Back to the ’80s as retro craze hots up

Five massive retro concerts will be staged in Australia in November, featuring some of the biggest music artists of the 1980s. International acts including Human League, Kim Wilde, Paul Young, Belinda Carlisle and Go West have signed up for the national tour, which will visit capital cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Australian bands including Mondo Rock and 1927 have also been signed for the music festivals, which are expected to make a lucrative dent on the touring circuit. The 80s Here & Now tour began three years ago in Britain, and after sell-out festivals in the UK and Europe, the retro juggernaut is headed for Australia.
“I’ve been surprised at how successful it is,” Wilde told Sunday Metro last week. “The response from the audiences [in the UK and Europe] has been so warm it’s almost better than when I was in my heyday. It was worth waiting for.”
The Here & Now festivals will be staged in a similar way to the Rumba! pop festivals, where headline artists sing only three or four of their major hits.
“It’s about performing the biggest hits, and it’s tailor-made for the territory we’re going to. So it will be the songs which were the most popular in Australia,” Wilde said.
The singer, who had her biggest hit with Kids In America, said most of the 1980s material had stood the test of time and friendships between the performing artists were better than ever.
“I think the songs are strong and the lyrics are strong, and they carry through even now,” Wilde said. “Plus I think there was more rivalry between all of us in the early days. Now we’re all mellowed out and sharing photographs of our children, and basically taking the piss out of ourselves. But we do take things seriously when we’re on stage, and we’re proud to represent the best of a certain era.”
The 80s Here & Now tour will be staged at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on November 17. Tickets go on sale on Friday, August 8.