In an era of 80’s pop star comebacks, the latest to jump on the bandwagon over the last couple of years is Rick Astley.
LIVE REVIEW: Rick Astley, Sheffield City Hall
Although best known for the 1987 number one single Never Gonna Give You Up and for being a product of Stock Aitken and Waterman’s “hit factory” which dominated the late-Eighties charts, Astley released his seventh album, 50, last summer.
The album went straight to number one, almost attaining platinum status. Not bad for a man who “retired” in 1993.
With a full European tour in full flow, it is obvious that his voice has evolved into a rich and soulful instrument.
He switched from uptempo disco style tracks to slow love ballads with ease in front of a sell out audience at Sheffield's City Hall.
He opened up with Coming Home Tonight while the next number, 1988’s Together Forever, got the crowd up and moving for the first dance number.
Live, the song took on an almost Motown feel thanks to Astley’s proficient band, and his two backing singers in particular.
But new songs such as the Beatles-light Pieces and Angels on My Side showed that Astley is a good songwriter in his own right.
A personal highlight of the night for me was the surprise cover of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You” which Rick performed with ease.
Things took an unusual turn though when he took to the drums and led a rendition of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell.
But with this, Rick and his band proved they could play anything.
Never Gonna Give You Up was as great as I remember and I was taken back to my teens, reminiscing about nights in local nightclubs dancing away to it.
As it began, as the closer to the show, you could almost see Astley psyche himself up for it.
Thirty years of belting out the same number must be repetitive but you can see why as the crowd went crazy for this.
And indeed the crowd loved it.
And Rick is a clever man. Performing that song lets him play his newer, better, more soulful stuff, as well as some heavy metal too.
Rick promised to return to Sheffield in the future. Sounds like he's never gonna give up on us!