ABC performing their Lexicon Of Love Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Tuesday 6th February 2024.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

The fans packed the Royal Concert Hall to capacity on Tuesday night, to energetically cheer on vocalist Martin Fry and to joyfully relive some of ABC’s best songs.

After a few inevitable line up changes, the band released their debut studio album, The Lexicon Of Love which was produced by guru Trevor Horn in June 1982 and which subsequently reached number one in the album charts and went on to sell over a million records.

Backed by the incredible thirty-eight piece Southbank Sinfonia Orchestra, conducted by The Full Monty soundtrack Oscar winning Anne Dudley the masterpiece was belted out in its entirety and when she joined the Orchestra on stage they launched into opening number Overture from the 1982 single All Of My Heart.

When this came to an end they were joined by the ABC touring musicians and the group’s only remaining original member who showcased his still pristine vocals as he delivered an unforgettable first half of the band’s later hits such as When Smokey Sings, The Night You Murdered Love and (How To Be A) Millionaire, before the likes of Viva Love, The Flames Of Desire, The Love Inside Love and Ten Below Zero from Fry’s 2016 excellent belated sequel, The Lexicon Of Love II had the crowd singing along.

Signing off the first half with the toe tapping delicate Ocean Blue and Be Near Me with its pleasant string arrangements, Fry has lost none of his ability to entertain the crowd, telling between song anecdotes and interesting commentary.

The second set opened with the strings and bass fuelled Show Me and the crowd were immediately on their feet for Poison Arrow, the song which had pioneered a new wave era of glam rock and had re-ignited dance floors across the world. Saxophonist Robert Hughes made a foray to the front for Many Happy Returns which was followed by ABC’s first single, Tears Are Not Enough.

With a suit change for Fry and a sparkly silver lame jacket for Dudley, Valentine’s Day followed before the Burt Bacharach inspired The Look Of Love predictably brought the house down. There was a heavenly performance of Date Stamp and a subtle 4 Ever 2 Gether before All Of My Heart finished the second set.

With Fry off the stage, the Southbank Sinfonia took charge of the encore by performing The Look Of Love (Part 4) before Fry and his band returned to the stage and signed off with The Look Of Love before they took their bows and gave thanks.

With the crowd on their feet in appreciation, Fry with the big lush orchestral sound of the Orchestra had delivered a set that was a reminder of when pop was unashamedly more glamorous and adventurous, whilst The Lexicon Of Love showed that the album was a powerhouse showcase of everything that ABC had accomplished.