Sheffield is known as The Steel City and from it have emerged a number of innovative acts such as CABARET VOLTAIRE, THE HUMAN LEAGUE, VICE VERSA, HEAVEN 17, PULP and I MONSTER.

One young duo hoping to join that roll of honour are PROMENADE CINÉMA. Comprising of Emma Barson and Dorian Cramm, they define their busy, multi-layered electronic sound as “Cinedramatic Synthpop”.

The pair have issued their most accomplished song yet in ‘Spotlight’, a gothic synth tune that begins atmospherically in that classic Neu Europa style.

But it then mutates into a frenzied LADYTRON styled chorus held together by a charged vocal from Barson that hauntingly recalls Sarah Simmonds from the cult Nottingham cult combo FATAL CHARM, who in their time opened for ULTRAVOX as well as OMD.

Their debut single ‘A Chemical Haunting’ showcased the dense, brooding PROMENADE CINÉMA sound with Cramm’s Emo tinged vocals influenced by the dystopian aura of early JOHN FOXX. But a rework of ‘Words Of A Stranger’, a song originally recorded with their previous band BERLIN TRILOGY, captured that song’s potential by utilising Barson’s dramatic but accessible vocals over less frenetic backing.

Less can mean more and it will be interesting how their upcoming debut album ‘Living Ghosts’, due later in the year, turns out. Meanwhile, Barson recently guested with  CIRCUIT 3 on covers of ‘Bad Connection’, ‘Only You’ and ‘Winter Kills’ for the ‘All I Ever Knew’ tribute album to YAZOO’s ‘Upstairs At Eric’s’, curated by the Dublin based synthesist.

PROMENADE CINÉMA ‘Spotlight’ is available as a download single exclusively from

CIRCUIT 3 ‘All I Ever Knew’ featruing Emma Barson on three tracks is available as a CD from

Text by Chi Ming Lai
Photo by Sean Gummer Photography
23rd August 2017