GO WEST WITH NIK KERSHAW
AND SPECIAL GUESTS T' PAU
26th November Alban Arena, St Albans
With 37 top 75 hits between them Go West, Nik Kerhsaw and T'Pau were some of the most popular artists during the 80s and make a awesome triple bill. The team behind the successful Solid Silver 60s show have transferred their winning formula of the musical package tour to an 80s hit parade and it's a winning formula. In nearly three hours of music the show sees the acts play through their hits and even a few cover versions.
Special guest Carol Decker from T'Pau started our 80s flashback with style. Her distinctive vocals are just as we all remember them 28 years ago and the songs China In You Hand, Valentine and Heart and Soul stood the test of time. Carol also takes an opportunity to sing
two songs from T'Pau's latest album Pleasure and Pain, the electro pop ballad Read My Mind and Misbelieving, a song just as catchy as any of the songs from the 80s thanks to Carol working with creative partner Ron Rogers once more. Although she only played a short set it certainly revved up the audience who were basking in the glory of those memorable songs from the decade.
Go West and Nik Kershaw commenced their headlining shot with an excellent cover of Tears For Fears Everybody Wants To Rule The World, you never thought youd be hearing that did you? Go West then continue with Faithful and Call Me. Peter Cox may have changed visually from a lithe Smash Hits dreamboat to more of a Bruce Willis hunk, but the ladies obviously still adore him. His vocals maintain that effortless feel that we came to love from their debut album.
Nik Kershaw was one of the most original and perhaps underrated songwriters of the decade. Not only can he turn out a best selling pop classic like The One and Only made famous by Chesney Hawkes, but also more complex musical tracks like Don Quixote which encompass Kershaw's jazz background. In actual fact this is a great evening to demonstrate what consummate songwriters and performers both acts are.
Although Nik may be largely remembered for his three biggest hits, hearing some of his other work like Dancing Girls and When a Heart Beats only reinforces his abilities as a writer and was no doubt a chance for the audience to hear some of his other hits that sadly fail to get airplay these days.
The two acts also take the opportunity to cover one of each others songs, Go West performing Nobody Knows from the Radio Musicola album and Nik giving a faithful rendition of Missing Persons from Go West's self titled debut. The fact that both Nik and Peter have high tenor voices enables them to cover each others songs and sing together with comparative ease. An excellent cover of Sam Sparro's Black and Gold is another perfect vocal choice for Peter as is another modern track by Birdy entitled Wings. Birdy's high female vocals are again easily transferred to both Nik and Peter a magnificent version demonstrating their versatility.
Of course they wouldn't be able to leave without performing their best known tracks. A teasing extended drum into leads into The Riddle at which point the crowd goes nuts! King Of Wishful Thinking, Wouldn't It Be Good (performed with Go West) We Close Our Eyes a cover Sex On Fire, by Kings Of Leon, a version so good that it could have been recorded originally by the band. Nik's most well known song I won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me brings the house down in a satisfying and euphoric end to the night. A hats off also has to go to Go West's fantastic band featuring Deeral (guitar) Phil G (drums) Lyndon J Connah (keys) and Vinzenz Benjamin (bass).
Looking around at the audience, these package events are not just a chance for people to relive their teenage years, they are also a chance for the youngsters to hear the original artists perform their work, which is why these shows are so important. Packed with classic songs and some top notch performances there really was something on the bill to please fans of any age.