CAMP BESTIVAL, DORSET, 31/7/16
After watching Tears For Fears play tour after tour elsewhere in the world since their last British show in 2005, it was starting to look like the duo were avoiding a return to their homeland, but then news came earlier this year came of special headline appearances at Camp Bestival in Dorset and Newmarket Racecourse in Suffolk over the same July weekend. Both promised to be appearances not to be missed, and we were sure we were going to be there.
The strains of Lorde's spooky cover version of the Tears for Fears classic 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World' rang out across the beautiful grounds of Lulworth Castle to accompany Tears For Fears' appearance onstage, Roland Orzabal, followed by bandmate Curt Smith, mouthing the lyrics to the crowd as he picked up his guitar. Opening their show with their own version of the same song there was a genuinely magical moment, reflected in the smiles on both band members faces, when the enormous crowd responded immediately and enthusiastically to what was an impressively note-perfect performance.
Both dressed predominately in black denim and leather Smith and Orzabal both looked relaxed and happy with banter between the songs about family holidays at nearby Lulworth Cove and the sheer number of tents seen at the festival site. The show included an assortment of tracks from across their varied career from the mid 80's imperial phase big hitters such as 'Mad World', 'Pale Shelter', 'Change', 'Sowing the Seeds of Love' to the lesser known tracks from their last few studio albums 'Elemental' and 'Everybody Loves A Happy Ending'.
Sadly there were no new tracks as previously hinted at from the band's forthcoming new album project, but tonight's crowd were there for the hits and that's what was delivered. The only exception to that came towards the end of the set when Orzabal announced 'sometimes we like playing other peoples songs' before he launched into a laid back, mature-sounding version of Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' made complete by the crowd shouting back the 'tee-he' ad-lib parts from the original.
It was great to see the interaction between the band members, swapping their roles of lead and backing vocal where appropriate throughout the ninety-minute show, assisted by a female backing singer, a keyboard player, drummer and an additional guitarist.
Fittingly, during the start of 'Women in Chains', high above our heads in the night sky, the International Space Station came into view for around six minutes above the Earth's atmosphere, crossing the festival site from West to East before it disappeared again beyond the main stage, neatly tying in with Camp Bestival's 'Outer Space' theme, and an additional highlight for all the audience members clad in space-themed fancy dress while watching the show.
Highlights for me included 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World', for possibly one of the best opening moments of any concert; a majestic Head Over Heels, for the sheer determination of the audience to echo the lyrics back to the band; and the classic 'Shout' which closed the thoroughly enjoyable show show in such fine style.
Once Tears For Fears had left the stage for the last time a firework display exploded over Lulworth Castle to celebrate the finale of the festival, a crowning spectacle to close an unforgettable night. Let's hope we don't have another eleven-year wait until we can welcome Tears For Fears back to the UK once more.
CAMP BESTIVAL, DORSET, 31/7/16
Everybody Wants to Rule the World / Secret World / Sowing the Seeds of Love / Pale Shelter / Break It Down Again / Everybody Loves a Happy Ending / Change / Mad World / Memories Fade / Closest Thing to Heaven / Billie Jean (Michael Jackson cover) / Advice for the Young at Heart / Badman's Song / Head Over Heels / Woman in Chains / Shout
Review & Photographs: Andy Sturmey.
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