Marc Almond Guests at Chelsea Theatre

The last night of Chelsea Theatre’s SACRED season presented the electric performance duo Othon & Tomasini along with supporting act Laura Moody and a guest appearance by Marc Almond.

As Laura Moody began the night with her cello, her experimental pop style grabbed the audience’s attention: this was something different. Were we going to like this? But with her high-pitched voice, her music became mesmerising as if her initial songs had lulled us into a false state of presumed expectations. By the end of the set, Moody had successfully transfixed an entire auditorium.

Next up was Othon Mataragas as he took to a grand piano, dressed in bondage headgear. First impressions were avant-garde but his style in music was pure classical. As his fingers danced across the piano keys, the whole room was yet again spellbound. The evening took another surprising turn with the baroque performance of Ernesto Tomasini whose theatricality transported us to another time and place: 1930s cabaret.

We were also lucky enough to listen to work in progress by Othon & Tomasini because for the last few years, Tomasini has been Othon’s muse and their musical chemistry heralds pure originality. At one point during their performance, Othon accompanied Tomasini donning boxing gloves as he bashed the piano keys surprisingly successfully.

Their special guest, Marc Almond, contradicted Tomasini’s melodramatic performance. Instead, Almond was haunting. He was quiet and he pulled the audience to the edge of their seats as they hung on to each note. It was a far cry from the Soft Cell post-punk days. This time, Marc Almond was gothic.

For the last stage of the evening, Marc Almond left the performance space as Laura Moody and Tomasini returned to end what was an evening that reminded me, music can still be entertaining and original.

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