Katrina (from The Waves), Chesney Hawkes, Carol Decker, Paul Young, Go West, Bonnie Tyler, ABC and Tony Hadley performing Stepback! 80’s Concert at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Saturday 27th October 2018.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

If you were dressed in an iridescent coloured tutu or wearing a shaggy long haired wig last night, then you were most certainly off to the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham to take a trip down memory lane and belt out the words to some of the best songs to come out of the 80’s.

With eight artists taking to the stage there was something for everyone. When compare Roberto from Heart FM came onto the stage to announce that first up would be Katrina (from The Waves), the crowd gave her a hearty welcome. With time for just two songs she opened with Love Shine A Light which showcased her powerful voice and with Walking On Sunshine she had warmed the crowd up nicely.

Up next was Chesney Hawkes who doesn’t seem to have aged a day with his beaming smile and cheeky banter who sang I’m A Man Not A Boy and the unforgettable The One And Only which was not strictly an 80’s song having been released in 1991, but cannot be left off any Chesney Hawkes set list. Leaving the stage to the wonderful Carol Decker who treated the crowd to Heart And Soul and had them waving their arms in the air to the delightful China In Your Hands, she showed that her voice is still as good now as it was when this power ballad was launched into the charts in 1987.

Time has been less kind to Paul Young who’s voice appears not to have stood the test of time, but he was still good fun as Tear Your Playhouse Down saw him running across the stage and Wherever I Lay My Hat took this crowd straight back in time. Finishing his short set with Come Back And Stay, Young showed that he can still entertain as he left the crowd wanting more.

Go West are always a must have group on any 80’s line up and last night they did not disappoint. With his belting voice Peter Cox entertained with the likes of Call Me, We Close Our Eyes and had everyone singing along to King Of Wishful Thinking. Finishing the first half was Bonnie Tyler who could be forgiven for shouting her way through her three song set which included the lovely Total Eclipse Of The Heart and the forceful Holding Out For A Hero.

With a short interval which saw the crowd dancing along to other 80’s records, it was clear that they had been transported back to their disco days. And when the wonderful saxophone start to When Smokey Sings was heard there was no doubting that ABC had taken to the stage. With Martin Fry sounding just as good as when they released their debut album Lexicon Of Love in 1982, he took the whole evening up a notch.

With the likes of All Of My Heart, Tears Are Not Enough, 2016’s Viva Love and set finisher The Look Of Love (Part 1) ABC could have stayed on the stage all night but they had to pass it over to former Spandau Ballet front man, Tony Hadley.

Whilst getting the stage ready, more 80’s music was played as the Arena was transformed in to one huge party. Songs such as Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and The Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) defied anyone not to dance and sing along to the words but order was restored when Hadley began his set with Take Back Everything and went on to deliver a polished performance that he is known for. Songs such as To Cut A Long Story Short, Instinction and Through The Barricades showcased his wonderful voice but for must do songs, True and Gold, the audience gave Hadley a run for his money in the singing stakes.

Later this year on the same stage will be Stepback! 90’s and on last night’s showing the artists will have big boots to fill. It was a fun filled evening of singing and dancing that had everybody wanting more; proving that like red wine some songs will always improve with age.