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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-07-04

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Rick Astley has performed to a packed out Empire Theatre
Review by Graham Finney. Photos Jo Forrest.

ON 1 April 2017, we joined a packed Liverpool Empire as Rick Astley brings his "50" tour to Town. Roll the clock back 8 hours and a few miles down the road Anfield was rocking to the voices of over 50,000 football fans as fierce rivals Liverpool and Everton met for the most eagerly anticipated match of the Premier League diary. However, the volume made by a stadium full of football fans on derby day was nothing compared to the sound made by over 3000+ die hard Rick Astley fans as the local(ish) pop legend made his return to Liverpool with his surprising comeback showing no signs of slowing down.

Support for the tour was female singer Earl who did her best to warm up a crowd who were there for one reason only; the headliner. Airing tracks from her:- 2Tongue Tied2 album, the Alaskan singer who cites the likes of Amy Winehouse and Whitney Houston amongst her influences, has surely done her profile no harm on this tour as she kept this Liverpool crowd entertained while they waited for the headliner.

Playing 21 sold out dates across the UK in support of his hit return album "50", Rick Astley treats this hardcore audience to a set peppered with new tracks alongside a handful of old chart hits and, by throwing in "Together Forever" early on in the set, the singer had the crowd up on their feet and rocking in the aisles with little effort. With plenty of banter and crowd interaction throughout the night, the singer jokes:- "I thought Manchester was rowdy, but you've taken it to another level" as the volume of the crowd threatens to raise the roof of the Liverpool Empire.

Clearly enjoying his revival and his time on stage, Rick visits his "50" album for tracks like:- "Keep Singing" and "This Old House" while "Hold Me In Your Arms" was dedicated to all the men in the audience who'd been dragged here under duress and, looking around the packed theatre, there were a few. Back in the 80's Astley was one of many pop acts peddling their wares under the "Stock, Aitken, Waterman" umbrella; the 80's equivalent of today's manufactured pop but, when he pulled on a guitar midway through the set for a few slower tracks, Astley showed he is much more than a manufactured pop product.

The inevitable airing of hit single:- "Never Gonna Give You Up" took these fans back to the 90's for a four minute slice of pop nostalgia with not 1 fan in the venue staying seated while even those brought here tonight against their will could be seen nodding along as Rick Astley signed off the evening in glorious fashion."

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