Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Friday night in Manchester, Go West are in town with the Cutting Crew, and the fantastic Southbank Sinfonia orchestra. The Bridgewater Hall is the perfect venue for such a treat, designed to cater for such events, built to give the best possible space for music. Native home to the Halle orchestra, tonight it's home to 80s rock and pop.
Cutting Crew arrived starting with an orchestra backed mellow version of "Died in Your Arms". Nick, Gareth, band and orchestra delivered a fantastic 35 minute set. Nick expressed his heart felt feelings about the impact to the industry over the pandemic, along side with the back drop of the political meaning of their songs, they absolutely rocked the house. Nick stepped off stage for Gareth to stand centre delivering a class medley of their tracks on his guitar building up to ending on a orchestra filled rock version of "Died in Your Arms". I fully enjoyed Cutting Crew set, I was certainly left wanting more. On thanking the orchestra and audience, they announced that all profits from the merch will be going to support the Ukraine, making us all fall in love just a little more with them.
The orchestra arrives back on stage, settles, and slowly breaks into an overture of Go West songs, you can feel the buzz and excitement around the room as we await for Peter and Richard to take to stage. Go West arrive kicking off the evening with "Don't Look Down", followed by 13 songs, a mixture of hits, covers and new music. The standout songs for me were "The Kings is Dead" which had a slow smokey New Orleans blues vibe to it, followed by their cover of Smokey Robinsons "Tracks of My Tear".
The evening was full of good humour, with Richard delivering many of the punchlines. A great deal of humility was also shown, with praise for the industry and all it has gone through over the past two year.
After "Call Me" the band left to an encore, at least you had to use your imagination, as Richard joked, to leave for an encore and return with the orchestra will take some time. So imagination in full play the crowd cheered for Go West to return. The Orchestra fired up, Peter and Richard have stepped back to centre stage and the night is finished off in full swing with "We Close Our Eyes" and the cherry on the cake "King of Wishful Thinking"
If you can ever see Go West with an Orchestra, do so. There really is something which just makes it a little magical. And if that's not your thing, you'll be pleased to know that Go West are touring in May without Orchestra in tow. To find out more visit www.gowest.org.uk/tour.htm