From ABC to OMD via Howard Jones and Adam Ant, Andy Howells samples Let’s Rock at Tredegar Park, Newport.
After two long years of anticipation, Let’s Rock Wales returned to Newport’s Tredegar Park on Saturday. A celebration of all thing retro-pop, music fans could finally gather their picnics and deck chairs and enjoy the sunshine (on what started off as a typical rainy day in Newport) to the sights sounds from a feast of chart-breaking stars from yesteryear introduced on stage by Pat Sharp and Dave Benson Phillips.
Tucked away in the heart of Tredegar Park, Betty Boo, The Art of What, Marc Almond and Chesney Hawkes were among the acts raising feelgood factor bar throughout the day. The festival atmosphere was very relaxed, and the live music provided not only a focus point, but a soundtrack to a pleasurable day as visitors took time out to purchase food, merchandise and participate in silent auctions supporting charitable causes around the venue.
For myself, having acts performing live on my doorstep was surreal, but in a good way. I’ve long felt that the only redeeming factor of the 1980s was the music scene and although I was too young to catch many of these acts live at the time, its so good to have that opportunity here.
Howard Jones performing Like To Get To Know You Well in the South Wales sunshine (with Kajagoogoo’s Nick Beggs among his backing band line-up) and OMD’s energetic revisit to Enola Gay brought back memories of Live Aid on TV and mail order cassette tapes from the Britannia Music Club respectively!
Following Martin Fry wowing fans with a set of ABC’s greatest hits including Poison Arrow and The Look of Love on the main stage, there was a chance for those in the VIP tent to enjoy up-close and personal live performances from Esther de Bijl aka E-Starr of Ottowan and Brother Beyond’s Nathan Moore. Such sets added an extra dimension to the evening as people danced to feelgood tracks, D.I.S.C.O. and Sex on Fire.
Back on the main stage, Lets Rock Wales ended on a high note with a powerhouse set from the legendary Adam Ant and his band delighting fans (several dressed in Ant regalia) with many of his greatest hits including Goody Two Shoes, Antmusic, Prince Charming and Stand & Deliver.
Its fabulous to see Newport play host to such iconic names in music and in such a chilled family friendly way. Let’s Rock hits all the right notes when celebrating retro music!
- Let’s Rock continues to visit locations across the UK throughout the summer, for further details and availability visit the Let’s Rock website and click on the locations tab.