Bananarama Top the Bill on the Opening Day of Pub in the Park 2023 Leamington Spa

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Bananarama Top the Bill on the Opening Day of Pub in the Park 2023 Leamington Spa


My first ever visit to a Pub in the Park Festival which was held this year at Victoria Park, and I was lucky enough to get a pass for the Friday evening when one of my favourite 80's bands Bananarama were the headline act.
Had a walk around the many food/drink stalls and pub/restaurant set-ups with a couple of visits to the chef demo stage including a wonderful half hour watching Birmingham's Glynn Purnell cooking a duck dish while at the same time telling hilarious stories.
Onto the music and just caught the end of a set by a young singer/guitarist who sang and played well (not on the program so no further details) but it showed just how good the sound set was up for an outdoor gig, I enjoyed the set by h.eldritch who performed solo on the guitar with an indie-folk-rock style performing a mix of originals and rock covers from the likes of Queen and Journey, he recently played at The Glastonbury Festival, great voice/guitar playing and engaged really well with the audience.
The Beatles Dub Club aka DJ Chris Arnold had the crowd singing along to the music of the fab four, be it covers, mash ups or the real thing all done to a dub back beat so plenty of reggae, drum and bass and electronic sounds combining with the legendary lyrics and wonderful music to make something very special.
Time for the headliners and my first live experience of a band I have always loved since the early 80's Bananarama, and such a fab set choc full of hits many from their classic debut album "Deep Sea Skiving" released in 1983 and the girls these days just the two Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward sounded on top form with all the dance moves in place.
They were joined by a drummer who was also played Glastonbury, I believe with Rick Astley and a keyboard player, the bands sound as with the vocals was spot on.
Launching the set with ‘Nathan Jones' the pace did not stop for the hour long set and oldies performed include ‘Shy Boy', ‘Cruel Summer', ‘Venus', ‘Robert De Niro's Waiting', ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye' and many more.
The more recent material fitted in nicely with the oldies with the catchy ‘Forever Young' from 2022 and the electric feel of ‘Look on the floor' from 2005 having that classic Bananarama feel.
Sara was scared by a moth on the stage at one point and there were a couple of blow up bananas in the crowd, so much singing in the audience myself included!, I loved every second and there goes another off my gig bucket list.

Andrew Lock

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