It was a mixed bag of people filling up the main space of Camden’s Roundhouse when goth-rockers The Sisters of Mercy played their first show of a three-date residency on Friday, September 10.
The band draws all kinds of people, be they older fans that have followed the group since their 1980s roots or the younger generation with an appreciation for the classics. No matter what side of the spectrum the crowd found themselves on, they were collectively abuzz with quiet excitement for the evening ahead.
There was a large curtain draped over the stage and, therefore, an air of mystery for what the seasoned group had up their sleeves. When it finally dropped, it revealed several mirrors hung above the band, giving the audience an added perspective that was like no other. Kicking off with recent effort, ‘But Genevieve,’ The Sisters of Mercy were immediate in their seduction of their onlookers, proving that the passage of time has made no difference to the spectacle they put on.
Andrew Eldritch remains the only founding member of the band, joined by guitarists Ben Christo (who joined in 2006) and Dylan Smith, who is a recent addition. Doktor Avalanche (who is a computer) also appears, along with Ravey Davey (the “nurse to the Doktor”.) Regardless of this fact, the band can emulate a lot of what made the original lineup so successful. The group’s combined stage presence had the audience hooked, jumping, dancing, and cheering along—quite a feat for a band whose fans are traditionally on the more melancholy side.
The set flowed on, with ‘Ribbons’ from the band’s 1990 album Vision Thing and ‘Crash And Burn,’ a staple in their live sets for the past twenty years. Most if not all of these songs are tried and tested, so it came as no surprise that the audience’s attention didn’t once waver. Further in, fan favourites made an appearance; ‘Dominion/Mother Russia’ was met with delight, as was their 1985 smash ‘Marian.’
The Sisters of Mercy treated fans to not one but two encores—the first of which finished with one of the band’s most famous tracks, ‘Lucretia My Reflection.’ They then exited the stage, with Eldritch thanking the audience, but it wasn’t long before the group reappeared again to play three more songs. ‘More,’ ‘Temple of Love,’ and ‘This Corrosion’ served to electrify the audience once more.
The crowd’s dedication did not go unnoticed, and it should come as no surprise that there were fans who planned to go to all three dates of the residency. The Sisters of Mercy have an adoring fanbase built up over the course of their existence, and it’s no surprise when their live set is so carefully designed and solidly executed.