Koko, London 28/010/2014
Let's cut straight to the chase, resplendent in a black military style jacket and leather trousers, and sporting his trademark left white glove and outsized sunglasses Holly Johnson's return to the live London stage was, frankly, a triumph.
From the opening bars of 'Atomic City' to the closing notes of 'The Power of Love' Johnson rattled through the nineteen-song setlist with ease, deftly displaying the range and breadth of his catalogue to great effect in front of an appreciative audience.
Ostensibly here to promote his excellent new album 'Europa' Johnson is equally aware that a vast part of his audience are there to hear some of the songs that made his name as part of Frankie Goes To Hollywood - in fact he goes so far as to introduce 'Relax' as 'the money shot' - and while they're not disappointed it's a shame that some of the newer material, in particular the stunning 'So Much It Hurts', isn't better appreciated by tonight's crowd.
Our highlights included tonight's performance of the massively underrated 'Americanos'; 'Two Tribes' (archly intoduced as 'the song that ended the Cold War') complete with a handheld searchlight that allowed Johnson to pick out members of the audience; and the emotional encore 'The Power of Love' that sent this appreciative crowd away with a song in their hearts.
Confident, witty, interactive, charming and in great voice, Holly Johnson is every bit the star today as he was at the height of his 80s fame. let's hope he doesn't stay away so long again.
LONDON - KOKO, 28/10/2014
Atomic City / Warriors Of The Wasteland / Welcome To the Pleasuredome / Rage Hard / Love Train / Follow Your Heart / In And Out Of Love / Heavens Here / Americanos / Lonesome Town / Europa / Disco Heaven / Dancing With No Fear / Penny Arcade / So Much It Hurts / Watching The Wildlife / Relax / Two Tribes / Power of Love
Review by This Is Not Retro. Photographs by Andy Sturmey.
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