It's a wonderful time to be a teenager of the eighties. We've had an embarrassment of riches all year, with artists who enjoyed their biggest hits 30 years ago lining up to entertain us once more.
This weekend I will be at The Hunter Valley in NSW for a dance down memory lane. On Saturday night I'll be 16 again as Simple Minds, Devo, The Church and The Models take my friends and I back to much simpler times.
As sixties babies who graduated high school in the early eighties, just a year before Wham! took over the world for a brief fluorescent moment, we've had our fair choice of comeback bands to reminisce over. Like a tidal wave, one act after another has suddenly regrouped and high-tailed it to our shores. In recent times we've been treated to America, Elton John and Blondie.
Next year the pickings are also rich: Neil Young, Status Quo and Bryan Adams. Each one of them carries a memory. My sons wonder why I choose to listen to "daggy, eighties music". It's because the songs remind me of some wonderful people that I bonded with as a 12-year-old and then shared my emotional development with.
Neil Young's Heart Of Gold reminds me of young love. Status Quo's Whatever You Want will always make me think of roller skating with my friends Linda and Dianne. And I will always equate Bryan Adams with my teenage obsession with The Police because he was the support act when I saw them in concert at The Sydney Cricket Ground on February 3, 1984. It was one of the last times that my friends and I were together as a group before going our separate ways to pursue life.
The concert this weekend has something for everyone. The four bands that I will see with Stacey and Trevor really only share a decade of music. It's unlikely that there is anyone on this earth who was a massive fan of all four. But that's not really the point for us. As we savour the beautiful wines of the Hunter region, we will allow ourselves to drift back in time to a place where we had more time, energy and pure, unadulterated fun.
My only hope is that the bands stick to the promise of great memories and sing their hits. We only want to hear those familiar tunes from our youth. That's what we've signed on for. If I hear the words "here is a song from my new album", my heart will turn to ice.
We went to a concert at Bimbadgen Winery a year ago. Steely Dan and Steve Winwood were the headliners. I was a massive Steve Winwood fan as a teenager and so convinced my reluctant husband that seeing those acts 30 years after the fact would be a great idea. And it was in theory. Steely Dan was great full stop: back-to-back hits from start to finish. But Steve Winwood broke my heart. He only sang a couple of his hits and instead concentrated on his new songs. Looking at the sea of grey haired fans around me I could only wonder how he could possibly have read the audience so wrong. Suffice to say we were shattered by the exclusions (and the inclusions).
Simple Minds and co will have us in their hands if they stick to the classics. If you want a reminder of (or an introduction to) what we'll be tapping our forty-something feet to this weekend, then enjoy the video above.
I hope your weekend is looking as good as mine.