Pop go the 80’s

Kim Wilde may be better-known today for her green-fingered touch, but she joined a host of stars at the Telewest Arena to help relive the 80s. Age may be creeping up on all of us, but that did not stop thousands of pop fans singing along to TV’s latest gardening expert and her collection of hits.
Kim Wilde almost stole the show again for the second year running, despite fighting a stinking cold. It would have been her night, had it not been for a certain Human League at the end.

Although the numbers of fans were down on last year, those who did turn up, and there were at least a couple of thousand, were treated to a terrific night of stepping back in musical time. But it was most definitely a show of two halves. First up were Steve Strange (Visage) and The Belle Stars, but fans were still turning up at to a relatively empty venue.
It was Clare Grogan who really got the show going, jumping out of a huge birthday cake to the strains of Altered Images’ biggest hit, Happy Birthday.
Former top duo Dollar then treated fans to a string of hits and some tongue-in-cheek Eighties-style choreography. They’ve aged well, David van Day and Thereze Bazar, and they raced through the likes of Shooting Star, Love’s Got a Hold on Me, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Give Me Back My Heart, O l’Amour and their biggest smash Mirror Mirror (Mon Amour).
But the best was left for the second half of the gig. Five Star were a revelation. OK, they’re only “Three Star” now, but Denise, Lorraine and Stedman Pearson showed why they were once heralded as the British Jackson Five. Perfect harmonies and some top tunes got the crowd begging for more as top-10 smashes like System Addict, Can’t Wait Another Minute, Rain or Shine, Stay Out of My Life and The Slightest Touch finally had just about everyone up on their feet.
Kim Wilde, boasting platinum blonde locks again and looking better than ever, was next up. The audience wasted no time in helping her along, as she fought to hold on to some notes because of her cold. Joined by brother Ricky on stage, the tempo increased two-fold from the opening bars of Chequered Love, through to You Came and a handful of others hits and up until the closing bars of Kids In America, by which time the whole audience was singing every word too.
Up until then, the same backing musicians had been used for each act – but The Human League were having none of that. As you would expect, their set was stylish and visual, the stage draped in white, and with their own musicians, Susanne, Phil and Joanne brought the house down with a note-perfect performance.
Memories are made of this, and everyone went home with huge smiles on their faces – no doubt preparing to dig the vinyl out after all these years.
And it beats a gardeners’ convention any day.