24th to 28th August 2022
W-Fest 2022 Day 4 with Cutting Crew, Londonbeat, Arrested Development, Deacon Blue, Cock Robin, ABC, Tony Hadley, Del Amitri and UB40
Today, I expected a lot for me. There were several artists I liked to see… starting with CUTTING CREW and LONDONBEAT, going in with TONY HADLEY and ending quite late with UB40. So could the performances meet my expectations? We would see. At least the weather was really nice again, sunny, some clouds, not too warm with only three drops of rain during TONY HADLEY. One could say perfect festival weather.
The festival day started with CUTTING CREW, formed 35 years ago by Nick van Eede releasing their multi-million selling debut album ‘Broadcast’. Grammy nominated, the Anglo-Canadian band scored worldwide hits including, of course, their USA #1 hit, the timeless, majestic ‘(I Just) Died in Your Arms’. Along with ‘Arms’ they played universal hits like ‘I’ve Been in Love Before’ and ‘One for the Mockingbird’ as well as some cheeky covers and cool songs from their recent albums. Oh what a beginning of the day! CUTTING CREW could convince me totally. What a joy on playing on stage, what a perfect vocal performance. ‘One For The Mockingbird’ just as second song and Nick was throwing two CDs into the audience, because the lyrics were on it… just in case people could not sing along. Third song ‘I’ve Been in Love Before’ was so touching, had a lump in my throat. Nick asked people to hold the hand of the one standing beside and wherever you look, you saw people hugging and holding hands. Wonderful! This show surely had deserved a later spot in the line-up! ‘Keep the Car Running’ started with a long intro and loud clapping along from the audience. Last song was, of course, ‘(I Just) Died in your Arms’ - goose bumps and chills all over the body. Fantastic! I was happy, audience was happy and band was happy too! Setlist CUTTING CREW: 01. Intro: Climb Aboard (Walk On), 02. Any Colour / 03. One For The Mockingbird / 04. I’ve Been in Love Before’ / 05. Left of Heaven / 06. No Problem Child / 07. One I Love / 08. Keep the Car Running / 09. Berlin in Winter / 10. (I Just) Died in your Arms
When I think of LONDONBEAT, I just have ‘I’ve Been Thinking About You’ in mind. The British-American Pop group enjoyed worldwide success between late 1988 and autumn 1992. LONDONBEAT was particularly notable for its clean voices, most notably Jimmy Helms, who himself had a UK Top 10 hit in the early 1970s. The final breakthrough came in the fall of 1990 with ‘I’ve Been Thinking About You’ (number 1 hit in 27 countries). The group achieved further chart positions, e.g. with ‘A Better Love’, ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and ‘You Bring on the Sun’. After 1992, the old successes could no longer be achieved. Even a comeback in the fall of 1994 was no longer a great success. After the last single, released in May 1995, nothing more was heard from the band until 2003/04 when new music was released. But the band is still alive and plays live shows, so toady in Oostende. And how would one say in German: “Leider geil”. I loved the show from the very first Minute. Again so much joy in performing. Entering the stage with ‘Back to my Roots’, after a few lines the band freezed, much to the joy of the photographers. The band was in best mood. Of course ‘I’ve Been Thinking About You’ - which was played right as second song - was a sheer crowd pleaser making people clap, scream and sing along. Fun! Vocally, all three singers were top, no failure. After a little “Happy Birthday”, the second ever released single, ‘9am’, followed. ‘Stand by me / My Girl’ in a beatbox version was then the perfect choice for the last song, before the band left with the same song with which they begun, ‘Back to my Roots’ when also the band was introduced. Setlist LONDONBEAT: 01. Back to my Roots (Intro) / 02. I’ve Been Thinking About You / 03. Read between your Eyes / 04. Return of the Mack / 05. You Bring On The Sun / 06. J-Lo / 07. All Eyes on you / 08. A better Love / 09. 9am / 10. Built it with Love / 11. Stand by me / 12. Back to my Roots (Outro)
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT were up next. The American progressive Hip Hop group formed in 1989 with the aim of providing a positive, Afrocentric alternative to then-popular Gangsta Rap. After more than three years of work, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT got a record deal and then called the first album ‘3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life of...’. It went quadruple platinum in the US and gold in the UK. The tracks ‘Tennessee’, ‘People Everyday’ and ‘Mr. Wendal’ included on the album became top ten hits in the United States. After split in 1996 and solo activities, the group reunited in 1999 releasing five more albums and two EPs. For the last twenty years, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT has performed sold-out concerts in literally every part of the world. Their shows are a celebration of life. Experiencing an ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT concert is an uplifting and spiritual event wrapped into one big party. There was Hip Hop with Ska and Reggae elements, and there was a big party with the audience indeed. Not the music I am usually listening to, but a great concert. Setlist ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT: 01. Swing Um / 02. Back Down / 03. Give a Man a Fish / 04. Raining Revolution / 05. Dawn of the Dreads / 06. Fishin’ 4 Religion / 07. Bloody / 08. Jam Session / 09. Mr. Wendal / 10. Tennessee / 11. Mama’s Always on Stage / 12. I Love Freestyle / 13. People Everyday
