Tag Archives: Heaven 17

A Flock of Seagulls at Rewind Scotland 2018

Rewind Scotland, Scone Palace, 20-22 Jul 2018

Everyone’s favourite retro festival turned ten this year, so I expected Rewind to pull out all the stops. And they did just that. Regular gig pals Sarah and Pete joined me again for a jaunt to sunny Perth, where we were astounded at the lack of both queues and exiled T In The Park bams that plagued last year’s event.

The lineup was… eclectic, but on the whole enjoyable. The Skids opened day one with an energetic pile of hits that made the hardcore fan next to us go misty-eyed. I still don’t know the lyrics to Into The Valley, but peas sure sound divine. After a small appearance from Roachford (“He had more hits than Cuddly Toy?” – Pete), Peter Hook and The Light brought a miraculously grievance-free set. Nary a mention of the bastards that owe him money as he delved into the considerable Joy Division and New Order back catalogue. Though we could’ve done without throwing the sweaty T-shirt into the crowd, Hooky.

Howard Jones at Rewind Scotland 2018We had high hopes for Howard Jones, and weren’t disappointed. HoJo has barely aged, can still rock a keytar, and was cheerful and gracious to the crowd. He was followed by small acts of varying quality. Standouts included the Weather Girls’ Martha Wash on top vocal form sneaking in her C&C Music Factory classic, an emotional set from Kim Appleby (the first since Mel died), and a youthful Tiffany making the dads a bit giddy. Odyssey, though, sent us barwards, especially when they kept forgetting lyrics to their biggest hit.

Roland Gift was, as in 2016, flawless – so much so he got the “I’ve been dragged here by my wife” guy in front up and dancing. But our whole party was baffled at the decision to put The Gipsy Kings in a prime evening slot. They’re not the most ‘Rewind’ of groups, and most people only know Bamboleo. Sarah correctly predicted they’d put it in the middle of the set and lo, the term “this set’s gone a bit Gipsy Kings” was coined. Years passed, the crowd was divided, and with a pleasant flamenco Volare cover they finally buggered off.

OMD at Rewind Scotland 2018Headliners OMD were well worth the small delay. Andy McCluskey’s jovial banter and dad dancing have greatly improved since I saw him at Latitude years ago (“He throws shapes unknown to geometry” – Pete). The Joan of Arc duo was a treat, as was “the new stuff… from 1991”. “You Scottish folk usually sing ‘Testicles’ to this,” Andy declared, launching into Tesla Girls. I’ve never seen a more joyful audience. Beg, steal or borrow tickets to an OMD gig – you won’t regret it.

Sunday began with Hue and Cry. Once they got going they weren’t too shabby, but the spectre of Pat Kane’s newspaper column lingered in an ill-advised new song featuring the bassist rapping about indyref. Reader, I cringed. Fortunately, The Selecter eased our pain with some superb afternoon skanking just like last year’s gig.

The Selecter at Rewind Scotland 2018The afternoon sagged somewhat. Boomtown Rats irritated right from the start, with an overblown, arrogant intro complete with gunfire (!) and Geldof ranting about politics, Geldofsplaining who Janey Godley was to people acutely aware of her “Trump Is A C*nt” sign. The misery continued with a ‘short’ set from UB40 that was unbearable even from a distance. “UB40 are inexplicably popular, but then so was Mussolini,” declared Sarah as they launched into a shambolic Red Red Wine. Imagination’s Leeeeeee John was a smooth, funky palate cleanser, before a pitchy, unsteady Wendy James from Transvision Vamp ruined everything again.

A mullet-less Flock of Seagulls saved the evening shift, paving the way nicely for cheery partners-in-synth Heaven 17. They pretty much replicated their Let’s Rock set, which was no bad thing. Likewise, Midge Ure was as excellent as ever. By the time the big headliners appeared, green room drink had clearly been imbibed. Bonnie Tyler had no filter whatsoever (“I have Botox twice a year, like sex”), sang some more obscure hits (including the other Jim Steinman one), but Holding Out For A Hero and Total Eclipse got everyone back on side. Props to the gran in front of us who started breakdancing to Holding Out – gaun yersel’.

