Monday 7 November 2016

ABC at Sheffield City Hall

Sheffield City Hall

The 1980s Sheffield theme continued, quite coincidentally, from last week's Heaven 17 gig.
Martin Fry rolled back the years with a strong, charismatic performance showcasing a plethora of classic ABC hits together with new songs from the latest CD, Lexicon of Love II.

This was the first time I had been to Sheffield since Patty Griffin's appearance there back in 2013.
The Sheffield City Hall was packed out and the evening flew by on a feel-good tidal wave of nostalgia.
In addition to the ABC band, there was the Southbank Sinfonia Orchestra, conducted by Anne Dudley (Art of Noise amongst many other things and, more recently, the powerful Poldark soundtrack). The orchestra was huge there were between 40 and 50 people on stage.

The evening started with an orchestral overture of Lexicon of Love and then burst into full action when Martin Fry appeared on stage to launch into When Smokey Sings. Dapper and cool in his golden shoes, he was clearly enjoying the evening just as much as the rest of us.

The first half of the show brought a compilation of ABC songs old and new, as numbers from this year's Lexicon of Love II - which is very good, by the way - rubbed shoulders quite happily with trademark songs from the past.

Following a short interval, the second half brought the original Lexicon of Love in its entirety. This brought the audience immediately to their feet, where they stayed for nearly all of the rest of evening, taking a break only for the slower numbers.

The encore brought a second outing for The Look of Love which was always guaranteed to please the audience one more time.

ABC are definitely back in business!

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