Review – Here & Now Tour, Wembley Arena

(Paul Young, Kim Wilde, Curiosity killed the Cat, Nick Heyward, Heaven 17, Go West and T’pau)

Paul Young, this is your life! Michael Aspel and his ‘little red book’ concluded the show at Wembley Arena. It was appropriate because Paul, Kim, Nick, Glenn et al – YOU were OUR life 20 years ago.

“We’re here to make you feel old”, said Paul to probably the most polite crowd Wembley has seen in months. When Here & Now said it was starting at 7.30 pm, it meant it. By the time many 80s veterans had shuffled into their seats, Carol Decker had been & gone taking T’pau’s greatest hits with her.
I’m hoping they made it in time for Haircut 100’s Nick Heyward. Forget the jumper-in-jeans look, Nick was suave with floppy hair and specs.
But he still holds his guitar about three inches from his chin and his delivery of Love Plus One and Fantastic Day was fresh as a daisy.
Nick ignored one woman’s plea to “get ’em off” and the masses remained seated nodding along to the tunes before breaking into rapturous applause.
Then Go West bounced on stage – and the audience bounced to their feet. Singer Peter Cox’s jigging was infectious. He wiggled around like a man with ants in his pants.
His hair had disappeared and Don’t Look Down sounded like Van Halen’s Jump, but Go West rocked Wembley Arena.
After tantalising the audience with a few lines from Temptation, Heaven 17 burst into a junglist take on (We Don’t Need This) Fascist Groove Thang. When Glenn Gregory bid his farewells without Temptation, thousands of hearts sunk.
Instead we got the re-mix courtesy of the backing vocalists. Man, those women could sing. Then Glenn was back – wearing devil ears and whipping everyone into a frenzy with the original.
Ben unpronouncable-surname opened the second half with four of Curiosity’s finest. He was swaggering like a man half his age – and he looked it until he whipped off his skiing hat. Ben may have no hair, but he glided through Misfit and Down To Earth with personality. Wembley was returned to Youth Club Disco, 1987.
Leather-clad Kim Wilde took us back ever further and refuelled thousands of male fantasises when she strutted on stage to ‘Chequered Love.’ Kim was looking trim and her amazing voice was in tiptop condition. But her between songs repartee set my cringe-ometer racing when she urged the audience ‘to sing along with kimmy’.
Her set was exhausting and i think she was flagging when she hit ‘Kids in America,’ but everyone was mesmerised.
There was no fear of Paul Young running out of steam. The man bounced across the stage, twirling his microphone like a majorette’s baton!
The audience tried to match his distinctive vocals (and failed) as he treated us to extra-long versions of his greatest hits.
Then Aspel was there and Paul said a swear word(!).
The children of the 80s went crazy and I went home happy safe in the knowledge that I was nowhere near the oldest person at the gig, for once…