We were sceptical about Status Quo’s prime slot – without Rick, it wouldn’t be the same. How wrong we were. In a touching gesture, a third mic stand was left out for their missing member, and like many acts the unknown songs still got a warm reception. Francis Rossi also had no filter, rambling about ’80s cocaine-fuelled fun and how political correctness has ruined talking about lady bits. Baffling. Still, the fans left happy, as did we.

So, another decent Rewind. All the same, I’d go easy on the extended world music section next time.

Now That’s What I Call Music

Now, That's What I Call Music

Back in the early 1980s, compilation albums were a rum lot. Labels such as K-Tel and Ronco would churn out monstrosities with titles like 20 Super Amazing Hits which would have tracks faded out early and pressed really quietly to … read more

Let’s Rock Scotland – Steve’s festival diary

Let's Rock Scotland

“Are we on the right bus?” A question, seemingly genuine, from one of a gaggle of people attempting to board an already crowded vehicle while struggling with a picnic so vast the local Co-Op must have had to close early. … read more

Let’s Rock Scotland: Dalkeith Country Park, 23 June 2018

Billy Ocean at Let's Rock Scotland

Since Rewind is brilliant, I couldn’t resist giving another retro festival a go, especially with such a stellar lineup as Let’s Rock. Joining me in this new adventure was regular festival buddy Sarah, long-suffering husband Pete, and new gig pal … read more

Virtual C90: May 2018

Virtual C90: May 2018

This month’s virtual mixtape includes new music from Tony Hadley, James, Swing Out Sister, Half Man Half Biscuit, Sparks, The Alarm and Johnny Marr, plus new takes on old faves by The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen, as well … read more

Virtual C90: March 2018

Virtual C90: March 2018

This month’s virtual mixtape brings you new music from Kim Wilde, Kylie, Tracey Thorn, Judas Priest, Sade, UB40, David Byrne, Erasure and Mel & Kim! Plus the usual mix of ’80s hits, misses and mixes. Give it a listen on … read more

Off The Chart: 9 September 1983

Off The Chart: 9 September 1983

All the way back to 1983 on this week’s Off The Chart as Steve and Julian bring you some forgotten hits, a look at the day’s events, a track from the week’s Canadian chart, three tracks from a featured album … read more

Rewind Scotland, Scone Palace, 22-23 July 2017

Human League at Rewind Scotland 2017

It’s Saturday afternoon. A man in a neon T-shirt is offering me and my pal a water pouch full of rum, while Mark King slaps at his bass in the background. I get a strange feeling of déjà vu, and … read more

Off The Chart: 8 April 1981

Off The Chart: 8 April 1981

All the way back to 1981 on this week’s Off The Chart as Steve and Julian play some of the less famous records in the week’s singles chart, three tracks from the album of the week and the top five … read more

Off The Chart: 4 February 1987

Off The Chart: 4 February 1987

This week on Off The Chart we go back thirty years to a time when everything wasn’t quite so relentlessly awful. Steve and Julian play some of the week’s forgotten hit singles, three tracks from a featured album and the … read more

Off The Chart: 5 November 1982

Off The Chart: 5 November 1982

Here we go again on our own, bringing you the UK singles chart from this week in 1982! Steve and Julian play some lesser-known hits from Kim Wilde, Bad Manners, Rush, Squeeze and Heaven 17, plus three tracks from the … read more

Virtual C90 – October 2016

Virtual C90 - October 2016

Loads of new music this month from Madness, Pet Shop Boys, The Pretenders, Shakin’ Stevens, Bon Jovi, Deacon Blue, The Wedding Present, Pixies, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Marillion, Peter Gabriel and The Beat featuring Ranking Roger! Plus the … read more