ABC with their special guests Kid Creole And The Coconuts, performing their XYZ Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Sunday 12th November 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

August Darnell must be delighted, if not bemused, by the continuing success of his cool alter-ego, Kid Creole and last night at the Royal Concert Hall he brought his band and his latest trio of long legged female Coconuts back to Nottingham, in support of Martin Fry’s ABC and managed to steal the show.

Inviting the audience to one huge salsa party, he opened with Caroline Was A Dropout, and made it difficult for you to keep your feet still. Looking resplendent in a natty purple zoot suit and his frequent changes of hat, he danced and sang as though he was a fraction of his 67 years.

With his six piece band, the party continued with the impressive Don’t Take My Coconuts which saw The Coconuts, in their Hawaiian skirts, outrageously flirting with the Kid. Stool Pigeon showcased his impressive energy whilst the slower No Fish Today let everybody know that his vocals are still on point.

Taking this appreciative crowd right to the heart of Cuba with the rousing Annie I’m Not Your Daddy before bringing the crowd to their feet in appreciation with I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby.

It was only a year ago that Martin Fry, the only original member of ABC brought their exhilarating Lexicon Of Love ll tour to the Concert Hall but last night it was a more relaxed affair than that orchestral event.

But still with his four piece string section and his other eight band members; they started off with Viva Love with its exquisite strings, before launching into a silky smooth version of When Smokey Sings, which had everyone on their feet.

Performing what was basically a greatest hits tour, their 1987 album Alphabet City was well represented with The Night You Murdered Love and King Without A Crown, whilst That Was Then But This Is Now from 1983’s Beauty Stab was powerfully performed. There was also a great rendition of the rarely performed Be Near Me, their biggest US hit.

From Lexicon Of Love II there was the delightful Singer Not The Song and The Flames Of Desire but it was the songs from the 80s Lexicon Of Love that ignited the crowd with the likes of Tears Are Not Enough and set finisher, All Of My Heart.

With an encore that included Poison Arrow and The Look Of Love, ABC left the stage to a standing ovation. But the message that any artist should take from last night’s performance is that if you don’t want to be upstaged on your own tour, then don’t invite Kid Creole and his Coconuts to your party.