I was playing drums for a band called Delta fronted by a skinny teenaged Francissca Peters who lived a few doors away from me in Ipoh. We like to think back to that wonderful time when we were aged between 16 and 25 and were free of all responsibilities. I feel very privileged to be associated with such a fantastic era.
It was a time before the corporations, the conglomerates and the globalization of music began. Almost all the artistes in the 80s were very individualistic. They designed their own images, bought their own synthesizers, played around with the sounds, experimented and did their own thing all from the heart.
This is why I jumped at the chance to attend the concert at Genting’s Arena of Stars. The tour has already been staged in
For the Malaysian show, five international acts took the audience down memory lane with their string of hit songs. The tour featured the following amazing artists playing their greatest hits.
Kicking off the show was Limahl, 50, best known for his song Never Ending StoryToo Shy and Only For Love. which was the theme song for the fairytale movie of the same name. The former frontman of Kajagoogoo teamed his charming good looks with his soulful voice to enjoy a successful solo career after leaving the group, with hits like
In 1991, Limahl got back into the music business, not as a singer, but as a producer songwriter and arranger for other artistes such as Kim Wilde, Peter André (who had a big hit with Mysterious Girl) and the like. His real name is Christopher Hamill (his stage name is an anagram of his surname).
After the first song Limahl’s vocals were drowned out by the band, evidence that the soundman was on a different planet from the rest of us.
JOHNNY HATES JAZZ
Johnny Hates Jazz is an English pop band formed in 1986 by Clark Datchler, 44, (vocals, piano), Calvin Hayes, 47 (keyboards), and Mike Nocito, 45 (bass).
Clark Datchler left in 1988 and was replaced by The Cure’s bass guitarist, Phil Thornalley, 47.
In 1992, the band was involved in a serious car accident which left Hayes in a body cast for over a year. The band lost momentum and eventually split. In September 2007 Hayes announced that he and Mike Nocito, with a new vocalist, Danny Saxon, would be reforming the band.
Their classic pop hits include the top 5 hit Shattered Dreams, Different Seasons, I Don't Want To Be A Hero, Heart Of Gold and Turn Back The Clock (which featured Kim Wilde on backing vocals), their album of the same name went to No. 1 and went double platinum in the
Being one of their hardcore fans, I found their performance heartbreakingly dismal, with Saxon sounding like an amateur karaoke singer, compounded by the inefficient soundman. Images of Simon Cowell and his scathing remarks kept running through my head.
Paul Anthony Young, 50, most recently seen on The Asian Food Channel’s Hell’s Kitchen, has a genuinely soulful voice and hits that have spanned the decades. This former singer and bass player with the Q-Tips returns for this tour after appearing on the very first one in 2001 to great critical acclaim. Paul sang a selection of his hits from Come Back And Stay, Love Of The Common People, Senza Una Donna, Tear Your Playhouse Down to 'Every time You Go Away.
The voice may be a little throaty now but ever the showman, he was very energetic, dancing all over the stage and even coming down to dance a slow number with a lucky gal from the audience.
Paul was featured on the recording and video for the Band-Aid project, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Band-Aid's proceeds went directly to famine relief in
John Howard Jones, 53, made his debut performance on
In 1984, he released a single called Like To Get To Know You Well, which he dedicated to the original spirit of the Olympic Games. Although it was not an official Olympic anthem for the Games in
Howard sang hits such as What Is Love, Things Can Only Get Better, New SongPearl In The Shell. Corny as it was, him reading “Selamat datang keGenting nama saya Howard Jones” in Bahasa endeared him as much as his stage antics and vocals. and
This band was one of the first in the music industry to promote “girl power” in the ’80s and are listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as
This sassy duo (Siobhan Fahey left in 1988 after getting married to Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and formed Shakespear's Sister with Marcella Detroit) comprises of original members Sara Elizabeth Dallin, 47, and Keren Jane Woodward, 47, took to the stage for their first Here & Now tour. They belted out Cruel Summer, Robert De Niro's Waiting, Venus, Love In The First Degree, Nathan Jones and Na Na Hey Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.
Their hard rocking, slick choreography and hunky male backing dancers certainly helped the show to reach its peak, leaving us wanting more.
Bananarama also featured on the Band Aid hit single 'Do They Know It's Christmas? as well as a cover of 'Help' with French & Saunders for Comic Relief. Keren lives with ex-Wham star Andrew Ridgely.