One night in Heaven for 80s and 90s music fans

The crowds gather for the startoff the weekend at Lytham Proms.
The crowds gather for the startoff the weekend at Lytham Proms.
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Crowds of party goers were Moving On Out after Heather Small and band rounded off their showstopping set at last night’s Lytham Proms opener.

Sadly, those who made their ways to the exit after what was the performance of a headline act missed a tight, fun, funky finale from ABC, featuring hits When Smokey Sings and The Look of Love, getting the audience bouncing.

Heather’s M People anthems – One Night In Heaven and Search For The Hero – plus solo track Proud had Proms-goers of all ages dancing late into the night.

After the day’s downpours, the clouds parted as the 80s versus 90s night went on and the Green was bathed in light sunshine – although wellies were still the footwear of choice for the masses.

Guests in the VIP marquee and Champagne terraces were dressed to impress, but their fineries paled into insignificance against the fanciest of costumes.

Among the best outfits on show were an original 80s shellsuit, a Zippy from Rainbow, and a gang of Mr Ts from the A Team, mingled in among plenty of dayglo tutus and legwarmers.

Captain Sensible’s opening set for the 80s representatives wasn’t the best, but by the time Nathan Moore of Brother Beyond fame came to the stage the party spirit was growing and he achieved the biggest cheers of the night’s early acts.

First up from the 90s crew were two thirds of Atomic Kitten, with Liz McClarnon and a seven-month pregnant Natasha Hamilton apologising for Kerry Katona’s no-show. Their set seemed a bit short, but they were in fine voice, and received a warm welcome – but were wasted being on so early in the night.

Hue And Cry’s full band made a real impact, against the bubblegum pop backing tracks that had gone before, and it was no labour to love the slick performance.

Irish girlband B*witched were a pleasant surprise, and treated the Proms to a new track with the promise of more to come for fans. But it was C’est La Vie which had everyone doing a jig.

Perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the night, for me at least, was how many of Howard Jones’s songs I knew, although I still couldn’t tell you the titles. His bright red suit and lights show had the audience’s fists pumping.

Screams rang out across the Green as pop hunks Blue burst on to the stage, looking just as handsome as they did in their prime. Every track was a hit, from All Rise through to anthemic One Love as arms waved in their air. They showed some neat harmonies, proving their worth as vocalists as well as being popular with the ladies.

If last night was anything to go by, we’re in for a treat as the Proms continue. Get ready ladies... Tom’s coming to town!

See Monday’s Gazette for full coverage of tonight’s Tom Jones show and tomorrow’s Halle Last Night Of The Proms.