Title: Nice one!
Author: Deanne Pearson
Source: No. 1
Publish date: January 1, 1985
It’s been a hell of a year for Frankie. They’ve had three number ones, a block busting debut album and a successful tour of America. But for their friends and families they topped everything with three Christmas concerts in Liverpool.
Deanne Pearson joined in the final night celebrations while John Stoddart wielded the Sureshot.
In the lads’ current catchphrase it was definitely a Nice one!
Welcome to the Pleasuredome…
The excitement hangs heavy inside Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre, and there’s a sense of history in the making.
After topping the charts, after breaching America, after rocking the pop world, the Lads are back in town.
The stage lights up and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, backs turned and clad in riding boots and breeches, slam Into ‘War’. A roar erupts from the audience and everyone is up, out of their seats — youngsters hoisted onto shoulders, elders grasped by the elbows.
Liverpool says… WELCOME HOME, LADS!
“America was just a warm-up. Being back in Liverpool is a really wonderful experience,” confesses Holly, his Scouse accent running into camp American.
What follows has to be one of the most uplifting and intimate live performances of the year.
‘Relax’, illustrated with a slide show on huge video screens and delivered amid a hall of smoke bombs, and ‘Power Of Love’, sung with Holly’s customary flamboyance, come early on.
Next it’s Paul Rutherford’s turn to hog the spotlight for the ambiguous ‘Krisco Kisses’. “Not many of you know what that means, do you?” Holly teases as Paul spins and thrusts, incorporating a slow strip into his sexy dance routine.
‘The Only Star In Heaven’ and the glorious, full-throttled ‘Black Night White Light’ are followed by ‘Two Tribes’ and ‘Born To Run’, the lads donning leathers tongue-in-cheek Springsteen-style.
No one in the audience can sit still. Mark grins and waves vaguely towards the balcony where about 160 of the band’s friends and family are sitting.
The next number is a very personal tribute to the ‘Pool that Ped’s dad later confesses “brought a lump to me throat” — ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’.
A mock snowstorm envelops the band and they are pelted with crazy foam and silly string. A surprise courtesy of the road crew.
‘Relax’ is demanded, and played. Again. And again, bringing a truly memorable show to a close.
“Ta-ra,” Holly yells, prompting a crescendo of hysterical screaming.
“The first gig was great because there was loads of tension and everybody was panicking. The second night was a bit of an anti-climax because we’d done it before.
“But tonight was great because there were loads of tricks. The crew stitched us up spraying us with the crazy foam and the silly string. It was brilliant. And musically it was better tonight.”
“They bottled out of having Subliminal Cuts as their support band, but other than that it was good. Better than Echo & The Bunnymen. They come over better live than they do on the album, but everybody has said that…”
Brian Chute (vocalist with Subliminal Cuts, “the next big thing outta the ‘Pool. Make sure you quote me on that.” Mark O’Toole)
“‘Pool is the best place we’ve played, ‘cos this is where I come from and this is where I live.
“I got a new car today so I’m pretty happy, see. It’s a fuel-injected suicide machine. Black. (Translation: 2.8 Injection Capri. Black.)”
“Absolutely brilliant. Fantastic. When I saw them up there I couldn’t believe how professional they were. Really brilliant.
“He (Ped) has earned every penny he’s got, y’know? All their mates were there and they’re all made up.
“They’re better than The Beatles. Did The Beatles have three number ones and a number one album in the first 12 months?”
Ray Gill (Ped’s dad)
“I thought about my little lad what I think about him every night, he was great. The first night I’d seen them I likened it to the first time I saw Liverpool win the FA Cup. I knew they could do it, but it had to be seen to be believed.
“Tonight was the best though, with all the family here and all the kids. One of the best things about the show was that all ages genuinely liked it.”
Harry Nash (Nasher’s dad)
“It was brilliant. This was the only night I went to. I was crying me eyes out when they first came on. I couldn’t control meself like.”
Ann Gill (Ped’s 18-year-old sister)
“Very good. I used to be in showbusiness years ago. I was a double act with my sister, singing and dancing. So I was very impressed. Very much so.”
Ped’s Auntie Sherry
“The last single, what’s that called? ‘Power Of Love’ — I like that, It’s really strong. And ‘Relax’, that’s my favourite.”
Ped’s Auntie Marie
“I’ve seen them all three nights. I was a bit nervous the first night, so I preferred the other two nights. I don’t know why I was nervous, but I was. I just went all peculiar when I saw them coming onstage.”
Kay (Ped’s mum)
“I’ve known them for ages. They’ve always just been the lads. I always knew they’d make it and I’m proud of them.”
Jayne Casey (singer in Pink Industry. Once a member of Big In Japan with Holly)
“I thought the set was a bit boring in the middle to be quite honest, but ‘Born To Run’, ‘Relax’ and ‘The Power Of Love’ were great.
“I first heard them play one and a half years ago. They were pretty good then and they’d never been in a studio. Now they’re dead good — better than Duran Duran and selling as well. They’re the only group in town who no-one slags off.”
Ian Broudie (Ex Big In Japan)