It’s safe to say that Jack Up The 80s has gone from strength to strength since its first outing in 2013, with bigger acts and even more people enjoying the event this year. Although the event is evidently aimed at adults, who experienced the vivid decade first-hand, Jack Up The 80s showed a true family-friendly feel with artists playing modern hits with bubbles from AmazeBubbles drifting across the front of the stage, much to the delight of the younger members of the audience. With the weather behaving well this year, Jack Up The 80s was set to be another successful event.
The charitable event opened its gates at 10am on Saturday 8th August where a long queue of people were made to wait up to 30 minutes to enter the site if they had chosen to purchase tickets through The Price Is Wight. It seemed that most people had taken this cheaper option. Fans who had made it into the site by 10:30am were treated to performances by tribute outfits The 80s Hair Rock Experience and Complete Madness, who set the tone perfectly for the weekend. The first original artist from the 80s to perform was Nathan Moore, who had success with bands Brother Beyond and Worlds Apart in the 80s and 90s. As well as performing his own hits, he covered Footloose, Jungle Boogie and the recent Uptown Funk, as well as joining in with the crowd for a rendition of Oops Upside Your Head.
It was then the turn for ex-Funhouse presenter and I’m A Celebrity contestant Pat Sharp to take to the stage for a special DJ set. As well as spinning 80s classics on the decks, the 80s legend also played modern hits including Pharrell Williams’ Happy and David Guetta & Sia’s Titanium. Fan favourites Doctor and the Medics, who are the only act to have performed at all three events, then went down a treat with the fans, performing covers of Ace of Spades and Rolling on the River and, of course, their 1986 number 1 hit Spirit in the Sky. The Sun was still up for soul-star Jaki Graham, who, like Doctor and the Medics, performed a cover of Tina Turner’s Rolling on the River, as well as her own rendition of Superstition. If the size of her crowd was anything to go by, then I’d say that her performance was one of the highlights of the weekend.
The penultimate performance on the day came from Cheryl, Mike and Jay (formerly of Bucks Fizz) with fellow Eurovision contestant Bobby McVay, who returned to the event after being forced to shorten their set due to the weather at last year’s event. Along with their huge hits Land of Make Believe and Making Your Mind Up, the four-piece performed a huge 80s medley in the middle of their set which included Take On Me, Don’t You Want Me Baby and had the crowd clapping along with Radio Gaga. Certainly my favourite performance of the weekend. The headline performance came from Sheffield pop band ABC who performed to a backdrop of the sunset, which made for a perfect end to the day.
Day 2 was also opened by The 80s Hair Rock Experience, with their second set of the weekend, followed by lead singer of 80s band Galaxy, Phil Fearon. It was then time for Lancashire-star Sonia to take to the stage. Best known for her number 1 single at the 18, You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You and representing the UK at Eurovision in 1993, Sonia treated fans to an upbeat performance featuring 80s classics as well as her own big hits.
For me a strange choice on the bill was children’s TV legend Timmy Mallett who staged a mini game show on the stage as reference to his TV show back in the 80s, Wacaday. Along with Pinky Punky and Mallett’s Mallet, Timmy had the crowd joining in with his songs and repeating his iconic catchphrases. After his show, hundreds of people queued up to meet the star and obtain their own signed Pinky Punky as a souvenir of his great show. Whilst people were still queuing up to meet Timmy, tribute act ABBA Chique took to the stage to play through ABBA’s huge back catalogue of hits. Immersed by bubbles and smoke machine effects, the band performed hits Waterloo, Money, Money, Money and Mamma Mia and had the crowd singing along throughout. Fronted by Gary Christian, The Christians were the next act to perform, who performed hits from from their number 2 self-titled album and their biggest hit, charity single Harvest for the World, which peaked at number 8 in the charts.
Bruce Foxton, original member of The Jam, and his Jam tribute act, From The Jam, then performed a set comprised of mega Jam hits, which went down very well with the older members of the audience. It was clear that a lot of the crowd were there to see them, as many of them left before headliners Go West. The fans who did stay, however, were treated to a hit-filled performance from the band, including a cover of Republica’s Ready To Go, which can be viewed on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElRviL-jscY
Although Jack Up The 80s was originally intended as a one-off event, it’s certainly clear that a lot of people want to see it return for a fourth year!
Thanks once again to Jack Up The 80s for letting us come along!
You can see our photos from the weekend over on our ‘gallery’ page, here: http://iowfestivalfansite.blogspot.co.uk/p/gallery.html or watch videos from the weekend on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5s2aNm0hZhrJnvdn5tnSlQ