Yazoo Newcastle City Hall 19th November 1982
Yazoo were the British synthpop duo formed by Depeche Mode member Vince Clarke (keyboards) and Alison Moyet (vocals). They came together in late 1981, and over the next 18 months they made two albums which blended Clarke’s synthesizers and pop tunes with Moyet’s bluesy vocals. They had big single hits with “Only You”, “Don’t Go” and “Nobody’s Diary”. From the official Yazoo site: “I put an ad in Melody Maker looking for a semi-professional band,” say Alison “Not someone who’d just had a massive hit album.” Vince: “I’d heard Alison perform under various guises and I knew she was an amazing singer,” Vince recalls. “I wanted songs to be sung with a lot of emotion. I didn’t know how it would work, but I wanted to try.” Schooled in the ideologies of the “splendidly low rent” punk scene, Alison was hardly looking for stardom: “Ambition was wanting to move up from being third on the bill at a pub to headlining at a pub,” she recalls. “Vince was an anomaly – he’d taken it to the next level with Depeche Mode and achieved success at a point when, for me, there was nothing cool about being on Top Of The Pops. But when he got in touch, there was a certain perverse appeal in trying something I’d never done before. It’s almost freak like, this idea of someone from Basildon moving out and actually doing something. I found it incredibly compelling.”On stage Yazoo incorporated a slide/film visual display, using seven slide projectors and film projectors. The films and slides were (back) projected onto five screens at the back of the stage. From a review of the time: “Three of the projectors produce most of the animated effects on the centre screen and there are approximately 350 different slides seen in each set. The screens are used to display various pieces of photography and graphics, which ‘sort of’ relate to the music.” A great concert by an excellent pop act. Yazoo split acrimoniously in May 1983; however they have reunited to play a series of concerts in recent years.
Setlist: Situation; Too Pieces; Goodbye Seventies; Winter Kills; Bad Connection; Tuesday; Bring Your Love Down (Didn’t I); Midnight; Chinese Detectives; In My Room; Don’t Go; The Other Side of Love; Ode to Boy; Only You; Situation.
Archive for the ‘Alison Moyet’ Category
Yazoo Newcastle City Hall 19th November 1982
Live Aid Wembley Stadium 13th July 1985
I went with a couple of mates. We missed out on tickets when they went on sale and the only way we could get there was to buy tickets for a coach trip from Middlesbrough. So we were up at 4am, drove to Middlesbrough and joined a coach which left at 5am for London. We arrived well before noon, had a couple of drinks and entered the stadium, which was of course completely packed so we found a spot in the stands right at the back. A few minutes later Status Quo took to the stage with “Rockin’ All Over The World” and the day started. This was Quo reunited one year after the split, with Alan flying over from Oz to join Francis and Rick. Their short set also featured Caroline” and “Don’t Waste My Time”. A fitting start to the day. I have so many great memories of that day.
Queen’s performance is, of course, often rated as the greatest live performance by any band. Freddie certainly commanded the crowd the day and it propelled them to super stardom. Their well planned set was a medley with short sections of their anthems: “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Hammer To Fall”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”. They had apparently been rehearsing their short set for days, to ensure perfection, and it showed, and worked. U2 weren’t far behind them, though, in terms of performance, with Bono showing how great a front man he was. U2 played two songs: “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and a lengthy version of “Bad” during which Bono dragged a girl from the rush down front to dance with him on stage, and which also included snippets from Lou Reed’s “Satellite of love” and “Walk On The Wild Side”, and The Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday” and “Sympathy for the Devil”. Electric.
For me, however. the highlights were The Who and David Bowie, as I was, and remain, a big fan of both acts. Bowie started with “TVC15” (a strange and poor choice I felt, and remember being disappointed on the day), “Rebel Rebel” (great, good choice), “Modern Love” (well, ok) and then “Heroes” (we all sag along and it was pure magic). I still feel that with a better choice of songs Bowie could have eclipsed Queen and U2.
The Who performed “My Generation”, “Pinball Wizard”, “Love Reign O’er Me” (another strange song choice given the magnitude of the event) and a blistering “Won’t Get Fooled Again” with much mike swinging by Daltrey and lots of arm twirling by Townshend.
