report & pictures Paul Jackson
WARRINGTON was transported back in time to the age of the 80’s with fans and aficionados of the era descending on the Parr Hall for a fantastic night of music and dance at a Loving the 80s gig.
Headlined by the iconic Toyah Willcox there was something for most tastes as the acts rolled on through the night.
DJ Caz Matthews of FAB Radio fame spun the discs and got the crowd into the party mood. Tommy Mack was his inimitable self, hosting the show and going through many costume changes. He was joined by stylist Chris Griff.
In the first of their two performances Electro80’s kicked off proceedings by paying tribute to this era, with a lovingly recreated live show that transported everyone back to dawn of New Wave and beyond. They revisited some of the classic moments from the early eighties belting out songs from bands like Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Gary Numan, Duran Duran, Ultravox, Devo, Soft Cell and The Human League. The Robot dancer was superb.
Next came LaLa Shockette with her multi-media cabaret show. Tracing the steps of the early 80s New Romantic pop star, LaLa Shockette from her humble, Welsh dairy farm beginnings to Top of the Pops, appearances at Wembley & iconic stardom. Beautifully sung songs by artists as diverse as John Cale, David Bowie, Kate Bush & Gary Numan- with anecdotes, some very tall stories & all ‘backed up’ with back projected original photographs & live video footage.
Then it was the turn of Jennie Bellestar to roll out the hits and back the years with her unforgettable and all too catchy hits, Iko Iko, the Clapping Song and Sign of the times. Resplendent in scarlet the diminutive songstress filled the stage with her presence and had the whole hall up on their feet.
Following came the chart topping trio, Tight Fit. The original line-up reformed in 2010 to address the requests they were receiving for performances and now sing live up and down the UK and in Europe. They belted out a wide range of hits from the Eighties including their own chart successes Fantasy Island and the Lion Sleeps Tonight on which they were joined on stage by a dancing lion. The crowd were again all up dancing throughout the set. Denise Waterman of the band was a former resident of Warrington and so it was a welcome homecoming for her.
Ending the show with a fabulous finale was Toyah Willcox, the actress, presenter and singing star. Wowing the crowd and turning back the clock with her new look, energy and superb show she went through a frenzied set of classic eighties numbers including all of her own hits like Thunder in the Mountains, I want to be free, Brave new world and of course the unforgettable It’s a mystery.
As a grand finale to the night Toyah invited onstage the whole cast from the evenings entertainment and in a touching tribute to George Michael they danced and sang along to Wham’s hit Club Tropicana.