Also-rans of 80s pop relive glory

Date
Published in
Manchester Evening News (UK)
Written by
Sarah Hughes

You can teIl that it's nearly Christmas when all the bands and singers you thought you'd forgotten come crawling out of the woodwork. And these days it's not just the hoary old Slade or Hot Chocolate revivals. A new century has dawned and with it bas come the reinvention of the BOs.
So it was that last night hundreds of people were able to dust down their dealyboppers, pull on their legwarmers and bop to songs from a time when they were young, free and single and the world seemed alright.
In footballing terms the performers at the M.E.N Arena initially seemed like a First Division line-up of 80s superstars. There was Kim Wilde rather than Madonna, Paul Young and not George Michael, Go West rather than Duran Duran and Heaven 17 not ABC. Yet, every now and then, a Nationwide performer can make it in the Premier League. And so, surprisingly, it proved last night.
Nick Heywood turned out to have a nice line in banter while Go West possessed an almost shocking amount of top 10 hits. Then Heaven 17, briefly threatened to steal the show with a hi-energy version of Temptation.
After the break a thousand thirtysomething girls had their hearts broken when Ben from Curiosity Killed The Cat whipped off his hat to reveal he was now bald.
By now though it was time for the big two, Kim Wilde, taking a break from gardening to perform live for the flrst time in ten years, was the highlight, shaking her still pert leather backside and culminating in a crowd sing-along to Kids in America.
Then, Paul Young crooned the night to an end and just about carried it off despite his now worryingly close resemblance to Gary Glitter. Yes, it was cheesy. Yes, it was the sort of music that these days is more suited to karaoke bars.
But surprisingly, it was also very good fun. So perhaps there's something in this nostalgia thing after all.