Other memories: Elton and Kiki sang “Don’t go Breaking my Heart” (great!). Paul McCartney suffered from sound problems and we couldn’t hear him at all for much of “Let It Be” although I gather it was fine on TV. Geldof drew massive cheers every time he set foot on stage, and he deserved every one of them. The scheduling worked amazingly, with very few hitches. Seeing the cameras pick out Charles and Diana over in their enclosure. The amazingly camp Bowie and Jagger video. The awful, sad and moving video of starving children played to the Cars’ “Drive”. Phil Collins playing Wembley and JFK courtesy of Concorde (show off).
But the truly unforgettable moment came at the end, and will stay in my mind for ever. That was the finale, with the entire stadium singing along to “Do They Know It’s Christmas ?” with Bob Geldof leading us, and everyone else on stage. I’ve never seen, felt, or heard anything like it before or since. We walked out of that stadium to the coach park, all of us still singing…..”Feed The World”…..
Then it was a long coach ride back to Middlesbrough. We arrived back around 5 or 6am, then drove home. 24 hours with hardly any sleep, just an hour or so caught on the bus, but a day I will remember forever.
Line-up: Status Quo; The Style Council; The Boomtown Rats; Adam Ant; Ultravox; Spandau Ballet; Elvis Costello; Nik Kershaw; Sade; Sting; Phil Collins; Howard Jones; Bryan Ferry (with David Gilmour on guitar); Paul Young/Alison Moyet; U2; Dire Straits/Sting; Queen; Video “Dancing in the Streets” by David Bowie/Mick Jagger; David Bowie; The Who; Elton John (Kiki Dee and George Michael join Elton); Mercury and May; Paul McCartney; Finale
Alison Moyet Newcastle City Hall 1984
Alison Moyet is one of our best soul/R&B singers. Her voice has great range, and a soulful, bluesy feel. I have seen her live four times; once with Yazoo (I will write about that concert when I eventually get to covering the letter “Y” which still seems a long way off right now), at the Sage a few years ago in a concert with Michel Legrand (I have already written about that gig), at Live Aid, and on her first solo tour in 1984 in a concert at Newcastle City Hall. At the time of the 1984 tour Alison had just released her first solo album “Alf” which contains the great singles “All Cried Out” and “Love Resurrection”. The album and those singles were the first signs that Alison was more than just a pop singer, and her strong soul and R&B voice were really starting to emerge. The programme tells us that she was influenced by Janis Joplin, and you could see this side of her starting to come through. She is of course still successful 30 years later. In those years she has sung many different song, in many different styles. Alison said at the time (from the programme): “Oh, I don’t see myself as a great singer…I’d just like to see myself as an all-rounder. I couldn’t stand just to do one style. I want to do it all. One day I’m going to shock everyone and do a Jack the Lad song. [? strange choice :)] I don’t see any necessity to limit yourself to one thing at all. I’d just get frustrated. Variety’s the spice of life and all that and I believe I can sing anything. If I sang folk you’d think I’d come right out of that period. If I sang jazz you’d think I’d been brought up on that. If I sang r’n’b you’d think I’d lived with that all my life. I just adapt well. I just think that whatever you sing you’ve got to really believe it. If I’m singing a song I can make myself feel really sad….I can make myself cry by singing.” Support for the 1984 tour came from Person to Person.
Michel Legrand and Alison Moyet Ths Sage Gateshead Feb 18 2009
The Thomas Crown Affair is a great film and Windwills of Your Mind is one of my all time favourite songs. This show was by Michel Legrand and his orchestra with Alison Moyet joining him for a few songs (including Windmills). I’d read that the first half was instrumental only, with Legrand and his orchestra playing selections from some of the many film scores which he has written in his long (he is in his late 70s) career. Alison was due to join during the second half. So I timed my arrival to hit the interval (I really was just going along to hear Windwills; I also had to be up at 6am the next morning to go to London for a meeting).
My timing jus about worked. I arrived just as the first half was finishing. I bought a programme and took a seat at the back upstairs (I had a cheap ticket; and upstairs was by no means full). Legrand opened the second half with a couple of instrumentals and a song which he sang himself. He then introduced Alison Moyet who sang 6 or 7 songs. Windmills of Your Mind was sung as a duet with Legrand; pretty good and great to see the composer playing it. I also recognised What are you doing the rest of your life, and one other which sounded familiar. Alison left and Legrand and the orchestra played a selection from the theme to the Thomas Crown Affair, which ended the show. There was no encore.
This was quite a different type of gig for me, but I enjoyed it, and was pleased that I had made the effort. I was also pleased that the evening finished quite early (around 10pm) so I could get some sleep before my early start.