NIK KERSHAW, GO WEST and T’PAU at Bournemouth Pavilion 7th Nov 2015
31 years since I first saw young Nik Kershaw in Bournemouth, and over a decade since I saw Peter Cox on tour with Tony Hadley, it’s a surprisingly great low-key evening of oldies and more recent covers, with support from Carol Decker as T’Pau on board to act, as she said, fluffer for the boys. She did good, still in fine voice and looking great, and though I was never a huge fan T’Pau’s best trio of tracks were present and correct, Valentine’s Day, Heart And Soul (which I adore, but was always going to be tough to match in concert) and of course China In Your Hand, which I overdosed on at the time, but shows itself to be a great song and an audience motivator. The new stuff was the equal of the other oldies, some great guitar work too, almost a lost art form these pop days.
The format of the concert from here was unusual, and it worked beautifully, essentially Nik, Peter and Richard did joint covers old and new, then 2 each Go West and Nik Kershaw, then repeat till the climax when they did one each alternated for the big ones. Despite a pretty rubbish sound quality from where I was sitting, side balcony, they put on a great show. It would be fair to say the boys, and those of us in the audience, weren’t looking as young and fresh as we once did, but Peter Cox still has a great soulful voice, and Nik Kershaw still has charm and quirky individuality for a pop star. He never sounded much like anyone else, and had his own music style which still pretty much sounds like no-one else, and in a very good way. I was reminded just how good some of the back catalogue was and picked up new appreciation for some tracks I’d never been big on at the time: Don Quixote especially came over fabulously.
Go West’s finest moments for me were Call Me, Don’t Look Down and the classic “Pretty Woman” soundtrack King Of Wishful Thinking, which really when down a treat along with eternally popular We Close Our Eyes, while they also covered Sam Sparro’s Black And Gold and one of Nik’s oldies, and he in return covered one of theirs. On those Peter sung with Nik, there were a few 80’s faves such as Everybody Wants To Rule The World and Would I Lie To You, Seal’s Crazy, Nik’s great song for Chesney Hawkes’ monster hit The One And Only, and Birdy’s Wings, which came over all grungy and would make a terrific single (hint hint) for those of us that found Birdy’s version a little too simpering. As Nik quipped, up next is a Birdie Song – not that one! Nik’s catalogue impressed, Wide Boy, I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and especially the fantastic The Riddle and Wouldn’t It Be Good. Finally, the encore was an unexpected joint cover Kings Of Leon treat, Sex On Fire, which went down as well as any of their own stuff, and was a cracking version. The band were excellent, and a everyone went away very happy. Now, all I want is an album of corking contemporary covers by Go West Nik Kershaw!, or GWNK a la FFS (Franz Ferdinand Sparks)!