Music Review: Rewind Scotland

Revellers on the Saturday at the Rewind Scotland Festival in PerthRevellers on the Saturday at the Rewind Scotland Festival in Perth
Revellers on the Saturday at the Rewind Scotland Festival in Perth
If you are a huge fan of 1980's music then I would highly recommend the Rewind Scotland Festival.

I, along with thousands of other Eighties music fans, headed along to Scone Palace in Perth at the weekend with my camping chair under my arm and wellies on.

This was my first time at the annual event and I have to say I was not disappointed.

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The atmosphere was fantastic from the moment I stepped onto the bus (which takes you down to the Palace from Perth city centre), right to the fireworks at the end. I love seeing how everyone gets into the spirit of Rewind - everywhere you look there are ladies in pink and yellow fluorescent tutus, pink wigs, or Madonna-look-a-likes wearing black lace. While men dress up as Top Gun pilots and wear Frankie Says Relax t-shirts.

Revellers enjoying the performances at Rewind over the weekendRevellers enjoying the performances at Rewind over the weekend
Revellers enjoying the performances at Rewind over the weekend

The line-up for the Saturday was impressive - the acts included headliner Holly Johnson, Tony Hadley, Marc Almond, Leo Sayer, Rick Astley, Go West, Living In a Box, Average White Band, The Beat, Hazell Dean, Snap and event opener, The Bluebells.

Speaking to Tony Hadley, singer-songwriter and frontman of Spandau Ballet, after his set which included one of the band’s biggest hits “Gold”, a cover version of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” and a new song “Take Back Everything”, he said: “It’s really good to be back. I haven’t done Rewind for about three years now, but when I came on I got this massive cheer and when you get that you are like ‘wow, this is good!’ From the very start there were young people in the audience, people my age and older - it’s an amazing mixture. Their enthusiasm is incredible.”

Go West performed a fantastic set (my personal highlight of the day) which included their biggest hits “We Close our Eyes”, “Call Me”, “Faithful” and “The King of Wishful Thinking” from ‘Pretty Woman’. This is the duo’s third year at Rewind and they both love the atmosphere and the way the Scottish fans enjoy their music.

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Leo Sayer also went down a storm. He performed his hits “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” and “When I Need You”. He said he loves the Scottish fans and said of all the festivals, he said this is probably the one where people dress up the most!

Singer-songwriter Tony HadleySinger-songwriter Tony Hadley
Singer-songwriter Tony Hadley

And if you love late 1980s pop, you were in for a treat on Saturday night. Rick Astley proved to be another of the day’s highlights with his hits from the decade which included “She Wants to Dance With Me” and “Never Gonna Give You Up”, along with “Angels on My Side”, from his recent number one album.

While Holly Johnson brought the first day to a spectacular close with his set featuring “Relax”, “Love Train” and “Two Tribes”.

The rain stayed off on the Saturday but unfortunately we were not so lucky with the weather on the Sunday.

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It poured from the beginning until the end with only a short dry spell in the early evening. Although it didn’t seem to dampen spirits with revellers enjoying all the acts.

Reporter Debbie Clarke with Go WestReporter Debbie Clarke with Go West
Reporter Debbie Clarke with Go West

The Sunday performances included: ABC, Big Country, Midge Ure, Slim Jim Phantom from Stray Cats, Roland Gift (the lead singer from Fine young Cannibals), China Crisis, Toyah, Annabella’s Bow Wow Wow, British Electric Foundation ft, Thomas Dolby, Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory, The Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa, Mari Wilson and the Farm’s Peter Hooton with Adam Ant headlining.

Midge Ure said he has performed at Rewind festivals a few times over the years and said it was ‘great fun’. I asked him what it was about the 1980s that people love so much, he said: “I think it is the songs. The early Eighties, it was all about the music. If you look at the groups at that time like Spandau Ballet, Culture Club, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran and Heaven 17, they may have come under the same genre, which may have been perceived to be new romantic, but it was all about their songs and that’s why those songs still stand up today.”

Sets by China Crisis, Toyah, ABC, Big Country and the British Electric Foundation were all real crowd-pleasers, but for me the stand-out acts on the Sunday were Midge Ure and the headliner, Adam Ant. Revellers braved the rain waiting for hours to see the King of the Wild Frontier and he didn’t disappoint with fantastic performances of “Stand and Deliver” and “Prince Charming”.

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So, if, like me, you love the 1980s and you want to relive those heady days through the music of the decade, I would recommend you head along to Rewind Scotland. This year’s event has proved to be one of my highlights of 2016.