Review: Rewind to the music that stands the test of time

Jim Kerr made a surprise appearance at Rewind. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography.
Jim Kerr made a surprise appearance at Rewind. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography.

Heavy rain failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of revellers who headed to Perth at the weekend for two days of 80s nostalgia.

Fluorescent pink and yellow tutus; Top Gun pilots and Madonna-look-a-likes were the order of the day as people celebrated the decade at the Rewind Scotland Festival, which is now in its seventh year, at Scone Palace.

Kim Wilde performing on stage. Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

Kim Wilde performing on stage. Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

On Saturday the crowds were entertained with music from top acts such as Chesney Hawkes, T’Pau, Level 42, Musical Youth, Nik Kershaw, Heather Small and the Trevor Horn Band – whose set also featured a surprise performance by Jim Kerr of Simple Minds who performed Waterfront.

The day finished with an outstanding set by headliners The Human League who sang their best-loved hits including Fascination, Don’t You Want Me and Mirror Man.

Chesney Hawkes performed two songs from his new album and his most famous number one single ‘The One and Only’ – with Nik Kershaw (who penned the UK chart topper). Speaking ahead of his set, Chesney explained what it is about the 1980s that people love: “I think it is nostalgia and people re-living their youth. I also love how everyone comes to Rewind all dressed up - for the crowd it’s not about being cool or being hip, they have left their inhibitions at the gate when they turn up in their pink and neon outfits!

“The last time I played here was about four or five years ago and I remember being taken aback at how colourful the crowd were. The Scottish fans know how to have a good time and they just go for it!”

Jason Donovan wowed the crowds. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

Jason Donovan wowed the crowds. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

The legendary Trevor Horn (formerly of The Buggles, Yes and Art of Noise), whose set included Video Killed the Radio Star, was appearing for the first time at the Scottish festival. He explained why the 1980’s was a special time for music: “In the Eighties you had an eclectic mix of music from reggae to bands like U2,” he said. “Now music is very similar in style, there isn’t the same diversity. In the 80s groups like T’Pau and Musical Youth were very individual. They had their own style.

“Festivals like this allow people of that generation to just enjoy great music. You have lots of great acts on stage so there is something for everyone.”

Nik Kershaw, who performed some of his most popular hits at the event including The Riddle, said: “I have played at Rewind Scotland four times and I really enjoy it. It is quite a thrill looking out at the crowd and seeing everyone singing your songs.”

On the Sunday, which was a drier day, the line up included Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Soul II Soul, the British Electric Foundation featuring Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory, Jaki Graham, Owen Paul and Glen Matlock, Belinda Carlisle, Jason Donovan and Kim Wilde.

Belinda Carlisle performed a fantastic set at Rewind. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

Belinda Carlisle performed a fantastic set at Rewind. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

The event finished with headliner Billy Ocean who performed his biggest hits from the decade – When the Going Gets Tough, Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, Suddenly and Carribean Queen.

Speaking ahead of his performance, Jason Donovan, who sang his greatest hits which included Too Many Broken Hearts, said: “It is always a pleasure to be at Rewind, and coming to Scotland to sing my songs. I am always excited to see the crowds.”

But why are people so nostalgic about the 1980s? Jason believes there are a few good reasons: “I think it is a sentimental thing for a lot of people and it was a great time for television and MTV. It was also great era for music - a very artistic time.”

But it was Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17 who summed the weekend up perfectly by saying the festival is a fantastic celebration of Eighties music. He said: “This is what it is all about. People are dressing up and having fun, but really it boils down to the music and the songs which have stood the test of time.”

Billy Ocean was headlining on Sunday night. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

Billy Ocean was headlining on Sunday night. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

The Human League were the headliners on the Saturday at Rewind. Pic:  Stephen Gunn Photography.

The Human League were the headliners on the Saturday at Rewind. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography.

Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

Heaven 17's Glenn Gregory. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

Trevor Horn and Jim Kerr. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography.

Trevor Horn and Jim Kerr. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography.

Go West performing on stage. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography.

Go West performing on stage. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography.

Members of British Electric Foundation. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.

Members of British Electric Foundation. Pic: Stephen Gunn Photography Copyright.