Review: Belinda Carlilse Decades Tour At Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
Four years ago I reviewed Belinda Carlisle and was blown away by both the music and the fact she’d barely changed in over 30 years.
Fast forward to this week, via Covid and a rescheduled date for her Decades tour, and Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall, and both are still mind-blowingly amazing.
Before you start, I know she's a musician and we're here to celebrate her albums and career, but as a forty something woman, I’m more than aware of the ageing process. I’m here to cheer queens on, so whatever fountain of youth she’s drinking from - lead me to it.
The audience, made up of the 40/50’s age bracket, were up on their feet as soon as the pop songstress bounced on to the stage, and remained standing, or should I say dancing and clapping throughout the evening. Many sang along word for word. I don’t know about anyone else, but my feet were killing at the end of it. Which is kind of embarrassing considering Belinda herself is 64!, 64!!, and she danced and floated around the stage with both energy and elegance.
Her music, much like Belinda, has stood the test of time. Pop stars come and go and yet Belinda has remained present. You almost forget how many hits she had, and how many of them you actually know and are stored away in the old brain cells, so having thoroughly enjoyed seeing her live last time, I was looking forward to seeing her perform again on this tour..
The set begins with We Dream The Same Dreams. Her outfit is strikingly similar to the last time I saw her. Gold skirt and a simple black top (no shoes).
There are no special effects or big screens, just lighting. It's enough, backed by a tight five piece band, the singer-songwriter reels off hit after catchy hit with that unique and instantly recognisable blend of gravelly gutsy vocals which over the years have earned her more than twenty top-charting global singles from five albums reaching gold, platinum and multi-platinum sales marks, making her a household name.
We’re treated to the hits from each of her albums including Runaway Horses, which was the basis for the last tour. But it was Belinda's 1987 sophomore album, Heaven on Earth, which was undoubtedly the catalyst in transforming her into a worldwide star and the album’s Grammy-nominated lead-off single, “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” climbed the top ten in no less than twelve countries while achieving multiple gold and silver certifications.
We sing our way through the hits. I Get Weak, Circle in the Sand, Leave a Light On, Live Your Life Be Free and Big Scary Animal to name a few, which she introduces with little stories from throughout her career. Our Lips Are Sealed is included and dedicated to the late Terry Hall, who co-wrote the track during her time with The Go Go’s (listen here) for whom it was a hit as well as Fun Boy Three.
I’ve got to mention the support act too, The Christians. I had forgotten it was to be them. I wasn’t a fan as a kid. Their music felt too grown up for me. Clearly I’ve grown into it, as they delivered a brilliant set, suitably warming up the audience with their hits and cheeky banter.
A quick google (sorry, I really dislike people using their phone during a gig - but momentarily I was that person) reveals that lead singer Gary Christian is 68!
I hope I’m like them both in my 60’s. An evening full of great music, memories and hope!
Catch the tour if you can.
*Press tickets but my views are my own