Midge Ure, Bananarama, Martin Fry (ABC) and Tony Hadley performing at The Newark Riverside Festival on Saturday 18th June 2016.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Over 5,000 people at The Newark Festival armed with chairs, blankets and not needed brollies cheered when the former Ultravox frontman, Midge Ure commenced the nights proceedings. Setting the bar very high he treated this crowd to a trip down memory lane, where they remained for the entire evening.

Opening with Hymn, he was quickly into the swing of things with the delightful Fade To Grey and the moving No Regrets. One Small Day, If I Was and Loves Greatest Adventure got this crowd going before the greatest song which never topped the charts, Vienna, resounded around this delightful riverside setting. Finishing his set with crowd favourite, Dancing With Tears In Your Eyes, there weren’t many not singing along with him.

Up next was Bananarama, one of the most successful bands in the world having sold over 30 million records. Since 1992 there have only been the two of them, but they still knew how to whip this crowd up. Cruel Summer showed what they were about, as did Nathan Jones and Shy Boy. Stock, Aitken & Waterman’s I Want You Back upped the tempo, whilst their slight technical difficulties did not stop the crowd from dancing to Love In The First Degree and set closer Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye).

Gone was the gold lamé but now more subtlety attired in an Ozwald Boateng suit, Martin Fry took to the stage. Having trekked through the rainforest ten years ago to the top of Mount Roraima with Richard Drummie (Go West) and Tony Hadley, it was not any surprise to find him on the same bill as his ‘old mucker’ Tony.

Showing that he has still got the voice and the moves, he was rapturously received by this crowd. Opening with Show Me, his set just got better and better. There were a couple of new songs from his latest album, The Lexicon Of Love II, in the form of Viva Love and Ten Below Zero, which were very well received. But it was Fry’s well-loved oldies that delighted this crowd. Favourites like Tears Are Not Enough, When Smokey Sings and The Look Of Love had this nostalgic crowd dancing and singing as though time had stood still.

Bringing a fabulous evening of nostalgic overload to a climax was Spandau Ballet frontman, Tony Hadley, who delivers exactly what it says on the tin; great music, amusing banter and a killer voice. Opening with slow number Feeling Good, he soon had the crowd on their feet with To Cut A Long Story Short and Highly Strung. But it was huge 80’s hits Gold and True that this crowd had come to hear and he did not disappoint. Too soon this enjoyable evening ended, and as this crowd made their way home, there weren’t many not singing their favourite song.