Sisters of Mercy @ Roundhouse, Camden

13th November 2011
Review by Viki Walden

An unusual set up with no support, some might consider the 2 hours of popular cult movie clips before the main act egotistical, few bands can get away with this, but Sisters are undoubtedly legendary and the crowds of people crawling out of the dark for this intimate gig truly expresses the longevity of the band’s popularity.Sisters of Mercy GigThis year sees the 30th anniversary of ‘Sisters’ and the set-list didn’t disappoint, after the industrial building was filled with smoke, Eldritch and co took to the stage and performed a non-stop trail of classic hits, from the brooding, haunting melodics of Something Fast to the grinding guitars of Vision Thing, this was a journey through the ‘Greatest Hits’ of Sisters of Mercy.

Having not released anything since 1993 (A Slight Case of Overbombing compilation), they are still able to inspire an army of fans to join together in a harmonious ritual of appreciation; screaming out every lyric in unison; dancing on shoulders; creating an atmosphere that only dedicated fans can, and illustrating the sheer dominance Sisters of Mercy still have over the Gothic Rock scene- an inspiration to many, yet never truly matched.

 

Despite this, the modern-line up emphasises more than ever Eldritch’s determination that Sisters were never ‘Gothic’, but always a Rock band with Ben Christo bringing a new focus on guitar riffs, updating the older classics with a rockier, grittier edge. For Sisters traditionalists, the harsher guitar sound and Christo taking Patrica’s Temple of Love vocals may seem alien and a betrayal to the Sisters essence… however Sisters of Mercy have never had one pure sound, they have always taken themselves in different directions, despite having no releases for 18 years they are still adapting their live sound, making even the most classic of Sisters tracks seem new and refreshed.

Ending with Temple of Love both in the main set and reprising it for the encore animated the entire venue, creating a euphoric end to the performance- Sisters are not gone yet, and I imagine they are still going to be reminding us of their esteemed place in the alternative music scene for many years to come.

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