Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Marc & The Mambas - Black Heart

Marc Almond (Marc & The Mambas) performing Black Heart live. This may be one of my favorite songs that Marc has ever written. It speaks volumes to me. I was fortunate to have seen him perform live during the late 90s at a place called The Bowery Ballroom. As he performed this song I have to admit I got very emotional.

Did he notice?

I think so. While performing the song Say Hello, Wave Goodbye, Marc decided to come off the stage and walk into the crowd. He stood right in front of me and he gave me the opportunity to give him a big hug. Twice. Then he made his way back up the stage ignoring all other grabbers and huggers.

A moment I won't forget and at a time when I needed a hug so much, there couldn't have been a better person to do it with.

Marc recorded two double albums with the Mambas right after Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. The insanity of fame caught up with him and because he was so young and inexperienced with such fame, could not handle it. These two double albums, Untitled and Torment & Torreros explain much of what he was going through. I remember one reviewer wrote for Torment that the album should have come with a razor blade to slash you wrists to. I know, a bit much, but you can feel it in a number of the songs how unhappy he was with the whole experience of being a pop star. He was also becoming addicted to a number of drugs. Imagine being high all the time and being the person Marc was with all the themes he was presenting, all the life of a seedy person living in an underworld of pain, sorrow and desperation - doing numerous TV show appearances in America performing Tainted Love. It just doesn't fit.

Both albunms have a certain feel to it. That being they're not so overly produced. He incorporates only accoustic instruments and very little keyboards. A complete departrue from Soft Cell.

It was during these two albums Marc introduced us to the world of Jacques Brel. Untitled contained the song If You Go Away while Torment included The Bulls. Also a cover version of The Velvet Underground's Caroline Says.

On this dreary and rainy day, this songs fits right in with the mood.


Jack said...

That's so cool that he hugged you! I don't know that song. I think Kept Boy is my favorite. It's so dramatic.

xolondon said...

I love some of those Brel songs (wait is that it?) that he did later. The one about the "finger in every cunt..try"

steve said...

Cool story V--that beats an autograph even. He's a very talented guy and I like the steady drum machine beat and keys in this song. I read a story once where he and Jim Thurwell (Foetus) were performing in some group together for some rowdy redneck audience who were heckling them. Apparantly, at one point, he an Jim and some other members of the band jumped into the audience and proceeded to beat the snot out of some of the folks ion the crowd. Imagine little Marc kicking redneck ass (or so the story went)? So I guess he's a pretty confrontational performer who gets up close and personal.

V said...

Hi Jack - I figured maybe "Jacky" would be your favorite! :)

Xo, Yeah Jacky was a popular one."Cute in a supid ass way"

Hey Steve, I'm glad you listened. Marc did an EP with Foetus which turned out to be some real interesting stuff. I don't remember reading that story, though I do have Marc's book here with me. The Bowery Ballroom is a very small place so it was a very intimate performance.

Jörg said...

too bad, the video is no longer available...