Scottish Pop-Rock band DEACON BLUE was founded in 1985 in Glasgow. The name DEACON BLUE is borrowed from the title ‘Deacon Blues’ by the band STEELY DAN from their album ‘Aja’. Over the years, the bans released more than ten albums, the first one was ‘Raintown’ in 1987 and the latest one ‘Riding on the Tide of Love’ from 2021. Vocalist and founding member Ricky Ross was not only successful in DEACON BLUE, but also as a solo artist and together with his wife Lorraine. As of 2020, Deacon Blue's total album sales stood at seven million, with twelve UK top 40 singles, along with two number one albums in the UK. This was solid made Pop-Rock well-presented but without real highlights. Singer Ricky Ross was more or less stuck behind his microphone, his and his wife’s vocal performance were solid though. Setlist DEACON BLUE: 01. City of Love / 02. A Walk in the Woods / 03. Fergus Sings The Blues / 04. Wages Day / 05. Chocolate Girl / 06. Twist and Shout / 07. The Hipsters / 08. Real Gone Kid / 09. The Believers / 10. Your Town / 11. Dignity
Peter Kingsbery grew up in Austin, Texas, where he studied classical music studies. He then moved to Nashville (Tennessee) where his career as musician began. In 1982, he created the group COCK ROBIN whose records would go gold and platinum thanks to his superb voice and a keen sense of composition and arrangement. ‘Remember the Promise You Made’, ‘When Your Heart Is Week’, ‘I thought you were on my side’ or ‘Just Around The Corner’ have been big hits all around Europe. As of today, COCK ROBIN still releases albums, the last one ‘Homo Alien’ in 2021, and tours around the globe. With this show, we got vocally and musically another high-class performance. All four musicians had fun on stage. Solid show with Peter Kingsbery and Coralie Vuillemin perfectly complemented each other. ‘Just Around The Corner’ was a long I really liked, sung with passion and accompanied by loud cheers from the audience. ‘When Your Heart Is Week’ was wonderful and ‘Remember the Promise You Made’ as expected the highlight of the show following at the very end. Setlist COCK ROBIN (incomplete): Lasso / Thought You Were on My Side / Merry as We Go / Just Around the Corner / When Your Heart Is Weak / The Promise You Made
ABC has enjoyed a glittering career to date. Very definitely one of a number of groups who came along and kick-started the Eighties with their own brand of pop for a “new decade”. The British Pop band from Sheffield, formed in 1980, is best known for songs like ‘The Look of Love’ and ‘When Smokey Sings’. Since 1997, ABC has been the solo project of singer and founder Martin Fry, who works with a variety of musicians. On April 14, 2008, the eighth studio album ‘Traffic’ was released in Great Britain as well as on several download platforms. After an eight-year hiatus, ABC released their ninth studio album in 2016, now reduced back to Martin Fry as the band’s sole original member. The title ‘The Lexicon of Love II’ expressly refers to the first publication in 1982. The same applies to the design of the album cover. ABC could keep up with all expectations. Martin doubted if the audience was already there in the eighties since “they looked way too young”. But of course they didn’t and most of them already listened to ABC when the first records were released. There was much energy on stage, all musicians worked perfectly together, the vocals were great. It was a lot of fun watching the show. As expected, the biggest hit, ‘The Look of Love’, was kept until the very end, providing the crowning final of the show. Setlist ABC: 01. When Smokey Sings / 02. Show Me / 03. Poison Arrow / 04. Viva Love / 05. That Was Then but This Is Now / 06. The Flames of Desire / 07. (How to Be a) Millionaire / 08. King Without a Crown / 09. The Night You Murdered Love / 10. Tears Are Not Enough / 11. All of My Heart / 12. The Look of Love
TONY HADLEY once decided his vocation was to sing. He went on to front 80s New Romantic band SPANDAU BALLET, earning himself the accolade of being one of Pop music’s greatest vocalists. The band had numerous chart-topping singles and albums all over the world, including the epic ‘Through the Barricades’ and of course the international number one ‘True’ and the unofficial London Olympics theme ‘Gold’. The band split up in 1990 but Tony is still active. Nearly 40 years on from the beginning of his SPANDAU career Tony’s unmistakeable voice still brims with passion and urgency as it first did all those years ago. As a solo Artist Tony has performed across the world both with his band, swing bands and orchestras and he now was standing for us on the W-Festival stage. Tony is a real entertainer, imagine some in a TV show leading you though a long evening. He is so charismatic and energetic… so energetic that he nearly fell over his guitarist while running across the stage. Tony exactly knows the value of his band behind. He is interacting not only with the audience, but also with any single band member. Very likeable.
