REVIEW: Icons of the 80s at Portsmouth Guildhall

Go West
Go West
Crowds at Lily Fest 2017. Picture: David Anscombe

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Icons of the 80s
Portsmouth Guildhall

Wang Chung were late replacements for Cutting Crew.

As stand-in icons, they excelled themselves; with tight musicianship and soaring, Dave-Gilmour-style guitars, their cover of Cutting Crew’s ‘Died In Your Arms’ set the bar high.

Go West and Nik Kershaw then shared the limelight.

In the 80s, their hits were earnest and clean-cut, so to see them cut loose with these songs in 2018, rocking them up, was refreshing.

Kershaw’s songwriting prowess was evident, not only through ‘Don Quixote’, ‘The Riddle’ and ‘I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’, but he served up ‘The One And Only’, which he penned for Chesney Hawkes, to considerable whooping.

Go West’s Peter Cox still has the howl, the growl and the heft of the glory days of ‘King Of Wishful Thinking’ from the soundtrack to Pretty Woman. ‘Call Me’ and ‘We Close Our Eyes’ tested his vocal range. He very much rose to the challenge.

Nostalgic gigs are easy to sneer at, that is until you attend one.

At that point, you realise that apart from ditching the bouffant hairdo and the ski jackets, you haven’t really changed in thirty-odd years.

The acts are genuinely better than they used to be too.

Some people say that nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

I say they need a kick up the Eighties.

JON KEAN