Down to The Rose and a brilliant fund raising event organised by Yel for the International Youth Arts Festival, featuring the return of eighties crooner Rick Astley and his new band The Luddites. It was a long way from Together Forever!
Clad in orange boiler suits the three piece cracked their way through a string of covers with Rick himself leading from behind the drumkit. As an eighties icon he couldn't have been more packaged and harmless, but here, live and without a care in the world he revelled in the freedom of choosing and interpreting music that he felt something towards. It was the most wonderful subversion - twenty four years late! I wasn't the only one shaking my head in glorious disbelief.
There were some fantastic highlights - Creep, Seven Nation Army, Use Somebody and Pretty Vacant, even a re rendering of the Katy Perry song manfully changed to I Kissed a Boy and how the audience liked it.
Between songs Rick grinned, cracked jokes, and clowned, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, for all the world resembling that other great Lancastrian Eric Morecombe. Then finally just when we thought it couldn't get any better he picked up a guitar and thrashed his way through Never Going Give You Up with all the irony of a man who'd long ago realised the folly of fame and genuinely just preferred hanging out having a laugh with his mates.