❉ The Leeds goth/post-punk band’s live album is an 11-track ball of hot energy, writes Ange Chan.
Salvation are a post-punk/goth band from Leeds with a long band heritage. They were formed in the hay day of the original ’80s goth era in 1983 and released their first 12” via Mercyful Release, the label which brought us goth heavyweights Sisters of Mercy. Supported financially and practically by Sisters of Mercy lead singer Andrew Eldritch, Salvation’s first release, Girlsoul EP was born. The Sisters’ connection guaranteed healthy sales and soon the band and Eldritch were back behind the mixing desk; this time at Stockport’s famous Strawberry Studios, in all its 48 channels and all the latest technology glory! It was the break they needed and they didn’t look back.
Salvation went on to dominate the Indie Top 10 charts alongside their peers. In 1990 they signed to American label IRS and released their album Sass which was re-issued in June 2020 with five additional bonus tracks. More recently, they’ve additionally been touring with The Mission in the UK, taking in Brighton, Cardiff, Newcastle, a homecoming gig at Leeds, Frome and the culmination of which was on 21 June in Norwich.
During the final few days of pre-pandemic normality, Salvation played as special guests of The Mission on a tour Europe, taking in France and Belgium. Recorded Live at De Casino, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium on 7th March 2020, on the final night of a four-date tour, was their first ever performance for the recording of their live album We Gave You Diamonds…Live at the Casino via the Timeslip label. It’s a 11-track ball of hot energy that only a live event can bring.
Kicking off with The Answer their goth credentials are apparent immediately, with heavy guitars (Benoit Farva, Paul Lavender), a rhythmic drum beat (Stuart Owen), Bass (Nic Bate) and strong vocals courtesy of lead singer Daniel Mass
The next track Ladefaithe is a romantic rock construct whereas (Clearing out the) Debris is a classic goth rock track that you can get your groove on to. “Are you lookin’ forward to The Mission?” he asks the crowd in the broadest Yorkshire accent, “cos we are!” before launching into Puppet Master to an appreciative crowd and encouraging us to turn to page 306 of Wayne Hussey’s book.
The Shining is introduced by way of reminiscing about their ‘Manchester days’ from back in the day. They would’ve fitted right in at Jilly’s Rock Club on Oxford Road. The opening bars of Pearl Necklace are reminiscent of Bauhaus’ Spirit, before it launches in an unmistakeable Salvation-direction. After Payola and All And More we reach the last song all too soon, and Why Lie? kicks in sounding like a delightful cross between The Alarm and their tour buddies, The Mission.
If you’re into alternative goth rock then this might be your Salvation. Check them out on Bandcamp, Facebook or the social media platform of choice.
❉ ‘Recorded Live at De Casino on March 7th 2020, ‘We Gave You Diamonds... Live at De Casino!’ (Timeslip Records TSCD05) by Salvation was released November 12, 2021. Available as Compact Disc (CD) and Digital Album for Streaming + Download. Digital Album includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more: https://salvation4.bandcamp.com/album/we-gave-you-diamonds-live-at-de-casino-tscd05
❉ A lifelong lover of music and prominent contributor to Me and the Starman (now available by Cult Ink on Amazon), Ange Chan is a Freelance Writer, having produced two novels and six volumes of poetry.
Header image: Photo by Neil Chapman