THERE was a strong Scottish contingent in the line-up of this latest barefaced nostalgia package tour celebrating the diverse sounds of the 1980s pop landscape. Judging by the party atmosphere among the crowd, it’s still an itch many are happy to scratch.
80s Invasion Tour | Rating: *** | Edinburgh Playhouse
Curiosity Killed the Cat were quite the look and sound of 1987, and frontman Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot – the only band member anyone could pick out of a line-up – appeared to have emerged from a cryogenic freezer with gangly moves, though sadly not vocal prowess, intact.
He seemed slightly ill at ease with the whole affair, unlike his fellow Smash Hits pin-up Nick Heyward, whose enthusiasm was as infectious as the lean, jangling, well-preserved songs from his days fronting Haircut 100, although the synthesizer arrangements were no substitute for the horns on the original hits.
Proceedings took a turn for the pretentious and proggy with the arrival of Midge Ure, zipping through a set of solo and Ultravox hits, plus Fade to Grey, the new romantic classic he wrote and produced for Visage, and a so-so Starman tribute to David Bowie.
Big Country – now fronted by booming Stuart Adamson soundalike Simon Hough – ended the night with another intrinsically 80s sound, stirring the soul with fist-pumping anthems topped with robust, melodic and enduring guitar riffs.
Founder member Bruce Watson and his son Jamie were in their element, delivering the twists and turns of Wonderland and the brawny Celtic stomper Fields of Fire.