Artists: Billy Ocean
Venue: Holmfirth Picturedrome
Review by: Hazel Ettienne
THE white dreadlocks which 80s icon Billy Ocean now sports, may suggest he has aged somewhat since he first sang the hits which still get everyone onto the party floor at discos and functions across the country.
But the fans who packed Holmfirth’s Picturedrome quickly discovered that nothing could be further from the truth for this sharp-suited star, and former tailor. The passing years have not diminished his talent or popularity.
Trinidadian-born Leslie Sebastian Charles may be 60-plus but the voice, the moves and the genuine Mr NIce Guy personality which made him a household name more than 30 years ago remain, providing an evening of entertainment which gave me the feel good factor for the whole weekend.
More than 20 years ago I saw Billy Ocean at Sheffield Arena and remember it being a high energy performance with lots of audience participation. The version at Holmfirth’s Picturedrome was even more so. What a showman!
For more than an hour and a half the packed venue was treated to all their favourites and more and we all joined in, laughed danced and were encouraged to do so.
Love Really Hurts Without You, Caribbean Queen, When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going, Get Outta My Dreams and Into My Car and Loverboy. It was easy to forget just how many hits this Grammy award-winning artist has actually recorded unless you were actually there.
And there were also hits he had penned including Red Light Spells Danger and his version of Love Train by the O’Jays.
Ocean, who took his stage name from the Stepney estate he grew up on in London, was awarded a well deserved lifetime achievement at the Mobo awards last year.
His energy, enthusiasm and effervescent personality and the strength he no doubt draws from his Rastafarian faith will no doubt keep him touring for years to come. Fabulous! Bring it on Billy.
Backing vocals including his daughter were also spot on and there were some cool backing musicians including a talented saxophonist who provided a dreamy warm-up to the evening’s entertainment.
Billy’s latest tour includes the Rewind festival next month before he heads off to the States in the autumn.