I was apprehensive when we booked this festival. I am not a massive 80’s fan. I love music in all shapes and sizes and don’t like the idea of being constricted to just one decade. My wife loves the 80’s and doesn’t seem to be able to move on from that decade.
We paid for the coach dropoff and pickup which was straightforward. We were worried, in case we couldn’t find the right place to wait. Adam Ant and lots of middle-aged women wearing “Choose Life” t-shirts gave it away. It was ace, we are both in our 40’s and felt like we were the youngest on the coach.
It was a lovely sunny day and wearing wellies was a bad idea. We only came for the day and waiting in the queue with everyone dressed in fancy dress was a laugh. I am surprised that they don’t do a best fancy dress competition.
What I found interesting was the mixture of ages from toddlers and teenagers, to grannies and granddads. A word to the wise take a fold up chair
The thing I like about festivals is getting the chance to watch bands that you wouldn’t necessarily watch. The opening act was The Undertones. I remember “Teenage Kicks” which was a cracking tune, but little else. They where great. Feargle Sharkey’s replacement Paul McLoone was bouncing around like a loon he was ace. Loads of energy and the band where tight. “Here comes the Summer”, “Jimmy Jimmy”, “My Perfect Cousin” and “Teenage Kicks” amongst others they where the dogs nuts. What a way to start a festival.
Next up was Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels. I told me missus that I wanted to watch them just for that one song alone, but again I was pleasently surprised. They played a nice mix of tunes most of them I didnt know but I will check them out. One of the ballads was really nice and chilled. “Make me smile” had the crowd dancing and singing.
The bloke out of Doctor and the Medics was the compere and done a great job. He was funny and you could tell just how much he loved his music.
We missed Big Country because we thought we would take a walk around and see the sites. We found a blow-up church with all sorts of weird and wonderful characters and people getting married. We heard Big Country in the background and they sounded good, just not one of them groups that neither of us fancied.
I was surprised by the line-up. I mean how could Howard Jones and Billy Ocean be lower down the bill than Captain Sensible and Tiffany? Strange. Still, we made our way to the front of the stage for Howard Jones. He didn’t disappoint. I was looking forward to seeing Howard and if any one act embodied the 80’s this was it. He had a keyboard guitar and rocked it. He played all the hits and had plenty of them. Nice one Howard.
Next was Billy Ocean. The man just oozes class. The hair, the suit, the songs and the voice. What a dude. I’d love to meet Billy, he comes across as being a nice bloke. His band was ace. He played a good selection of his hits and a Bob Marley cover.
We went for something to eat during Captain Sensible’s set. I have nothing against the Captain but the only song I know is “Happy Talk” which was more of a novelty hit. There was a great selection of food, but once you have a bevvy or two – curry and chips does the job. They didnt disappoint.
We parked our butts for The Fizz. Definately not my cup of tea but loads of pissed up people sung along and danced. They are harmless enough I suppose just shite.
Tiffany had one hit which she sung well enough and had a good voice well done Tiffany, she wasnt on very long.
Next was Kim Appleby who had more songs I knew and could hold a tune.
Leo Sayer was good enough I suppose, he doesnt seem to age. How does Leo do this? Is he an alien or a zombie?
Marc Almond was excellent, played a good selection of his solo stuff and Soft Cell songs. He was bouncing around like a coked up sex dwarf. Loved the imflatible pink flamingos and “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” was the bollocks.
The final act was The Jacksons. They had the longest set of the day and rightly so, and for a group where the yougest member is 61, they put some younger groups to shame. They hit all the right notes and still had the moves. They paid tributes to their brother Michael and their father Joe. Starting with “Can you feel it?” and finishing off with “Shake your body down” – playing all the oldies such as “I want you back” and “ABC” with a few Micheal songs in between. They played the best set of the day. It was a great way to finish off.
All said and done, it was a great day. Well organised and fun. Its safe to say that I have been converted and will go again next year. Who knows I might even get dressed up.