Last year on my birthday I chose to celebrate in style by going to Basildon, to join my “synth” friends at the annual celebration of selected electro bands, aka “BAS”.
This event was borne out of the legacy of the town’s most famous sons; Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Erasure and is a great chance for like-minded souls to come together and celebrate the music we love. To say I had a great time was an understatement; the atmosphere was friendly, and online friends soon became friends “in real life” as we partied the night away. This was aided in no small part by an excellent line-up of Robert Marlowe, EMT, the brilliant Sinestar still basking in the glory of their then latest album “Singularis”, and the headline act which was the mighty Mesh, who are always utterly fantastic.
So with this in mind, the decision to attend again this year was a bit of a no-brainer. The familiar crowd of friends traveled from far and wide across the UK and Europe and beyond to attend this event, including Sharon from the USA! The Friday night this year had a “Depeche Mode” themed line-up consisting of Model Depose, Modovar and Speak and Spell.
It was Model Depose’s UK debut performance and by all accounts, they didn’t disappoint. They’ve been described as “not your run of the mill” electro band and they’re well worth checking out, reportedly even if you don’t like electronic music! I’ll personally look forward to tracking their progress and hearing future releases.
Modovar followed, with a Yazoo/Erasure/Alison Moyet covers set including the recent-ish single by Alison, “When I was Your Girl”. They not only brought a great atmosphere to the event, but also delivered some cracking takes on familiar old favourites. It was evident that Christopher and Glen put their heart and soul into their performance gauging the positive reaction they received by all.
Headlining the Friday night’s proceedings was Speak and Spell, who are widely acknowledged as being one of the finest Depeche Mode tribute bands in the business. They have the ability to deliver well-loved DM songs in their own style, whilst still pleasing the “Devotee” massive.
The Saturday evening’s line of Shelter, Empathy Test, Tenek and De/Vision was a good mix for any discerning electro fan. Shelter, who supported Erasure for part of their “Velvet Flame” Tour last year, were fronted by the flamboyant Mark Bebb, who’s vocal delivery of their self-penned yet Erasuresque songs, delivered electro pop perfection and they had the crowd dancing in no time!
I managed to inadvertently miss Empathy Test as I was too busy catching up with friends but reports from those who did see them, were extremely positive.
After a brief intermission, the fabulous Tenek were next up. Their set was a mix of older favourites and new unheard tracks which melded together seamlessly. The addition of Steve Clarke on drums was a notable point of difference which made the overall delivery, pure perfection. I’m looking forward to attending the album launch for the long awaited new album,”Smoke and Mirrors” in November this year.
Next up were De/Vision who rarely play in the UK and therefore were extremely well-received by the eager BAS crowd. They seemed to instantly have the enthusiastic crowd in the palm of their hands, and were a welcome headline act to the BAS line up this year.
The after-show party on the Saturday at the familiar venue of The Edge, showcased scene favourites DJ’s Dave Charles and Tracy “Electric Dreams” McKenzie who instinctively know how to please the discerning crowd. As a consequence the dance floor was filled all evening as we danced the night away. Eventually the time came for us to reluctantly say our goodbyes and we left to grab a taxi…. but that’s entirely another story! 🙂
Thanks are due to the BAS Productions Team who worked tirelessly to lay on another successful event.