Stepback 80s came to Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena last weekend, it was heaving with a very specific demographic, namely white 30-50 somethings, some dressed up as 80’s icons Prince, Freddie and Madonna.
Katrina and Waves opened the show and got everyone going with the Eurovision smash Walking On Sunshine and Love Shine a Light.
There was such a great atmosphere for a huge venue. Each of the initial acts did 2 songs each so there was no time to get bored as they shared the amazing house band.
In quick succession we were treated to the one and only Chesney Hawkes (although not strictly 80’s),
Carol Decker from T’ Pau who got everyone’s arms going.
Paul (not so) Young who didn’t tear the playhouse down but still did 3 songs.
Go West who sang their Pretty Woman hit, King of Wishful Thinking. On the big screen they kept putting Paul Young ‘s name up, just to keep us on our toes.
Bonnie Tyler was on next, the highlight of the night for me. She was as croaky and sexy as ever. Obviously she dangerous Total of eclipse of the heart and Hero.
This was when the show seemed to lose its pace and excitement as there was a long interval for ABC to get their own band set up. Unfortunately they fell a bit flat apart from poison arrow. They got a long chance to win the crowd around with a wide selection from their back catalog but it was only Look of Love that really got them going.
The crowd were much more up for singalong to the songs in the next interval, to the likes of Yaz, The Proclaimers, Bon Jovi and Queen. During this interval a few over enthusiastic drinkers had to be carefully escorted away by St Johns.
This interval was also pretty long for the headline act, Tony Hadley, to also set up his own band. When they were finally ready it was the most dramatic entrance ever.
He belted out his songs with gusto, definitely thought everyone was there for him and everyone else was his warm up act, however I felt the night didn’t belong to him but to Bonnie and the night should have ended with her.
The tribute to Freddie was the highlight of Tony’s performance – find me somebody to love. Although the show closer, Gold, was lots of fun.
The evening was expertly compered by Heart’s Neil Roberto Williams. Personally I can’t wait for Stepback 90’s in December!
By Josie Opal
Photos by Michael Mills