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    Culture Club

    Photograph used with permission by Hush Hush PR


    Culture Club thrilled the audience at the Manchester Arena tonight with their Life Tour, joined by Thompson Twins Tom Bailey and Belinda Carlisle. 


    Thompson Twins Tom Bailey opened the show to rapturous applause. The accordion of ‘We are Detective’ pulsated through the arena, leading the way for the synth sensation of ‘Love on your side’. The atmosphere was electric.


    The sound engineering and lighting were brilliant; the industrial clicks and turns from the instruments perfectly syncing with the cogs projected on screen during ‘You take me up’. 


    From the cello during ‘Lay your hands on me’, to the synths of incredible new track ‘Science Fiction’, the bands excellent musicianship and Tom’s energy onstage, every element of this set had the audience on their feet and cheering for more. When the lights dimmed, the music stopped and the crowd sang ‘Hold me now’, it was euphoric. We were one family, united by a love of music.


    Following Thompson Twins Tom Bailey was the brilliant Belinda Carlisle, who delighted the crowd with a vibrant set of classic songs including ‘Circle in the Sand’ and ‘I get weak’. 


    Belinda’s vocals are as powerful and iconic as ever. She is truly a phenomenal singer. She danced around the stage with passion and a feeling of fun; you could see how much she loves performing and this infectious energy extended to the crowd as the audience danced and sang at the top of their voices. 


    The acoustic introduction to ‘Heaven is a place on Earth’ was a refreshing take on the song. It built up excitement in the audience and when the electric guitar echoed through the arena, the entire venue was on their feet. By the end of the set I was completely enthralled. This was my first time watching Belinda Carlisle live and I know it certainly won’t be my last. She is an incredible performer.


     Culture Club

    Photograph used with permission by Hush Hush PR


    Headlining the show were Culture Club for the Life tour. The band built up anticipation for their show as each member took centre stage on stairs during an instrumental intro. 


    With the tour named after Culture Club’s album of the same name, new songs such as ‘Let somebody love you’ are certain to become fan favourites. The rhythms and grooves of the song had you swaying your arms and bodies to the beat; the emotion and warmth of Boy George’s vocals soaring into the audience and into your heart and soul. “If you’re with someone you love, this song is for you. If you’re not with someone you love, this song is for you”, said Boy George - a sentiment of love and community that radiated in every lyric and melody of this instant classic.


    The moments in between the songs were just as wonderful. The chemistry between the band was brilliant and you could see how much of a great time they were having onstage. This happiness was felt in the crowd as Boy George made the audience laugh and cheer with stories about the music that influenced them and their love for Manchester, including a story about performing at the Hacienda.


    The band’s performance was equally matched by an incredible production, including onscreen projections that paid homage and tribute to the band’s influences and friends. From a jacket adorned with ‘It’s a Moonage Daydream’, a homage to the legendary David Bowie, to illustrations of friends including George Michael, Steve Strange and more, the technical design was both moving and heartwarming throughout the show. 


    Culture Club sound as amazing as ever; Boy George’s vocals were absolutely flawless from one song to the next. ‘It’s a Miracle’ had the audience dancing in the aisles, while ‘Everything I own’ saw the crowd sing with all their heart and indeed love with all their heart, as members of the crowd hugged the ones with them as they swayed to the song.


    Music has the power to move you, to bring you together and Culture Club’s performance tonight truly brought the audience together as one. As Boy George said “Dance like no one is watching” - and we certainly did.



    By Sarah O' Hara



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