Recapturing my 1980s youth…

The lovely Jason Donovan.
The lovely Jason Donovan.

I was able to relive a small portion of my youth yesterday afternoon by dancing and singing along to some old favourites including Five Star, Bjorn Again, Sister Sledge and Jason Donovan at the Reload Festival (please excuse the quality of the photos, they were taken on my phone, which probably dates from the 1980s).

It was the first time I had left Freya, for a fun reason, for any length of time and it was touch and go whether I would be able to shut the front door behind me but I think it was good for me to get out and also for her dad to have some one on one time – and I only called home once and text seven times!

I had a few insights while I was out.

Five Star – these guys still have the moves (not to mention the voices). I remember my friends and I attempting to learn the routines when we were little. I couldn’t do them then and I certainly couldn’t do them now but they (although only four of them) were just as good, if not better. I also discovered their 1986 hit was not, in fact, called Systematic, as I had been singing for a good 30 odd years, but System Addict. It’s true, you learn something new every day.

Clothes – they called it “fancy dress” yesterday but back in the 80s we called them clothes. Rara skirts, neon leg warmers, Frankie Says Relax (or my own Save Ferris) t-shirts and shell suits (although I never had one of those) were just what you wore. What were we thinking? I wonder what people in 30 or so years will consider “fancy dress” from today?

Five Star strutting their stuff.
Five Star strutting their stuff.

Space –  I don’t understand why if there is a millimetre of space in front of you people feel the need to put their entire body there. I get that they want to be close to the action but I got there before the action started so I wouldn’t have to stand on someone else to admire the view. Or maybe this happened back in the day and I was either young enough I didn’t care or was the one pushing to the front?

Spoilsports – Jason Donovan was fantastic, as well as singing some of his own hits, including Especially For You (where I was secretly hoping to be picked to go on stage, even though I can’t sing) he also did a crowd pleasing rendition of Any Dream Will Do. He seemed down to earth and funny and, my goodness, the man can sing. My problem was an obnoxious man standing directly behind me who made it clear he wasn’t a Jason fan, loudly, over and again, despite the fact he seemed to be able to sing along to most of the songs. He talked over Jason talking, made negative comments about each song and was generally really annoying. Shouting: “Where’s Kylie?” several times was the height of his humour. I’m sure he was a little tipsy, so that didn’t help, but in the 80s many, many people, me included, would probably have told him to “shut his face” but now we all just attempted to ignore him with the occasional passive aggressive “tut”.

Food and drink – In the 80s I’m pretty sure the only drinks you could buy at concerts were alcohol or fizzy soft drinks. I’m not sure bottled water was even invented, outside of London, and hot drinks wouldn’t have been considered. Maybe it was the aging nature of the crowd but as well as a diverse array of food available, including Vegan cuisine, there were also a number of coffee stalls, even selling hot chocolate, doing a roaring trade. Ah progress.

Stamina – today my back aches, my legs are killing me and I feel dehydrated, despite not touching a drop of the hard stuff. While I wouldn’t want to go back to the 80s, I wouldn’t half mind getting some of my youthful energy back. If they do a festival for that, I’m there.

Generally it was a lovely fun-filled atmosphere with everyone out to have a good time and it was great to see the acts back again, often better than before.

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