Monday, 22 June 2015

Let's Rock Leeds, Temple Newsam, Saturday 20 June 2015

Went to Let's Rock Leeds at Temple Newsam this weekend with our good friends J and L where we had a great time transporting ourselves back to the 80s (well, most of the time).

First up on the bill (the event started prompt at midday) was Cheryl, Mike and Jay (formerly of Bucks Fizz) who had, believe it or not, over 20 hits including My Camera Never Lies, Land of Make Believe and the song that started it all at the Eurovision Song Contest 1981, Making Your Mind Up.  Yes they did perform the hits and yes, they did remove the skirts

Bucks Fizz taking their bow and don't worry, the man did eventually sit down.

Next up was Sam Fox, who performed Touch Me and Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me) along with some cover versions.

Sam Fox, still in the leather and boots, rocking out.

Odyssey were up next (pictured above) who were vocally just as good as when they were out and they treated the crowd to hits such as Use It Up and Wear it Out, Native New Yorker, Going Back to my Roots and Inside Out.

Then came 2-tone band The Beat who were joined on stage by Ranking Roger's son Ranking Junior who energetically performed songs in a fast set which included Hand's Off She's Mine, Too Nice to Talk To and Mirror in the Bathroom.

Heaven 17 (pictured below) followed (our friend L's favourite of the day) whose set included We Don't Need That (Fascist Groove Thang) and the smash hit single Temptation.

Jive Bunny (my husband's favourite act of the day) reenergised the audience (there were far too long a gap in between each performance and even the 'hosts' Dave Benson Phillips - who needed better patter - and Pat Sharp did not make them feel less lengthy) and I think (and quite a lot of people on Twitter also) that Jive Bunny would have been better utilised as a filler act for the gaps in between performances as their set kept the momentum going and this could have been interspersed along with the crowd 'karaoke.'

Sonia was up next who interspersed her hits with some cover-versions and a crowd 'happy birthday' sing-a-long to her 5 year-old girl Gracie.

Then came Betty Boo (she of the Doing the Do fame) who also sang Where Are You Baby.  She still has a good voice but she definitely needs more stage presence.

Sadly, this is when my phone decided to die of a low battery, which was a shame as the best acts were still to come.

T'Pau were next and unfortunately lead singer Carol Decker set the crowd against her somewhat when she started off by saying she had brought the sun with her in her boot as she had 'heard it was grim up North.'  Although she asked the audience not to 'hate her on tweeters', I suspect she will have been unsuccessful.  The set did include the classics Heart and Soul, Sex Talk and China in Your Hand.

My joint favourites were up next, Five Star (believe it or not) who I am happy to report still had the energy to do the choreographed dance routines and lead singer Deniece still has an amazing voice.  They sang all the hits including System Addict, Rain or Shine, The Slightest Touch, Can't Wait Another Minute and Stay Out of My Life.

Then came my other joint favourite, Midge Ure.  What a legend, he treated the crowd to a fabulous set including If I Was, Love's Great Adventure, Dancing with Tears in my Eyes and the classic Vienna.

Go West followed, who did quite a number of covers (which would not be too bad had they been from the 80s, but they were not), but did bang out Call Me, Don't Look Down, We Close our Eyes and The King of Wishful Thinking.

Crowd favourite Rick Astley was the penultimate act.  Rick still has a great voice and really knows how to work a crowd (for some ladies rather too well as he collected a number of bras during his set).  Again, he did some covers that were not from the 80s, including Uptown Funk and Black and Gold (which he forgot the words to).

The last act was Tom Bailey or The Thompson Twins' who sadly was very subdued and does not have a very good voice any more.  Maybe half the audience already knew this, as they left before he came on stage (the crowd was estimated at 10k) and we had to agree, we left after the third song (along with many others) You Take Me Up and Love on Your Side being two songs that I would have preferred to remember how they originally sounded.

It was a fantastic day which could not be spoiled by the inclement English weather, though next year I may have to wait for the tickets to be offered up on Groupon closer to the time rather than paying full price ahead of time (the tickets on Groupon were less than half price and may not have included the extortionate £8 per person booking fee).


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