Soft Cell to reunite for last ever show

Marc Almond and Dave Ball will bow out at the O2, London, this September

Soft Cell have announced that they will reunite for one final show. Marc Almond and Dave Ball will perform at the O2 in London on 30 September, their first UK concert in 15 years.

Almond commented: “With Soft Cell I always felt something was unfinished. This last ever final show will be the best ever ending. It will be a real statement and sendoff, and thank you to every fan.”

The show is billed as Say Hello, Wave Goodbye in tribute to one of the band’s best known songs. It was the third single from the duo’s 1981 debut album, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret, acknowledged as a touchstone of the British synth-pop scene that would define the 1980s.

Say Hello, Wave Goodbye video

Unlike their more coy peers, however, Almond and Ball were credited with – and disparaged for – introducing sleaze into the mainstream, singing about pornography, S&M and nihilism several years before acts such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood would bring similar matters into the Top 40. These themes reflected the band’s own lifestyle: after the release of their debut, they entered a period of dissolution, and managed two more albums before splitting in 1984.

Following the breakup, Almond pursued a successful solo career, while Ball worked mostly as a producer. The pair remained in touch, and reunited for the first time for a 2001 tour and a new album, 2002’s Cruelty Without Beauty.

Soft Cell’s announcement follows a recent wave of venerable musicians announcing their retirement from performing. Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Aretha Franklin, Slayer and Anita Baker will all give their final concerts this year.

Tickets for Soft Cell’s final show at the O2, London, are on sale from 23 February.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Soft Cell: Say Hello, Wave Goodbye review – uh oh, tainted doc
This film about the unlikely pop stars’ big reunion had no Bros-style drama at all. Where was Marc Almond the flamboyant showman we adored in the 80s?

Jack Seale

01, Mar, 2019 @10:00 PM

Article image
Soft Cell review – a swansong full of sex, noise and darkness
Performing their final concert, Marc Almond and Dave Ball get thousands of people screaming lyrics about sexual degradation

Alexis Petridis

01, Oct, 2018 @11:18 AM

Article image
Elton John live review – Rocket Man reaches the stars on last ever trip
With an incredible band, a Taron Egerton duet and Aretha-style gospel fervour – plus an about-turn on Brexit – Elton’s farewell tour is wonderfully over the top

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

10, Jun, 2019 @10:21 AM

Article image
Soft Cell – 10 of the best
In the last of this series, we look back at Soft Cell’s bleak but beautiful synthpop – from their run of Top 3 hits to their disintegration amid drug use and nervous breakdown

Jude Clarke

20, Sep, 2017 @1:39 PM

Article image
Suede review – more stellar than ever in a tremendous primal celebration
Brooding menace and quasi-paganism replace urban sleaze as a feral Brett Anderson gives it his all in a staggering performance

Ian Gittins

14, Oct, 2018 @10:51 AM

Article image
Bowie collaborators to take tribute show around the world in January
Past members of David Bowie’s various band incarnations will play ‘Bowie music Bowie style’ in London, New York, LA, Sydney and Tokyo

Guardian music

08, Dec, 2016 @9:04 AM

Article image
Christina Aguilera review – bondage and burlesque in badass variety show
Genuinely jaw-dropping, Aguilera’s vocals are so powerful that she cuts through the glittering gladiatorial chaos

Katie Hawthorne

08, Nov, 2019 @11:30 AM

Article image
Cher review – fabulous show turns back time and turns up camp
With mechanical elephants, afro wigs and Elvis costumes, the glitz is dialled to Vegas proportions – and Cher is in superb voice throughout

Alexis Petridis

21, Oct, 2019 @11:56 AM

Article image
All I want for Christmas is normality: festive hits chart earlier than ever
Sales and streams of Christmas classics are up by 50% on last year as listeners turn to Mariah, Wham! and Shakin’ Stevens to combat pandemic blues

Laura Snapes

18, Nov, 2020 @5:17 PM

Article image
James Newman: My Last Breath – UK Eurovision 2020 entry is serviceably bland
With his unremarkable blend of Lewis Capaldi, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay, Newman is unlikely to trouble North Macedonia on the leaderboard

Alexis Petridis

27, Feb, 2020 @10:13 AM