An odds-on bet for a good night

Marc Almond

Marc Almond

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Legends of the 80s

Haydock Park

After an evening at the races, what better way to celebrate your winnings or commiserate your losses than by taking a step back in time and bopping along to some tunes from the 80s.

Sadly, I fell into the latter category, but I soon forgot my bad luck on the horses after being entertained by some blasts from the past.

Haydock Park kicked off its opening music night of 2013 with Legends of the 80s.

Paul Young kicked off proceedings with a cover of Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart. His vocals were a little shaky to begin with but he got better as he got along and by the time he got to Come Back and Stay and Senza Una Donna, he had won the crowd over.

Southport-born Marc Almond was far more charismatic and instantly had the audience in the palm.

Marc was in great voice and his obvious enjoyment of being on stage was infectious and his energy and enthusiasm make him a great showman.

All his songs were greeted with delight, particularly Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart, Say Hello Wave Goodbye, The Days of Pearly Spencer and classic hit Tainted Love. Next up were ABC more than three decades after their debut album The Lexicon of Love stormed to number one in the charts.

Beginning with their pop masterpiece Poison Arrow, ABC’s brand of pop struck a chord with everyone and they carried on giving the fans what they wanted with All of My Heart and the favourite Look of Love.

The New Romantic group has aged spectacularly well and seemed to enjoy every moment as much as their fans.

By the time headline act Rick Astley took the stage, the heavens had well and truly opened, but he managed to entertain and engage with the crowd throughout the downpour and his voice was amazingly strong and note perfect.

Hailing from the nearby village of Newton-le-Willows, Rick truly seemed to love playing such a local gig and even invited his mum Cynthia, a former singalong pianist, on stage to join him for the Nat King Cole classic When I Fall In Love.

Aasma Day