SOFT CELL DIVE INTO OCEAN

The duo appear on the opening night of new London venue Ocean...

Legendary ’80s electro-pop duo SOFT CELL played their first gig for 17 years last night (March 15) – and proclaimed it felt “fantastic”.

The duo played their long-awaited reunion show at the launch of new

London venue Ocean.

Marc Almond and Dave

Ball arrived onstage in a flurry of dry ice, after being introduced by Suggs, the Hackney venue’s “official ambassador” .

The Madness frontman has championed the five-year, £17 million transformation of this early 20th-century Methodist hall, into a sleek, state-of-the-art music venue. Numerous shows already booking at Ocean include MTV’s Five Night Stand, which includes gigs from Stereophonics and Spooks.

“I’d like to say I’m the first person performing on this stage, but I’m not,” Suggs joked. In fact, that honour didn’t even go to Soft Cell, but the duo’s specially chosen support act, Add N To (X), who performed typically offbeat electronica.

But Soft Cell’s set formed the night’s flamboyant focus, with a newly peroxided Marc Almond gyrating through classic hits including ‘Bedsitter’, ‘Torch Song’ and, of course, ‘Tainted Love’, which merged into a synth-fuelled cover version of The Supremes’ ‘Where Did Our Love Go?’.

Marc and Dave revealed two new compositions, too – albeit ones which sound distinctly ’80s-flavoured: a pumping number, ‘Divided Soul’, and a ballad called ‘Last Chance’, although a release date for this new material is uncertain.

Marc explained: “We thought we’d continue in a typical Soft Cell vein, and nobody knows what the fuck’s going on.”