Music review: Let’s Rock the Retro, Hydro, Glasgow

THERE were two distinct tiers to this Generation Xers’ Christmas party gig, MC’d by TV and radio hosts Pat Sharp and Dave Benson Phillips. The first half of the show featured a nimble rolling revue of 80s one- and some-hit wonders on a strict two-song limit.

Marc Almond's solo and Soft Cell ouevres stole the show. Picture: Karyn Louise/Shutterstock

Let’s Rock the Retro, Hydro, Glasgow ***

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Appearing in short order were Doctor and the Medics, with the Doctor looking like he was deputising for Wizzard-era Roy Wood, Lotus Eaters frontman Peter Coyle, who might as well have been plucked from the audience, Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin failing to muster enthusiasm for her percussive punk, Mark Shaw of Then Jerico, the unthinking woman’s Psychedelic Furs, who attacked his moment with vigour and a knee drop, Stock, Aitken and Waterman alumnus Sonia, the overwrought punk theatricality of Toyah, an off-key but enthusiastic Clare Grogan of Altered Images and a pale shadow of Boney M who wandered in from the wrong decade.

The second half was given over to meatier sets by Nik Kershaw, Marc Almond, Tony Hadley and ABC’s Martin Fry, all to a greater or lesser degree attempting to graft a slick muso seriousness on to a night of frivolous nostalgia. Each were in fine voice with songs to spare, yet Hadley and eventually Fry’s sets felt flabby and indulgent. Kershaw was businesslike but effective in bringing a rockier edge to proceedings but it was Almond who stole the night with the sheer quality of his solo and Soft Cell catalogue.

FIONA SHEPHERD