The show kept what it promised, even though there were a few technical issues with the sound. It was close to perfect and no one even cared about the few drops of rain falling down. Besides lots of SPANDAU BALLET and some own songs, he convinced also with the QUEEN cover of ‘Radio Ga Ga’ where people loudly sang along. Of course anyone knew the lyrics by heart. When ‘True’ started, people just sang the melody along before Tony joined in. “This is the sound of my soul” is not only a line from that song… The SPANDAU BALLET classic ‘Gold’ ended the set with unbelievably loud sing-alongs from the crowd. At this moment I would say this could have been a worthy headliner. Setlist TONY HADLEY: 01. Instinction (Spandau Ballet song) / 02. To Cut a Long Story Short (Spandau Ballet song) / 03. Chant No. 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure On) (Spandau Ballet song) / 04. Only When You Leave (Spandau Ballet song) / 05. Because Of You / 06. Through the Barricades (Spandau Ballet song) / 07. Radio Ga Ga (Queen cover) / 08. Lifeline (Spandau Ballet song) / 09. Mad About You / 10. True (Spandau Ballet song) / 11. Gold (Spandau Ballet song)
Almost two decades on from their last album, DEL AMITRI easily remember the good old days, when a Glasgow Indie band became, in effect, overnight successes. The Scottish Rock band was formed in Glasgow in 1980 by singer-songwriter Justin Currie and guitarist Iain Harvie. As of 2020, DEL AMITRI sold around six million albums over the course of their career. The band is known for catchy melodies, well thought-out arrangements and touching, often melancholic lyrics, but above all for the penetrating, melancholic voice of the frontman. The debut album was not a success. The breakthrough came then in 1989 with the second album ‘Waking Hours’. ‘Kiss This Thing Goodbye’ and ‘Nothing Ever Happens’ were two hits from the album that also brought them international fame. The band’s seventh studio album entitled ‘Fatal Mistakes’ was released on May 28, 2021. The space in front of the stage had visibly emptied after the fabulous performance of TONY HADLEY. People being present enjoyed well-made Rock music with some Country influences. For me, TONY had much more deserved this later position in the line-up. Setlist DEL AMITRI: 01. Musicians and Beer / 02. All Hail Blind Love / 03. Always the Last to Know / 04. Not Where It’s At / 05. Kiss This Thing Goodbye / 06. Nothing Ever Happens / 07. Driving with the Brakes On / 08. Move Away Jimmy Blue / 09. You Can’t Go Back / 10. Roll to Me / 11. Here and Now / 12. Lonely / 13. Spit in the Rain / 14. Stone Cold Sober
Today’s headliners were UB40 entering the stage at midnight for one hour of Reggae and Pop. The popular multinational band from Great Britain had a string of hits including ‘Red Red Wine’ (Neil Diamond cover), ‘I Got You Babe’, ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and ‘Kingston Town’ - all of them I just hear in my mind even before the show. In their lyrics, UB40 often touch on social issues such as racism or unemployment. The band has had more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and has also achieved considerable international success. They have been nominated for the Grammy Award for “Best Reggae Album” four times, and in 1984 were nominated for the Brit Award for “Best British Group”. One of the world’s best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records. The band’s first album ‘Singing Off’ was already released back in 1980. And even though some band members died over the years or left the band, UB40 is still active and released its last album, ‘Unprecendented’, in July 2022.
The setlist of UB40 on this late Saturday night mainly consisted of cover songs, presented in their typical Reggae style. There were only two UB40 songs, ‘One in Ten’ and ‘I’ll Be There’. The crowd pleasers were kept to the very end: ‘Kingston Town’, the Elvis cover ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ and the famous version of Neil Diamond’s ‘Red Red Wine’. If you expected some live photos here, I am sorry… no live pics were allowed. // Setlist UB40: 01. Here I Am (Come and Take Me) (Al Green cover) / 02. The Way You Do the Things You Do (The Temptations cover) / 03. Homely Girl (The Chi‐Lites cover) / 04. Groovin’ (Out on Life) (The Newbeats cover) / 05. Cherry Oh Baby (Eric Donaldson cover) / 06. One in Ten (UB40 song) / 07. Purple Rain (Prince cover) / 08. I’ll Be There (UB40 Song) / 09. Many Rivers to Cross (Jimmy Cliff cover) / 10. Kingston Town (Lord Creator cover) / 11. Can’t Help Falling in Love (Elvis Presley cover) / 12. Red Red Wine (Neil Diamond cover)
All pictures by Dani Vorndran (http://www.vorndranphotography.com / http://www.facebook.com/blackcatnet)