Rubbing shoulders with The Mission and Sisters Of Mercy in their native Leeds during the early 80s, Salvation were a familiar draw at live shows during that decade and recorded two albums at the time - '1987's 'Diamonds Are Forever', and 1990's 'Sass' which appeared on Miles Copeland's IRS label. Splitting shortly after the release of 'Sass', the band lay in hibernation until 2017 when original vocalist Daniel Mass and longstanding guitarist Ben Farvak pulled together a new line-up (Paul Lavender - Guitar, Nic Bate - Bass and Stuart Owen - Drums) to play some shows and they've been with us ever since, treading the boards and playing their hooky, melodic version of goth and post-punk.
'We Gave You Diamonds...Live At De Casino' was recorded at a show in Sint-Nicklas, Belgium in March 2020 on a final date of a short tour supporting The Mission, shortly before the world stopped for a while. It is a fabulous sounding record with all facets of the band sounding crystal clear, Mass in fine voice, the excellent guitar work of Farvak and Lavender to the fore, expertly bolstered by the rock-steady and twisting rhythms of Bate and Owen. The eleven song set is drawn from their 80s and 90s releases but the band's nimble, brisk playing belies the fact that these are songs from 30 - 35 years ago and the enthusiasm the band shows gives the impression that these are songs fresh off the pen. All eleven tracks have much to commend them but if I had to pick some favourites they would be set opener 'The Answer' with the first of many catchy, chanted choruses, 'Payola' with its mournful opening lick leading into a pulsing verse and soaring choruses, and the bouncy, almost poppy 'Puppet Master'.
Salvation play six dates in April, May and June - including one for us East Anglicans at the Norwich Waterfront on June 21st - supporting The Mission, but on the strength of this great live album they are a band that could easily be the main act at their own shows, and everybody who remembers them from the 80s would do well to pay them a visit if they play at a venue near you. Just don't expect a night of 'gothic nostalgia' as on this showing Salvation remain as vital as they did back in the day!