Flashback To The 80’s at Clumber Park featuring Doctor & The Medics, Katrina, Midge Ure, Go West, Jimmy Somerville, ABC, Kim Wilde and Billy Ocean on Saturday 16th August 2014

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Tonight over 8000 party goers made their way to Clumber Park for a trip down memory lane to watch eight artists perform at Flashback To The 80’s. This second night saw many iridescently clad ‘boppers’ armed with cases of beer under their arms, cheer with delight as the proceedings were opened by Doctor & The Medics, and a rousing You Spin Me Right Round (the bands new single), which set the bar for the rest of the evening.

With the Doctor once again acting as MC for the entire proceedings, the excellent music was interjected with humour and really good fun. He really is an amusing chap and splendidly filled the gaps between artists with jokes and the requisite festival information. He also made any diva proud with his costume changes, although his Union Jack coat was a firm crowd favourite.

Next up was Katrina (of Katrina & The Waves) who was making her first appearance at Clumber Park. Enthusing about the really lovely setting she questioned why she had not been asked before. Her set was vibrant; opening with Rock ‘n’ Roll Girl, she followed up with a lively version of Ike and Tina Turner’s River Deep, Mountain High. But it was the tried and tested numbers that got the loudest cheer as she didn’t disappoint us with Love Shine A Light and Walking On Sunshine.

Midge Ure followed, showing that you do not need a huge set and production to show your talent and quality. And he has an abundance of both. Opening with Loves Great Adventure, followed by Fade To Grey and If I Was, it was Vienna that had the whole crowd singing along, arms aloft and forgiving him for his voice not being as it was back in the day. But he was sheer class as he closed his set with Dancing With Tears In My Eyes.

With an unexpected appearance from the Jive Bunny, the fun continued with the stalwarts of the music festival scene; Go West. Peter Cox’s voice is still great even if he did have to strain on a couple of the higher notes. Theirs is definitely a set that gets your feet tapping as the old favourites, Don’t Look Down, Call Me and We Close Our Eyes were belted out. Sex On Fire was brilliant if a little out of place since it was not a song from the 80’s but it seems to have rapidly become a signature song for this duo. Whilst the voice may not be as it was, for this crowd, they could do no wrong as they finished with The King Of Wishful Thinking.

Next up was Jimmy Somerville. Now sporting a beard, time really does seem to have stood still for him. He still has that cheeky smile and wiggle of the hips. His falsetto singing voice didn’t falter once as he delivered his disco anthems, opening with You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real). Immediately this crowd had abandoned their fold up seats, discarded opened cans of drink, to just have a really good dance. Whilst never missing a beat, Never Can Say Goodbye and To Love Somebody quickly followed. Finishing his set with Don’t Leave Me This Way, he reinforced his accolade as being the best at getting people up and on their feet dancing. For me, whenever I see this little bundle of sheer talent, I am always left wondering why he never headlines these type of Festivals. The crowd should always be left wanting more and Jimmy Somerville has perfected that better than any other.

The proceedings were then given some class with the dapper looking Martin Fry. There is no doubt that his voice has lost none of its edge as his old classics Poison Arrow and The Look Of Love were delivered pitch perfect. On stage with his very talented backing band was a gold plated Lambretta, which he explained belonged to one of his band members. That scooter was as classy as his act as he perfectly delivered All Of My Heart and the mass sing-along; When Smokey Sings. If I am honest, Jimmy Somerville had brought the crowd to fever pitch, and it has to be said that Martin Fry brought it down a little, but with his brass section and his slickness, this British new wave band does still have it all.

Whilst a hard act to follow, Kim Wilde did a great job. Also a Clumber Park newbie, she showed this crowd that she deserved to be there. Poised halfway between sparkly housewife and a more down to earth celebrity, tonight she was miles away from her stop start career as a manufactured starlet. Opening with Kids In America it was clear that she was here to entertain. She delivered a fantastic cover of Alice Cooper’s Poison and her version of Erasure’s A Little Respect wasn’t half bad, but with over 12 studio albums to her name, finishing with You Came brought her set to a great close.

With the rain and the unfriendly wind, the headline tonight was saved for Billy Ocean. He kept us all waiting for a while, but neither the rain nor the wind dampened this crowd’s enthusiasm for an old time favourite of the 80’s. Resplendent in a red suit he took to the stage to deliver Love Really Hurts Without You, When The Going Gets Tough, and Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car. For the final showdown, Red Light Spells Danger and Caribbean Queen were amongst the numbers which had this crowd shouting for more.

Tonight I saw a monkey, a Viking warrior and so many Madonna look a like’s, it was impossible to keep count. Despite the weather, everyone was determined to have a good time. That of course would not have been possible if it were not for the steely efforts of the stewards who looked after this revelling crowd admirably. I witnessed Police Officers (real ones) dancing to the music and mixing with the crowd; being as patient as they could possibly be. A whole load of people put in the work to make this event such a success, including the Forestry Commission who supplied such a beautiful setting, and Andy at andy@steamingkettlepr, who worked tirelessly to ensure that we all knew that this was going to be a night of fun. He did not disappoint.

In truth, my only criticism of the night was that the sound at the back was really not that good. Perhaps the organisers could look into this in readiness for next year’s event. But a great night was had by all nevertheless. But what this Festival does bring together, is people who have all joined to revel in the greatness that is 80’s music. I’m booking my ticket for next year already!

To read what Clive, the Doctor had to say to Kevin Cooper when he caught up with him, go to https://www.ukmusicreviews.co.uk/interviews/interview-clive-jackson-doctor-the-medics/