As 2018 looms as The Year Of The Eighties Music Renaissance it was a great decision for London’s Rock The Park promoter Brad Jones to target one night of his four-evening festival as an Eighties Renaissance Night.
So Thursday July 13th saw a lineup which featured, Cyndi Lauper, Poison lead vocalist Bret Michaels, Howard Jones, A Flock Of Seagulls, and Mr Mister’s Richard Paige join forces with Canadian icons Platinum Blonde and Kim Mitchell to send the 10,000 plus Harris Park fans back into a time machine. And it was as though time had stood still because even though most of the bands only had 40 minutes to cram in their greatest hits, all of the bands present showed just why they are still powerful musical forces.
Kicking off with A Flock Of Seagulls, lead vocalist Mike Score revived memories with a brief set which features hits like “I Ran” and “Space Age Love Song” featuring The Spoons’ lead vocalist Gord Deppe on guitar.
Platinum Blonde followed with a set which combined standards like “Not In Love”, “Standing In The Dark”, and “Take it From Me” with newer tracks like “Animal and “Valentine” while Mr Mister’s Richard Paige surprised many of those in attendance with a spirited performance that featured hits like “Is It Love”, “Kyrie” and “Broken Wings”.
Kim Mitchell rarely disappoints and he shone through with a combination of Max Webster and solo hits featuring “I Am A Wild Party”, “Rock N Roll Duty”, “Lager And Ale” “All We Are”, “Patio Lantern” and his set closing “Go For Soda”.
The big question in the photo pit was “Who Is Howard Jones” but by the time this affable Brit started to sing “Like To Know You Well”, “Pearl In The Shell” and “No One Is To Blame” people were saying in unison, “Oh I know that song, and “I know that one too”. Only complaint was that his set was too short.
Still Bret Michaels filled the time gap with a set which had the majority of the audience feeling his Poison band mates weren’t missed. Sticking totally to the Poison hit catalogue, Michaels rattled through a set list which featured “Look What The Cat Dragged In”, “Talk Dirty To Me”, “Something To Believe In” and “Unskinny Bop”, a show-stopping acoustic rendition of the Poison’s classic “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” plus an elongated cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama an the Loggins and Messina hit, “You’re Mama Don’t Dance. A great performance by an artist who still has the chops to deliver a sparkling live performance.
And then it was left to Cyndi Lauper to close out the show. Many in the audience felt she talked too much and would have preferred that she stuck to singing, but in all fairness, she did deliver the hits with a set list that featured “I Drive All Night”, “All Through The Night”, “Hope”, “She Bop”, “Love Changes Everything”, “Time After Time” before closing with the inevitable “Girls Just Want To Have Fun”.
Overall, a great night’s entertainment provided by performers who are just as relevant today as they were some 30 years ago.