One act who impressed audiences at BAS II in May was Essex based combo MODOVAR. They are a duo comprising of Glen Wisbey on synths and the suave persona of Christopher Beecham on vocals, a man with a self confessed admiration of ALISON MOYET. Who’d have thought that in the 21st Century, the former Basildon punk would become the template for a worldwide selling singer in ADELE? So it is timely that the marriage of soulful vocals to synthpop, which was first pioneered by Vince Clarke and the girl who was born Genevieve, should find itself deep in the heart of MODOVAR.
Their two most immediate numbers are the emotively rousing ‘Clearly’ which is a song of love in the first degree and a superb ERASURE meets ROXY MUSIC styled cover of ‘Same Old Scene’. ‘Clearly’ is the lead track from MODOVAR’s debut release while the aforementioned ‘Same Old Scene’ can be found on a free download ‘Covers’ EP available from their website. Also featuring YAZOO songs ‘Situation’ and ‘Midnight’, here the full power of Beecham’s Moyet-esque lilt can be experienced gratis.
MODOVAR are putting the finishing touches to an album entitled ‘The Sea Of Unspoken Words’ with Bas Productions soundman Gary Clark whose front of house credits have included DAVID SYLVIAN and YAZOO as well as BASII itself. There are many tracks to be savoured; ‘King Of Pain’, which was debuted on The Electricity Club’s audio player a while back, is a lounge drama with a vocal performance that Andy Bell would be proud of.
Despite wearing their influences on their sleeve, MODOVAR have much to offer, especially with material such as the sparsely constructed ‘This Time’ which could happily alongside many a gently pulsating classic synth ballad. Their “eclectic collection of melodic, anthemic, chorus led songs, lyrically focused on the undercurrents of love and the human condition” will appeal to those who like soul in their synthpop.
MODOVAR play a Bas Productions showcase under the banner of ‘The Box’ with STRANGERS and SINESTAR at The Railway Hotel, Clifftown Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS1 1AJ. Further details can be found at the Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/events/254144301369157
Meanwhile ‘Cleary’ will be released digitally and on CD via their website http://modovar.com. It includes Gary Clark’s ‘Dark and Dirty remix’ which has already been aired on the respective radio shows of Dave Charles and Rob Harvey at Harborough 102.3 FM and Phoenix 98 FM
Text by Chi Ming Lai
14th September 2012