ewind Festival is part of a conglomerate of festivals through the festival season, showcasing the best of the 80’s, bands from days gone by whose popularity was over 30 years ago. Rewind has three different festivals throughout the year, Rewind North, Rewind South and Rewind Scotland.
With an 80’s revival over the last few years, 80’s festivals have popped up all over the place, and this year is no exception, with a few new ones. Obviously, I’m not complaining as the 80’s is my favourite era of music, so today was gonna be joyous.
Saturday was a complete washout for me, torrential rain for three hours and when I did venture out on the M6 I was stuck in traffic due to an accident with a three hour delay, so much to my disgust I turned around and headed home to calm down and de-stress.
I was hoping Sunday would fare better for me, they say the sun shines on the righteous, it did on Sunday. The sun was shining, although I was still a tad angry I had missed some cracking acts on the Saturday.
I covered Rewind about 6 years ago at Henley, which was epic, such a quaint little place, so I decided to give Capesthorne Hall a crack, see how that fared on a scale of 1-10 on the old festival ratings.
Getting to the festival was easy, straight off the M6 and up a few A roads I thought, apart from the main road by Jodrell Bank had been closed, which added another 20 mins to the journey.
The 80’s were the best, riding out on your bike in the summer holidays, actually talking to your friends, no games consoles, no mobile phones, you actually made an effort to call for your mates after school, there was such thing as talking, Youth clubs were epic, Frankie Said, Duran, Spandau, Culture Club, TOTP’s on a Thursday night with the added bonus of Kenny Everett, Grange Hill, Tiswas, Vinyl, Walkman’s, Flares, Cords, it was bloody fantastic, and I guess that’s why us fifty something’s love 80’s revival gigs and festivals.
Today‘s backdrop is the wonderful Capesthorne Hall with acres and acres of plush surroundings, the hall providing an amazing backdrop for the main stage.
I seriously love 80’s festivals and I know what to expect, being a veteran of them, lots of dressing up, characters galore, the ‘Frankie Says’ t-shirts have been dusted off and the fluorescent leg warmers are out. It’s so much fun cause people are up for a party with no holds barred.
Today’s line up boasts 10 acts including Status Quo, Belinda Carlisle, Toyah, Nick Heyward, Junior Marvin’s Wailers, John Parr, Johnny Hates Jazz, The Orchestra, T’Pau and, British Electric Foundation (With special guest vocalists Jaki Graham, Glenn Gregory, Glen Matlock, Owen Paul, Claudia Brucken and Pete Hooton) to name but a few, the day runs from 14.00 hours all the way through until the finale at 10.30pm.
It’s a family day out, picnic style with dressing up, it’s just an excuse for an 80’s party, dust the cobwebs off ya 80’s gear and boogie on down. There’s always the die-hard’s down the front and the families tend to gather near the back with their picnic blankets, deckchairs and buffets. Anyone for a sarnie or a sausage roll?
Compere for the day was The Dr, from Dr & the Medics, he thrilled us with a costume change after every act.
Johnny Hates Jazz kicked off the festivities on the Sunday with a 25 minute set, including classics ‘Shattered Dreams’ and ‘Turn Back the Clock’. They were quite well received and are back to stay, especially after announcing a few UK dates later this year.
Rusty Egan, DJ Extraordinaire filled in between sets and the audience lapped it up.
Junior Marvin and his Wailer’s were up next. Unbeknownst to me Junior played with Marley from 1977 until 1981, playing guitar on such hits as ‘Jammin’ and ‘You Could Be Loved’. Again a 25 minute set full of classics, a typical reggae vibe, all chilled and relaxing, just what we needed.
The Orchestra, featuring ex members of Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), and with songs from a back catalogue of 11 studio albums from 1971 – 1986. ELO’s style always comes across to me as happy clappy music and today was no exception, people were swaying from side to side and having an absolutely spiffing time. Classics such as ‘Sweet Talkin’ Women’, ‘Do Ya’ and fan favourite ‘Mr Blue Sky’, were at home on this stage.
British Electric Foundation were the brainchild of Ex Human League/Heaven 17 member Martyn Ware, the group showcases a variety of different musical artists performing classic songs with an electronic slant.
Each special guest vocalist that featured with BEF sang their own classic with a special song of their choice. It was epic cause you got to see so many stars sing their own classic hits such as ‘Owen Pauls’ ‘My Favourite Waste of Time’, with a Simple Minds cover thrown in for good measure. Jaki Graham’s and Pete Hooton’s sets were epic, ‘Could it Be I’m Falling in Love’ and Hooton’s Farm classic ‘All Together Now’.
The finale of the set was spectacular, all the stars gathered on stage to do a tribute for icon George Michael, ‘Freedom ‘90’ and that was sensational.
John Parr, selling in excess of 10 million albums and having so many movie hits including ‘St Elmo’s Fire’ (back in ’85) and ‘Restless Heart’ (back in ’87), this guy rocked the house, he totally blew me away, shame his set was only 15 minutes long. The two best artists/bands only played short sets today, it was a crying shame as I wanted to see more.
The other band I was referring to was T’Pau, again the set was way too short for my liking and over in a jiffy, I doubt Carol Decker even warmed her vocal chords up in that short space of time. What can you do in 15 minutes? Four songs, which is what T’Pau did, including classics ‘Heart ‘n’ Soul’ and fan favourite ‘China’. Absolutely epic vocals, still today and seriously well worth the ticket price. Can I just mention here it’s 30 years in November since ‘China’ was number 1, doesn’t make you feel ancient or anything?!, And there’s a mini 30th anniversary tour in November and December, so if you like T’Pau check it out.
During the T’Pau set it decided to persist down, the heavens opened and I got seriously soaked through., the brollies came out, the rain came down, but it didn’t dampen peoples spirits. They were still dancing and having a party.
Toyah, One of the veterans on the scene, with a career spanning 38 years. With 15 top 40 singles to her name, she didn’t disappoint, with a 15 minute set including ‘It’s a Mystery’ and ‘I Want to be Free’.
The rain continued well into the early evening with Nick Heyward singing about a ‘Fantastic Day’ followed by Belinda Carlisle's warbling classic ‘Heaven is A Place on Earth’, both with 30 minute sets respectively.
Headliners tonight, were veterans Status Quo. 48 years they’ve been going and having played 6000 live shows to in excess of 25 million people, they wouldn’t be short of material to play tonight having released 43 albums in total. A 60 minute stonking set topped off with fireworks was a fitting end to the day, and the weekend.
The whole emphasis of the day, like any 80’s festival is it’s a family day out, reminiscing about 30 years ago, dressing up and allaying all your inhibitions, it’s a fun festival and well worth a punt if you’re into the 80’s.
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Rewind Festival North 2017 review