Lets Rock : The Retro Winter Tour, SSE Hydro 11/12/2019
"A satisfying and nostalgic experience."
Lets Rock : The Retro Winter Tour, SSE Hydro 11/12/2019
Review by Craig McGee
Posted on 2019-12-16 22:03:22
After the commercially successful Lets Rock Christmas shows in 2017, a new tour was announced celebrating some of the best music and most loved acts from the 1980s, The Lets Rock Retro Winter Tour, with performances to be held at Nottingham, Glasgow and finishing in London. Nik Kershaw, Marc Almond, Tony Hadley and ABC all headlined the show with the likes of Boney M, Altered Images, Bow Wow Wow and Sonia supporting. Glasgowmusic was there to cover the Glasgow show and we were in for a big treat.
Hosting the night were Pat Sharp and Dave Benson Phillips, who introduced the audience to each band as well as shared the odd joke to keep the crowd entertained as the stage crew set up for the next act that was due to play. They were 8 bands supporting on the night, with them all being given mini sets of around 2 to 3 songs each, whereas the 4 headliners were given longer 30 minute sets each.
Dr and the Medics were the first band to play, performing their best known single "Spirit in The Sky" as well as a cover of Slades "Merry Christmas Everybody" which the sold out audience sang along to.
The next artist after Dr and The Medics was former Lotus Eaters band member Peter Coyle, with 2 of his 3 song set being covers, Crowded Houses Dont Dream Its Over and an excellent rendition of Electric Light Orchestras Mr Blue Sky before finishing off with The Lotus Eaters signature song, First Picture Of You. Coyle was definitely in the mood for the gig, constantly walking from left to right of the stage as he sang to the crowd, showing strong energy and enthusiasm throughout the short set.
Bow Wow Wow soon followed after Peter Coyle, who are particularly well known for their cover of The Strangeloves hit I Want Candy, which charted not only in the UK but also charted the US Billboard. Annabella showed similar determination and dedication to Peter Coyle as well as her spectators, singing and dancing throughout her performance.
Mark Shaw of Then Jerico came on afterwards, playing the likes of The Motive, a truly underrated song of the 80s and one of my favourites from the era personally, he then followed with Big Area, the crowd were loving every bit of it and Mark seemed gutted that he had such a short set that night, he waved goodbye to the crowd as Pat and Dave were ready to announce the next act.
After Then Jerico, Sonia was next to perform, wearing a Santa Claus dress and sang You To Me Are Everything and Youll Never Stop Me From Loving You, like the performers before, Sonia delivered energy and a fantastic small set to the jubilant crowd.
Toyah Wilcox was next in line and came on stage wearing a crown and a sparkling purple outfit, performing I Want To Be Free and Its A Mystery to the audience.
Former Altered Images singer and television actress Clare Grogan (her film career consists of portraying Susan in Gregorys Girl and Kristine Konchanski in the first season of Red Dwarf) was next to play and performed a few classics from Altered Images brief catalogue, Happy Birthday was played by Grogan (although the words were changed to Merry Christmas instead), I Could Be Happy and of course Dont Talk to Me About Love, which the crowd sang along to. A brilliant, energetic performance from Grogan which has the audience on their feet throughout her set.
A band I was personally looking forward to seeing was next in line and that was Boney M, performing Daddy Cool, Rivers of Babylon and Brown Girl in the Ring, showing off their awesome dance moves in front of the crowd, who were jumping at this point. As it was a smaller set compared to what they would be used to, their other classics such as Sunny and Marys Boy Child were left out, the latter would have fitted the bill perfectly considering it was the festive season, nonetheless another fantastic performance from the legendary band despite that minor disappointment.
A short interval soon followed and it allowed the audience to "freshen up" or order drinks and food from the food stalls and bars, around 15 minutes later Pat Sharp and Dave Benson Phillips returned to the stage to introduce the nights 4 headliners... Nik Kershaw, Marc Almond, Tony Hadley and ABC.
After another brief introduction and a series of jokes by Pat and Dave, Nik Kershaw came on stage and played his greatest hits such as The Riddle, Wouldnt it be Good and The Only and Only. He finished off with I Wont Let The Sun Go Down On Me, considering that it was a cold, dark, miserable Scottish winters night, he definitely put his point across. A great half hour set all round from the 80s singer.
Former Soft Cell frontman Marc Almond followed after Nik Kershaw, in his half hour set he played many of his Soft Cell classics as well as some material from his solo work. The crowd sang and clapped to Soft Cells greatest hit, the 1981 cover of Gloria Joness Tainted Love, another formidable display.
Tony Hadley followed Marc Almond and began his set with a cover of "White Christmas" before performing many Spandau Ballet classics with that trademark voice of his. Through The Barricades, Gold and True were all played as well as a cover of Queens Radio Ga Ga. He finished off his set with another cover of Bruce Springsteens Santa Claus is Coming To Town, saying to the jubiliant audience "You have to pretend that Im Bruce Springsteen" prior to playing the cover.
Finishing up a fantastic evening was ABC, with Martin Fry performing their wide range of hits, from Poison Arrow, All of My Heart and of course The Look of Love, delighting the spectators and rounding off a successful Retro Winter Tour.
An briliant night all around and a trip back to the 1980s, the crowd definitely went home feeling satisfied and feeling a sense of nostalgia.
A photo gallery of every act that performed on the night can be viewed by clicking the link below, all photographs courtesy of Stewart Fullerton Photography.
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