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New Brighton rock—Liverpool

I cant help thinking, as I enter the large amphitheatre style swimming pool criss-crossed with a maze of scaffolding, hydraulic lifts, tons of sound and television hardware and banks of lights, that this whole “New Brighton Rock” thing might just be pitching itself a bit high.

Organised by Granada the four day event, featuring 10 of the worlds top pop stars, Is to be filmed for a 90 minute show to be screened on ITV on June 23. Its also going to be sold all around the world for showing at a later date.

As a result theyve pulled out all the stops. Members of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, a 25 strong dance troupe and a gaggle of underwater frogmen are taking part alongside a full-scale laser and firework extravaganza. Whats more, 4000 free tickets have been given out for each night and, not surprisingly, they were all snapped up in a jiffy.

Its now 10 pm and things are getting underway with The Weather Girls, who are led up the trusty gang-plank. After a lot of umming and aahing by the TV men with walkie-talkies, and a whole lot of screeching and screaming by the now shivering crowd, egged on by the dinky and all too energetic warm-up person, were off. Their latest single, “Success”, booms out of the hydraulically supported PA. Pandemonium is rife. The crowd elbow for position, all desperately trying to get in shot of one of the nine zillion cameras. Meanwhile the Bryan Rogers dancers ‘wig out in space-age tinfoil outfits and Bee Gees cum Crazy Colour hairdos. It may not be a proper concert but it seems pretty exciting, especially when the alternative is being stuck in gawping at Quincy on the box.

Next on Is Nik Kershaw, whos waiting In the ‘VIP area, impatiently jiggling on his seat like a fidgety schoolboy. After about four takes, The Weather Girls troop off and Nik bounces on. Looks like this is what theyve been waiting for. A thousand sweet voices cry out In shrill harmony—“Nik! Over Here!”

“Dancing Girls” drowns out the crowd and the band and, guess what, some ‘dancing girls gad about the stage. Five takes later and its all over—around 12.00 pm.


On Tuesday things get going around 9.15 pm. Helen Terry—the only person to sing live—plus band in nifty little sailor suits, boogaloos on down the aisle first to “Love Lies Lost”. In the water eight frogpeople hold up some brilliant red flares while searchlights scan the crowd above. After that Nik Kershaw comes on again, this time with “I Wont Let The Sun Go Down”.

And last on, around midnight, are the main attraction—Frankie Goes To Hollywood. They get a real football crowd welcome with chants of “Frankie! Relax! Merseyside!” and their extremely cheeky catch phrase “Give It Loads!” which is emblazoned across many a home-made banner. In return they give a fab performance, with stacks of movement and attack. And they all look really snazzy in baggy suits made well casual by the Morrissey-style unironed shirt tall hanging out the back. Theyve got this whole miming business down to a fine art form. “Relax” is done in one take. “Two Tribes” in two and its all over bar the shouting.

Peter Martin