16th March 2013
photo : Alex Staszko
For those of you who don’t know who Claudia Brücken is, she was the singer of weird pop act Propaganda, who were signed to ZTT records in the 80’s. Their success came in tandem with the success of Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Multiple remixes, arty record sleeves and a pop manifesto couldn’t take away from the great songs on their debut “A Secret Wish” album. Post Propaganda Claudia formed Act with classical musician Ann Dudley, then formed One Two with husband, Paul Humphreys, from OMD. One Two had some success in Europe a couple of years back with their “Instead” album and resulting tour.
Tonight’s gig is promoting “The Lost Are Found” album. There’s a large band backing her, 2 keyboard players (including Paul Humphreys), a percussionist who beautifully adds to the sound during most song by swishing a set of chimes, a guitarist and a backing singer/guitarist/second percussionist.
The set draws from all stages of her career and is synth heavy. The gig starts with a slow new called “Kiss Like Ether” which leads into a great take on One Twos “Sequentia” which is quickly followed by “Dr. Mabuse” which is the first song that brought Claudia to our attention, with the male vocal part being taken by Paul Humphreys, it sounds dark, hard and moody like its original, but equally sounds fresh today. Acts’ “Snobbery & Decay” also gets an airing early on, with its great hook, a great shame this was missed when it was released.
The newer material is a little more laid back and shows off Claudia’s voice really well, particularly ”The Road To Happiness” & “Home Tonight” which is pure hi-energy gay disco that has single written all over it in a perfect world. Another Act song, the too short “Absolutely Immune” sounds great too.
Towards the end of the set we get a dual salvo of 2 Propaganda tracks, the slow build up of “Dream Within A Dream” really touches the crowd, before “P-Machinery”, Propagandas greatest hit gets the audience moving.
The set ends on a cover of Bowies’ ””Everyone Says Hi”. Propagandas “Duel” is played as a popular encore, which just goes to show how timeless some electronic music is.
In an ideal world the music of Claudia would sell millions, but sadly in a world run by Simon Cowell, this is not to be. If you like intelligent synth pop then check out Claudia’s “The Lost Are Found” album & also the recent reissue (again) of Propagandas “A Secret Wish” album.