Ah, the 80’s! They played a massive part in my life. My most formative years you could say because from the age of 5 to 15 when you’re a sponge for everything around you, it was the 1980s.
I began it wanting to be Doris from Fame, mid 80’s it was Madonna, then ended it wanting to be Kylie. No wonder I became a singer for a while.
If there is any way of reliving those simpler times (though they never seem like it at the time) you can bet I’ll be there. So when the Halle Orchestra came to Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall I was looking forward to a night of nostalgia and feel-good factor, and it didn’t disappoint.
Those talented musicians from the Halle seem to be turning up everywhere at the moment. Most recently playing live film scores to some classic Christmas movies, and now this, their 80’s Big Night Out.
I think it is great that Orchestral Concerts are being introduced to audiences this way, and whilst of course, they still perform classically, they show what a versatile bunch they really are.
Getting into the spirit of things, The Halle (Led by conductor Stephen Bell) donned their best 80’s garb, putting the audience to shame on this occasion. I sometimes forget my age, I think we all do - whether deliberately or otherwise. My friend who got their first messaged me to say “It’s an older audience, 50+”. It didn’t click straight away - it was their 80s too.
In fact, I think the music took many back to their childhood or teenage years, as they clapped, sang and danced throughout the two sets. The couple next to me - the woman had to help her husband out of his chair and onto his feet.
I did notice that the audience seemed to chat a little through the musical numbers only, of which there were just two. Shame really as they were great arrangements, however, they got more involved and sang along with the rest of the set when vocalists Alison Jiear and Oliver Tompsett were on stage. Both talented vocalists who lent their voices to some of the most memorable sounds of the 80s throughout the setlist. Ranging from Lionel Ritchie to Dolly Parton, Rick Astley to Chaka Khan and David Bowie to Whitney Houston. I was surprised there were only two vocalists, but they tackled the numbers well. Alison with a deeper soulful voice, Oliver with a more pop sound.
Whilst the 80s has a distinctive sound in many ways, you could also say it changed a lot. We had Modern Romantic, Ska, Pop, a heavy American influence, as well as the Stock Aitken and Waterman era, so with such a variety to choose from it can’t have been an easy job. You’ll never please everybody, but I think they tried to include some classics. (setlist below)
The audience seemed to approve and were on their feet for a standing ovation, and they one. We would happily have had more, but alas the night was over.
With the rich catalogue from a fantastic decade to choose from, I’m sure they’ll be back with another show, so keep a lookout, or check if they are visiting your area.
*My tickets were gifted but my views are my own
For more information visit: https://www.halle.co.uk/whats-on/
Rhythm is Gonna Get You
Never Gonna Give You Up
The Living Years
9 to 5
Islands in the Stream
Never Too Much
One Moment in Time
Dancing on the Ceiling
It's Raining Men
The Final Countdown
Total Eclipse of the Heart
Don't Stop Believin'