The Flashback Festival at Thoresby Estate Nottinghamshire on Saturday 2oth August 2016

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

Clive Jackson, better known as the Doctor from Doctor & The Medics and compere for the event told this crowd on the second day of The Flashback Festival at the Thoresby Estate that in 38 years of appearing at Festivals, it had never rained. Yesterday he experienced real festival weather as blustery and rainy conditions threatened to put a damper on proceedings, but thankfully this hardy crowd did not even notice.

The afternoon’s special guest, Paul Carrack came on stage early and so it was a meagre crowd that saw him and his six piece band bound onto the stage to open with Tempted. Choosing from a back catalogue of songs from his days with Ace, Squeeze, Roxy Music and Mike + The Mechanics, his unique, mellow, blusey voice showcased the likes of The Living Years, Another Cup Of Coffee, and How Long, before he brought his energetic set to a close with sing along number, Over My Shoulder.

Up next was the obligatory appearance from Doctor & The Medics who had this growing audience dancing along to the likes of You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) and Tainted Love. This eccentric band’s enthusiasm is simply infectious as the crowd were warmed up nicely with set closer, Spirit In The Sky.

In anticipation of a great evening of nostalgia, Hue & Cry, were given a warm welcome. Backed by a skilled and eager band the Kane brothers sounded lively and engaging. Getting the crowd immediately onside with opener Looking For Linda, their set included most of their hits and by the time the closer came, Labour Of Love, the crowd were positively rocking.

Nick Heyward’s set was cut short due to timing issues so there was no Fantastic Day, but what he did have time for was simply that, fantastic. There was no doubting the delight of the crowd as he treated them to Blue Hat For A Blue Day, Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl), whilst On A Sunday got a rare outing. Finishing with Love Plus One the crowd were dancing with the energetic glee that would have graced any teenage disco.

It was soon the turn of Living In A Box, with guest vocalist Kenny Thomas, who’s own songs Outstanding and Thinking About Your Love were sneaked in. But it was Blow Your House Down and the fun danceable pop tune of Living In A Box that had this crowd dancing.

No festival would be complete without an appearance from Roland Gift, former frontman with Fine Young Cannibals, whose voice definitely gets better with age as he delivered his huge hits, Suspicious Minds, Good Thing and singalong number, She Drives Me Crazy.

Leaving the stage for Bananarama, now a duo, they let Cruel Summer, Nathan Jones and Shy Boy show what they were about. Really Saying Something induced a mass singalong as did set closer Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye).

With Billy Ocean’s timeless 80’s classics and infectious dance moves, songs like Red Light Spells Danger and Caribbean Queen will never lose their appeal. Radiating the energy of a twenty year old, hits like Love Really Hurts Without You and When The Going Gets Tough, he brought this year’s Festival to a close.

What could have been a dreary, wet and thoroughly unpleasant day, turned out to be a joyous celebration of 80s music. As the Doctor once said, “The British do festivals better than any other country”. On this weekend’s showing, there won’t be any argument from this crowd.