Music review: 80’s electro duo Synthanasia live at The Apothecary Tap, Banbury

Steve Miller reviews 80’s electro duo Synthanasia at The Apothecary Tap in Banbury on Friday November 4.
Steve Miller reviews Synthanasia at The Apothecary Tap Banbury on Friday November 4.Steve Miller reviews Synthanasia at The Apothecary Tap Banbury on Friday November 4.
Steve Miller reviews Synthanasia at The Apothecary Tap Banbury on Friday November 4.

One of Banbury’s hidden gems of a music (and comedy) venue ‘The Apothecary Tap’ in Butchers Row played host on Friday November 4 to 80’s electro duo Synthanasia.

Concentrating mainly on classics from the period 1980-1985 and encompassing most of the bigger hits of that genre and age, the talented brace delivered heartfelt and passionate interpretations received gratefully by the diverse amalgamate present.

Early highlights included OMD’s Enola Gay, Ultravox‘s mighty Vienna, and Yazoo’s punchy Don’t Go.The visuals work, he with Pet Shop Boys style apparel, she with mildly gothic Moyet-esque poise and approach.The generous hour long plus first set culminated with Soft Cell’s flamboyant and gut wrenching Say Hello Wave Goodbye (Messrs Almond and Ball would have approved and applauded). It left quite an appetite for more.

Refreshed artistes and audience headed with anticipation into the second set.Into proceedings, and the ridiculously catchy Erasure anthem A little Respect is executed with pomp and ceremony befitting the original’s manner and purpose.Dead or Alive’s bombastic You Spin Me Round was followed by Depeche Mode’s era defining Just Cant Get Enough. Two real highlights of the whole show.

Songs that appear and sound easy to reproduce on banks of keyboard Synths, are actually very tricky to do well, Jon handles that duty with musical dexterity and with much aplomb.Following naturally in sync are appropriately matched gentle or more powered vocals by Michela.Her voice highlighted and ideally suited to Kim Wilde’s Kids in America which featured (It was almost identical in fact, perfect of course for tribute acts).FGTH‘s Relax pounded the room to close set two and lead to a well deserved encore.The Killers, Abba , and Human League standards with Oakey and Moroder’s Electric Dreams finished the evenings fine performance.

A technically brave and difficult musical area to attempt , so peaked caps doffed to Synthanasia.Early days for them, although they will (in the words of Hue and Cry) go from strength to strength.

So then in summation, be you a New Romantic (or slightly older one) the agenda was fun, and Boy George it was.

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