A stunning line-up of artist came together to honour the late, great Steve Strange at the special memorial fund-raiser at Parr Hall Warrington in January 2016.
The event organised by Kim Smith and Amanda Lloyd featured Electro 80’s with Jennie Bellestar, Show Room Dummies, La La Shockette, Ex-Members of Visage and of course, special guests Heaven 17.
Showroom Dummies (also known as Elektropolis) opened up the show with a stunning tribute to German synthesiser legends, Kraftwerk. The love of the material is evident throughout this show with stunningly accurate renditions of the originals, faithfully reproduced in every detail. Highlights included Autobahn, Neon Lights, Spacelab, Tour De France and The Model. Even though the performance was aimed at Kraftwerk fans, it was a brilliant tribute and set the tone for the rest of the evening.
LA LA LAND
La La Shockette followed with her unique performance which, through the medium of music and dance, tells her own personal story in the music industry. A lady that has worked with anyone who’s anyone, the performance features songs from legends she has worked with during her careers from Kate Bush to Gary Numan and her own number one as the lead vocalist of Tight Fit! The show is a fascinating insight into 80’s music and many people will be amazed at how involved she was in several major careers.
SIGN OF THE TIMES
Jennie Matthias followed, with a performance to raise any venue’s roof! Close friend of Steve Strange and Electro 80’s, Jennie was performing a set of her own hit singles from when she was lead singer with 80’s girlband The Bellestars. Vocally outstanding, Jennie had the crowd on their feet and singing along in no time at all. Iko Iko, Clapping Song and Sign of the Times were amongst the highlights performed during her up-tempo set. Jennie was definitely one of the highlights of the night and Electro 80’s will definitely be working with her again in the future.
WE ARE ELECTRO
Electro 80’s were up next and went down an absolute storm. The band’s set (featuring songs originally from artists such as Human League, Gary Numan, OMD, Tears for Fears, Ultravox, Depeche Mode and Soft Cell) – was, as usual, incredibly accurate and seemed totally at home in the larger venue. The crowd erupted as soon as the final beat of Numan’s Cars landed – so much so, the band had trouble hearing the intro for the next song! This was to be E80’s last performance as a five piece as Alan (White Electro) had decided to use this opportunity as his farewell gig and go onto to pursue other interest. Adlib audio provided the sound and lighting systems and did a sterling job, Electro 80’s sound was direct, warm and yet crisp, the sonic detail was preserved despite the size of the venue and the power was incredible out front. Unable to perform any Kraftwerk songs due to the earlier performance of Showroom Dummies, Man O’Chrome had to make his appearance during the band’s rendition of Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’ and left the entire auditorium stunned – totally on form on the bigger stage, Mano was quite literally ‘electric’! Working their way through their set, Electro 80’s ended (as it began) with another classic from Gary Numan… ‘Are Friends Electric?’ and left the capacity audience calling out for more!
PLAY TO WIN
Heaven 17 followed with a quite incredible set of classics. Following the sad loss of music legend, David Bowie, Glen Gregory and Martin Ware dedicated a portion of their live set to the songs of the great man himself with covers of many of his classics including ‘Life on Mars’. Heaven 17 were on form and performed all of their own biggest hits including ‘Temptation’ and ‘Let me Go’ amongst some other covers including ‘You’ve lost that loving feeling’ – it was a great performance and members of Electro 80’s were thrilled at the opportunity to finally meet some more of the idols that inspired them to create the band.
PAST, FUTURE IN EXTREME
Last but not least was a superb tribute to Steve Strange and Visage with a band consisting of ex-members of Visage, Ultravox and all band members from Electro 80’s. Robin Simon, Lauren Duvall, Logan Sky, Steven Jones, Lloyd Daniels, Man O’Chrome and Red, Green and Blue Electro 80’s teamed up to honour their colleague and friend, Steve Strange with an incredible set jam-packed with the absolute best of Visage, from ‘Fade to Grey’ and ‘Mind of a Toy’ all the way through to classics from Hearts & Knives including ‘Never Enough’ and Shameless Fashion. The band performed incredibly well as a unit and did the great man proud with a set that was emotionally difficult to perform.
Kim Smith did an amazing job of organising the entire event and Electro 80’s are looking forward to working with her again in the future on more events.