Date: 9 October 2016
Originally published in: Leipziger Volkszeitung (Germany)
Sound names in the Arena Leipzig: On Friday, the cult night at the Arena Leipzig, Middle of the Road, Smokie, Pussycat, Alphaville, Bernie Paul and Kim Wilde. An evening with lots of playback, two embarrassing performances, cool Dutchmen and a wonderful Kim Wilde.
There are moments in this “cult night” from Friday night, in which one can not decide whether it is tragic, funny or simply beautiful, what happens on the stage of the Arena Leipzig: Representatives of pop culture from the 70s and 80s offer the estimated 3000 visitors between some empty seats the songs, for which they are still loved today. It is probably the gesture that decides on tragedy or comedy. Bernie Paul, for example, drifts unnecessarily into the ridiculous as a penultimate act of a four-hour trip into the past. After composing his hits “Oh No No” and “Lucky” as well as Peter Kent’s “It’s A Real Good Feeling”, he forces the people “Weil i di mog” and a wild poppy of songs with which the Career of Bavaria has nothing to do with composition or singing. La Bionda is commonly only used as a satirical obituary for the 80s.
The spectacle begins refreshingly with the Evergreens of Middle Of The Road around the only remaining founding member Ian C. McCredie. The visit of Toni Willé with her daughter and second backing vocalist, who not only revives Pussycat “(Mississippi”), but also brings the audience into the best of moods by charmingly casual announcements. Because it does not matter much that the music comes from a backing tape and behind the ladies the stage for Alphaville is prepared.
Marian Gold, voice of the band who sang “Big in Japan”, splits the emotions: In principle nice to hear the old things from the author. Tragically, the 62-year-old nearly succeeds in every sound, without ever losing any of his self-confidence.
Annoying amateurishly, as the presenter leads through the evening. Pussycat says goodbye to the MDR-Radiomann as a middle-of-the-road, tapping home-baked speeches, leaving the spectators to the voltage drop between the short conversions, instead of interviewing the people who have just appeared or telling something about their careers.
You might think it was a sad night, especially since Terry Uttley (65) is the only remaining original Smokie, and with his white mat looks like a melancholic old Indian, who wants to be satisfied with his calmness before the Wigwam. Nevertheless, with Mike Craft (vocal double Chris Norman for over 20 years) Smokie lift the mood high – and Uttley obviously has fun.
Ultimately, the “cult night” is above all a harmonious indulgence in the soundtracks to childhood and youth, to trace a faded feeling of life. This is especially true in the final: Kim Wilde (56) sings her fantastic hits with a full crystal voice. “Cambodia”, “Chequered Love”, “Kids in America” and much more. The animating end of an evening, whose beauty is taken home. A certain tragedy, it remains in the hall.