It seems that the ‘80s are alive and well. Nobody can know this better than Nik Kershaw, the man who wrote Chesney Hawkes’ one and only (get it?) hit. (It is important to note that “The One And Only was released in 1991. Perhaps this was why it was a flash in the pan?). Kershaw, however, is a 30-year veteran of the British music scene. Showing his endurance, he managed to tempt a fair (if slightly strange) crowd to the ABC2.
Die-hard fans were treated to two sets; the first being a collection of hits (such as “Wide Boy” and the almost tropical “Don Quixote”) from Kershaw’s back catalogue, as well as offerings from his new album, Ei8ht. With a youthful backing band, the songs were given a freshness that allowed even a present day human to enjoy them. The first set ended, as expected, with “The Riddle”.
One would expect that the drug users in the crowd would have waited for “The Riddle” before popping pills, but most seemed to be under the influence before the set had started. I looked around the venue and saw many starchy faces – and middle aged women. Had it not been for the latter, the crowd would have been insufferable.
Kershaw’s second set was a performance of “Human Racing”, his breakthrough album. Hits such as “Bogart” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” were performed to great effect and great applause. There was even an encore, during which “I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” and (yes, you guessed it!) “The One And Only” were played. Short of borrowing songs from A-Ha, I doubt Kershaw could have offered much more.
Indeed, by the end of this set, Kershaw had played for almost two hours. Commendable in itself, but particularly so given that tonight was night two of a nine-date UK tour. It may not be 1984 anymore, but it’s fun to pretend, right?