Gig review and photography by Ken Harrison

It’s early August, which means that the 80’s Rewind Festival is back on the road again for 2017. Ken Harrison popped along to Rewind North from the 4th-6th August, to get involved with the festivities and capture the great moments from the event. Rewind North is a three day festival, starting on Friday evening with DJ’s, music and dancing to get the crowd going for a weekend featuring the best from the 80s with The Village People and Sister Sledge headlining Saturday and Status Quo as the headline act closing the festival on Sunday.

Rewind Festival Band, Macclesfield, UK

Rewind Festival Band, Macclesfield, UK

Rewind Festival Band, Macclesfield, UK

Saturday is sunny and the colourful crowd are dressed up and ready to rock, with The Doctor (from Doctor & the Medics) in the MC position for the weekend. As usual, the sets are short and target the hits, so there’s plenty to sing and dance along to – Saturday opens up with The Blockheads (Ian Dury’s backing band) (Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick), Peter Hook & The Light playing classic Joy Division and New Order songs (Transmission, Blue Monday and Love Will Tear Us Apart).

The Trevor Horn Band hit the stage next. Trevor Horn is certainly the man who defined the sound of the eighties with his masterful production of a shedload of hits for Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones and too many others to mention (Video Killed The Radio Star, Living In the Plastic Age, Two Tribes etc) and with 10cc’s Lol Creme on guitar and guest vocalist, ‘X-Factor’ winner Matt Cardle, who made a great performance of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s ‘The Power Of Love’.

Bass player supremo Mark King brought Level 42 to woo the crowd with classic ’42 tracks (Lessons In Love, Running In The Family) with Doctor & The Medics (Spirit In the Sky) playing a short but emotional set following the passing of a dedicated fan, after a long illness.

6 Music Presenter Tom Robinson brought his own brand of politicism to the stage with ‘Glad To be Gay’ (50 years since the passing of the Sexual Offences Act in 1967) and a great acoustic version of ‘2-4-6-8 Motorway. Pub/Punk Rocker Hugh Cornwell, founding member of The Stranglers, performed with The Rewind All Star backing band and played ‘Golden Brown’ and finished with ‘Always The Sun’.

Scottish sweetheart, Clare Grogan (Altered Images) bounced onto the stage to play (I Could Be Happy, Happy Birthday), with Brummie, Roland Gift‘s set next, playing ‘Suspicious Minds’ and ‘Johnny Come Home’. Kim Wilde  looking glamorous, joined on stage by brother Ricky, playing the hits including ‘Kids In America’, Chequered Love’ and others.

For the finale tonight, a double headline from across ‘the pond’ with Village People (YMCA) up first and Sister Sledge (We Are Family, Frankie) to close Day 1, getting the crowd moving with great songs and choreography.

The Blockheads

05th August, 2017. The Blockheads at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Peter Hook & The Light

05th August, 2017. Peter Hook & The Light at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

The Trevor Horn Band

05th August, 2017. The Trevor Horn Band at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Matt Cardle

05th August, 2017. The Trevor Horn Band at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Level 42

05th August, 2017. Level 42 at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Doctor & the Medics

05th August, 2017. Doctor & The Medics at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Tom Robinson

05th August, 2017. Tom Robinson at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Hugh Cornwell

05th August, 2017. Hugh Cornwell at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Altered Images

05th August, 2017. Altered Images' Clare Grogan at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Roland Gift

05th August, 2017. Roland Gift at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Kim Wilde

05th August, 2017. Kim Wilde at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Village People

05th August, 2017. Village People at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Sister Sledge

05th August, 2017. Sister Sledge Headline Saturday Night at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Sunday

Sunday gives us Dr (of Dr & The Medics) MC’ing again, and greatly loved by the crowd. In between sets, DJ Rusty Egan is back on the decks too. Its a cooler, cloudier day, but we get a bit of the wet stuff later in the day, so its out with the pac-a-macs for the evening.

