. Just don’t leave it another 26 years.