day two of 80's Rewind has its moments of brilliance

80s Rewind Festival review

published: Tue 1st Sep 2009

around the festival site (2)

Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August 2009
Temple Island Meadows, near Henley On Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 3DB, England MAP
adult weekend with camping £95, children (under 12) £47.50
daily capacity: 20000
last updated: Fri 6th Feb 2009

I woke early on day two of the Rewind Festival because the sun was absolutely streaming through the window from some ungodly hour. It was another day of almost unbearable heat, but at least there was a breeze in the air. I smothered myself in sun cream (sorry but I'm a redheaded delicate flower) and headed off to the Festival site once again. The first act wasn't on until 2pm so I had plenty of time to make the most of fantastic, upmarket shopping in Henley, and some of the decadent bars and restaurants that line the banks of the river.

around the festival site (2)
I still found it hard to believe that you weren't allowed to even take a bottle of water beyond the entrance gates – surely that's just profiteering isn't it? After all if the circa 20,000 festival goers each bought just one small bottle of water at £2 a time that's a huge amount of profit! Still time to get off of my soapbox and focus on today's acts! I found it quite hard though as although I was treated quite shoddily yesterday, it was the turn of the eFestivals photographer on Sunday. You can go here, you can't go there anymore. You can stay in the pit for one song, no two songs, no half a song. We must escort you to the pit, oh no we can't be bothered. It just went on and on. In the end you just had to take whatever they threw at you and go with the flow, no matter how ruffled your feathers were.

First act on was Chas, minus Dave, who's mother sadly died and meant he couldn’t be there. He plonked his way (on his keyboard) through their hits like 'Run Rabbit Run' and 'Super Loopy', although I couldn't help but feel that he wished he wasn't there. Perhaps Chas just isn't anything without Dave! I stayed under the welcome shade of a parasol for god darn awful The Blockheads and Phill Jupitus. Jupitus was supposedly taking the place of Ian Drury, but I suspect he was turning in his grave at his out of tune, out of time renditions of classics like 'What A Waste' and 'Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick'. If I'd had ear plugs at the time I would have put them in!

Thank God for The Christians, that's all I can say! I didn't really recognise any of the songs but frontman Garry Christian can sing beautifully and his soulful 'Harvest For The World' was met with rapturous applause from the up until now subdued crowd.

Nik Kershaw
Nik Kershaw soon woke everyone up. As soon as the intro to 'Don Quixote' began, the fans clapped their hands above their heads. They didn't stop for 'The Riddle', and 'Wouldn't It Be Good' either. They even really lapped up his version of Chesney Hawkes' hit 'I Am The One And Only', which he wrote. Of course he had to end with 'I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me', just as the sun was setting beyond the fields of the festival, people were dancing in their droves and the alcohol was flowing freely.

Midge Ure was simply breathtaking. He showcased his obvious talent for writing memorable, classic tunes by giving faultless performances of 'Fade To Grey' (which he wrote and Visage made famous), 'Vienna' that saw the whole audience clapping in time to the music and singing every word. 'Dancing With Tears In My Eyes' had to be the best song of the fantastic set. I wanted more even though I didn't like Midge Ure in the 80's.

Carol Decker
Another act that followed soon after Midge Ure was Carol Decker from T'pau. Now this really had me sitting up in my seat with expectation, after all 'China In Your Hand' was the first single that I ever bought! She came on in skin tight black leggings (whether they were PVC or leather I'm not quite sure but she would have definitely have needed talc to get those bad boys on), impossibly high boots and an off the shoulder black top. Her trademark flame red hair may have to be dyed nowadays (oops perhaps I shouldn't have said that) but there's no doubt that this woman can still sing. 'Sex Talk', 'China In Your Hand', 'Heart And Soul' and 'Valentine' were all fantastic live versions. I loved the strength and individuality of her voice when I was 13 and still loved it now. The audience did too, much to the delight of Decker, who was holding back from being herself as ½ of her children's classmates were in the audience!

I was on such a high by this point that I was absolutely dumfounded when Paul Young hit the stage. Memories of my Mum playing his tracks again and again flooded back when he hit the stage but my heart sank when I realised that Young can't sing a note. He fumbled his way through famous hits like 'I'm Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down' and 'Every Time You Go Away'. The crowd kept on urging him on with sorrowful cheers and whoops but it seems like Young has had his day. He should have given up whilst the going was good.

Go West
I just had time to catch Go West before I had to hit the road (my day job was calling and the night was drawing in). Thank God that's all I can say as they were the best act of the day for me. The whole of Rewind Festival loved 'Don't Look Down', 'Faithful' and 'King of Wishful Thinking'. They finished their short but brilliant set with 'We Close Our Eyes', which everyone went bonkers for.

As I wound my way back to my car I could hear other acts like ABC, Sister Sledge, and Gloria Gaynor strutting their stuff. Shame that I didn't get to see them in the flesh but I was all 80'd out by then anyway. I couldn't help but surmise that if they had stuck to one day and the great acts that could sing, hold a note and entertain the crowd, the Rewind Festival would have been truly amazing. I had to sit through lots of rubbish to see moments of brilliance!

around the festival site (1)
review by: Tricia Owen-Williams

photos by: Michelle Owen-Williams

Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd August 2009
Temple Island Meadows, near Henley On Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 3DB, England MAP
adult weekend with camping £95, children (under 12) £47.50
daily capacity: 20000
last updated: Fri 6th Feb 2009


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