But before anything, Rewind gets its first official wedding with Andy and Debbie Tideswell tying the knot at the inflatable church, with the sauciest vicar you could imagine… think Frankie Howard on steroids and you might be somewhere near! Congratulations Andy & Debbie x

Mr & Mrs Tideswell

The First Rewind Festival Marriage

Johnny Hates Jazz start off the day (Shattered Dreams, I Don’t want To be A Hero,  Turn Back The Clock, which is dedicated to Rusty Egan who discovered Clark Datchler and nurtured his talent), Junior Marvin’s Wailers giving the crowd some more of a laid back reggae vibe. The Orchestra, (including early ELO member Mik Kaminsky) playing some classic 70’s ELO tracks (Horace Wimp, Mr Blue Sky).
Next up is British Electric Foundation (BEF), brainchild of Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware, with a series of guest appearances from Propaganda’s Claudia Brucken (Duel and a cover of Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’), Owen Paul, (Favourite Waste Of Time), The Farm’s Peter Hooton with ‘Altogether Now’, Jaki Graham with ‘Set Me Free’, The Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock belting out ‘Pretty Vacant’ for the crowd to pogo along to, Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory with ‘Let’s Dance (Bowie) and ‘Temptation’, with the finale and all the guests back on stage for tribute to George Michael with ‘Freedom’.
John Parr follows with ‘The Best A Man Can Get’.. yes, it is the song from the advert and ‘St Elmo’s Fire’, followed by T’PAU‘s Carol Decker (Secret Garden, China In Your Hand). Bursting onto the stage to ‘Thunder In the Mountains’ (as the weather worsens), Toyah Wilcox manages to outperform many of the acts on stage today, looking stunning in a gold sequinned dress and running around like a teenager, rocking out to Martha & The Muffins’ ‘Echo Beach’ and ‘Its A Mystery’. If any act playing Rewind in future wanted a lesson in how it’s done, they’d better go and see Toyah and ‘have whatever she’s having’!
Haircut 100’s Nick Heyward is up next for a more laid back set of ‘Whistle Down The Wind’ and other ‘Haircut’ tracks, and plugging new album ‘Woodland Echoes’.Belinda Carlisle (Circle In The Sand, Heaven Is a Place on Earth, I Get Weak) as the rain gets heavier.

06th August 2017. Festival Crowd brave the rain at Rewind North

By the time Status Quo land for the final set of the festival, it is pretty miserable, everyone is wet, and the macs are out, but it doesn’t dampen the spirit of the crowd as they rock on with a classic set of Quo hits.
Johnny Hates Jazz

06th August, 2017. Johnny Hates Jazz at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Junior Marvin’s Wailers

06th August, 2017. Junior Marvin's Wailers at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

The Orchestra

06th August, 2017. ELO Orchestra at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

BEF, Claudia Brucken

06th August, 2017. Claudia Brucken joins BEF at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

BEF, Owen Paul

06th August, 2017. Owen Paul joins BEF at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

BEF, Peter Hooton

06th August, 2017. The Farm's Peter Hooton joins BEF at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

BEF, Jaki Graham

06th August, 2017. Jaki Graham joins BEF at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

BEF, Glen Matlock

06th August, 2017. Glen Matlock joins BEF at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

BEF, Glenn Gregory

06th August, 2017. Glenn Gregory joins BEF at Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

John Parr

06th August, 2017. John Parr plays Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

T’PAU

06th August, 2017. T'PAU plays Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Toyah

06th August, 2017. Toyah plays Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Nick Heyward

06th August, 2017. Nick Heyward plays Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Belinda Carlisle

06th August, 2017. Belinda Carlisle plays Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

Status Quo

06th August, 2017. Status Quo play Rewind North, Macclesfield, UK

And that’s it, Rewind North over for another year, but with a great line up and some fantastic performances from the artists over the weekend. I’ll be back there for 2018 for another retro-fest.
Missed one of the Rewind dates? Rewind South is on at Henley in Thames on 18-20 August 2017.

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