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5 March 2012, 12:55 | Updated: 5 March 2012, 12:57
Get your leg warmers at the ready, pull out the eyeliner from the bottom of your make-up bag and resurrect the ‘flock of seagulls’ haircut for a one day festival that will take you back to the 80s. On Saturday 26th May, some of the best acts come together from one of the greatest decades when the Ultimate 80s Festival comes to The Forum Hertfordshire, Hatfield.
A one day outdoor event hosted by Heart’s Matt Jarvis, the Ultimate 80s Festival will see a line up of iconic 80s artists take to the stage and celebrate a time that saw new genres erupt, creating a defining era in UK music. New Wave is one such musical style that characterised the time and the headliner of this event is an act that were influential in the popularity and success of the genre. ABC kick-started the 80s with their own brand of pop for a ‘new decade’. On its release in May 1982 their debut album ‘The Lexicon of Love’ crashed straight into the UK album charts at Number 1. Showcasing the hit songs ‘Tears Are Not Enough’, ‘Poison Arrow’, ‘The Look Of Love’ and ‘All Of My Heart’. A groundbreaking collection of modern love songs it remains a classic to this day and voted by many as the best British album of the decade. The band continued to blossom and their music evolved, as they released subsequent albums which always had the ABC sound, but exerted originality and were influenced by other music of the time. They took the US by storm, collaborated with diverse artists (King Britt, David Arnold) and have continued to play live throughout their 30 year career with a high energy performance.
Joining ABC are fellow Sheffield synthpop stars, Heaven 17. Their debut album, ‘Penthouse and Pavement’, was a seminal record which demonstrated the band’s left-wing outlook and courage to express political views through their music. It charted at Number 14 and was certified Gold by the BPI in 1982. In 1983 Heaven 17 followed this early success with the landmark single ‘Temptation’, charting at Number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. Taken from the band’s second album, ‘The Luxury Gap’, the release spawned two further chart hits (‘Come Live With Me’, ‘Crushed By The Wheels Of The Industry’) with the album charting at Number 4 and certified Platinum. Since then, they have released six albums and remained relevant with their influence on many contemporary artists appropriating the 80s electro sound. This was witnessed most by the joining of Heaven 17 and La Roux when they recorded a session for the BBC and on stage collaborations at Glastonbury Festival and the War Child Brits After Show party in 2010.
Complementing this already stellar line up is legendary Electronic artist, Howard Jones, who burst onto the contemporary music scene in 1983 with pioneering synthesisers and high energy live shows. A classically trained pianist, Jones applied his technique to the early synths and was triggering sequencers live on stage whilst playing and singing - something that no one had done before. About to embark on a UK tour playing his first two studio albums live in their entirety, Howard will be warmed up and raring to go for the Ultimate 80s Festival in May.
Getting the party started and bringing some sunshine for all us all to walk on will be the wonderful Katrina from Katrina & The Waves and Doctor & The Medics, whose Number 1 hit ‘Spirit In The Sky’ is the perfect anthem to have everybody dancing on the Bank Holiday weekend.