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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 101

Date:- 31 May 2003

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Paul proves he’s still young at heart
Natasha Piscitelli

THERE are many great things that came out of the eighties. These include sweatbands, new romanticism and Commodore 64s to name but a few, another more importantly is every mum’s heartthrob, Paul Young.

It’s over twenty years since the man himself first burst onto the synthesizer pop scene and scored his one and only number one hit to date, Wherever I Lay My Hat.

Two decades later he is relaunching his career with an exhausting tour schedule stretching right around the world, from the far corners of Sunderland in North East England to the tropical reach of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

On Monday it was Liverpool’s turn. Was the Lomax ready, or more importantly were his throng of adoring fans?

Paul was there to please and he did just that. The former Streetband and Q-Tips front man was energetic, flirtatious and damn right sexy and the crowd just couldn’t get enough of him. 

He burst onto the stage clad in a dapper black suit and launched straight in with the powerful, Behind Your Smile, taken from his first album, No Parlez. It was a faultless opener and set the tone of the night perfectly. Next up was the smooth reggae classic, Common People, which was one of his biggest hits of 1983.

All the favourites were there. From the powerful masterpiece Come Back and Stay to the beautiful rendition of Senza Una Donna it was pure heaven all the way. The James Bond-esque new track, Very Good Year, followed which will feature on Paul’s eagerly anticipated comeback album set for release in June.

The biggest cheers of the night were saved for the number one smash, Wherever I Lay My Hat. Paul delivered his husky soulful vocals perfectly, pausing momentarily to let his throng of fans fill in the words for him and on finishing the tune said teasingly: “You never let me down do you.”

From the figure we saw cavorting around the stage energetically it was difficult to believe that Paul is a forty something. He oozed spontaneity that is almost non-existent in today’s plastic manufactured pop bands and worked up a sweat flinging his mike stand in the air, hanging upside down over his speakers and flirting with the audience, remarking mischievously:- “You just can’t wait can you” and “I think I must have met you before.” 

The awe-inspiring performance climaxed with the risqué Sex, which Paul delivered thrusting upon his mike stand erotically in perfect timing with his flawless band. 

When Paul left the stage the eager crowd were begging for more and their foot stamping and chanting of “we want more” came highly rewarded when he bounded back onto stage to deliver an amazing rendition of Every Time You Go Away. The audience sung along with every word and one lucky lady was treated to a one-on-one dance with the man himself.

Let’s hope Paul is back for another twenty years. He is vibrant, full of life and a pleasure to watch. Brilliant.

Performed tracks – Behind Your Smile, Common People, No Parlez, Senza Una Donna, Some People, Very Good Year, Everything Must Change, Lay My Hat, Playhouse Down, Come Back and Stay, New Intro – Sex, Every Time You Go Away.
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Macmillan Cancer Relief. 
Photographs by Patrick Trollope

LORD STREET in Southport was rocking to the beat of country music as line dancers from all over Merseyside came to dance in front of the Arts Centre.   The event generated a fantastic number of people that seemed to increase in size each time a new CD was played.   The event, organised by Macmillan Cancer Relief (Southport Branch) was hailed as a huge success. "The blue sky was booked this time after last year being cancelled due to heavy rain.", one of the dancers told me after recognising me, from last year.  Even in the shop doorways, shoppers were dancing and it did not stop there.  It even had punters dancing at the Bank.   (note the public loos have now been closed by the TIC!)

Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.