The B-52’s performing their Farewell Tour at The Royal Concert Hall Nottingham on Tuesday 2nd July 2019


Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

New wave and punk legends The B-52’s are touring the UK for the first time since 2013 and they stopped off at the Royal Concert Hall to celebrate over forty years of delivering their infectious dance grooves and unmistakable vocals.

To a packed Hall they presented sixteen of their most popular as well as quirkiest songs over a breezy 75 minute set. Without a new album since 2008 the show is very much a retrospective look back on their career, much to the enjoyment of the fans who were familiar with every song.

The band’s theatrical antics, zany stage personas, feverish dancing and glittering back catalogue had the crowd captivated from the off.

Transporting them back to the early 80s with their opening number Private Idaho, original members Kate Pierson sporting an outrageous scarlet wig, Cindy Wilson with her famous blond bee hive and Fred Schneider, looking as he always does, were backed by a very tight four piece band.

With everybody on their feet dancing, they were treated to a mesmerising airing of Mesopotamia, the only tune played from the David Byrne produced album of the same name, which showcased David Bowie’s final touring drummer, the excellent Sterling Campbell, and the superb bassist Tracey Wormworth, who relentlessly kept up the furious beat.

Give Me Back My Man was followed by Lava and Channel Z and after a rowdy Funplex, Schneider left the stage for the women to take the limelight on a wondrously harmonious rendition of Legal Tender, and with Wilson’s grittier vocals complimenting Pierson’s higher range just perfectly on 52 Girls, the psychedelic classic, Roam was just that, a classic.

Schneider re-joined them onstage for the rowdy Party Out Of Bounds, and with their vocals spot on, his cowbell always in tune, their giddy high notes showed no sign of cracking any time soon.

Cosmic Thing and Dance This Mess Around had the crowd dancing, and just like a line from one of the band’s hit singles ‘everybody’s moving and everybody’s grooving’, the B-52’s turned the Concert Hall into their very own Love Shack. As expected, that track closes the band’s main set and this timeless classic still sounded as good as it did back in 1989.

Beginning the encore with the ridiculously funny Planet Claire, the bizarre 6060-842 followed and finally the triumphant Rock Lobster, brought last night’s proceedings to its explosive conclusion.

The B-52’s have announced that this is their farewell tour, and with them being in their late 60s and early 70s, that decision is understandable. But on this performance they proved that age is just a number and this happy crowd who were left wanting more have their fingers crossed that they have a change of heart.