Billy Ocean

-BRIDGEWATER HALL, MANCHESTER-

Billy Ocean is 68 years-old. 68. And he has the most ultra cool moves. Smooth. Slick. Effortless. If I could be as nimble as him even at the age I am now (29) I would be first on the dance floor every time, and that’s before I even talk about his voice. Let’s just say it is as good, better even than it ever has been, belting out tunes that were first sung nearly forty years ago with as much soul and heart as they ever had, I really feel it is such privilege to be in his presence with the most content of smiles that he beams towards us and we back.

I revel in the whole sold-out night from start to finish, there’s so much joy in classic songs that seem to be more popular now than when they were when they were first released. Songs such as opener ‘Are You Ready’ and ‘Nights (Feel Like Getting Down)’, get everybody in the party mood, along with Billy querying the crowd’s appetite for the night asking us, “Are you going to dance with me? Are you going to misbehave with me?” The answer is obviously in the affirmative as we all dance and groove as much like ultra cool Billy as we can. Asking one audience member what we are here for, and with their response being “to party”, the set is picked up a notch with hits including ‘Red Light Spells Danger’, which I seriously think is such a forward thinking composition in the time it was recorded, ‘Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car’, ‘When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going’, ‘Suddenly’ and ‘Loverboy’. Plus personal favourite ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ because I really was born in the wrong era, I grew up on Michael Jackson and all amalgamations of that only (The Jacksons, The Jackson 5), essentially I love all things Motown and MJ. So that song for me completely hit the spot.

His voice is the stand out of the night, highlighted further on songs that require him to really hit the top notes with a force that blows us away. His vocals complement his take on ‘No Woman, No Cry’ and delight the audience into whoops of rapture. That even gets one member of the audience throwing their bra on stage, which Billy sportingly proceeds to put atop his head with the cheekiness he’d asked for at the beginning of the show. I think that just about covers it Billy, you did ask.

After all that, I really want the pearly white gnashers that Billy has, so I can continue to smile the joyous smile that Billy does, that is how he makes you feel. Joyous. Happy. And sublime. Until next time Billy, until next time.

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Danielle Kenneally

Silent Radio enthusiast: Silent Radio News Editor. Silent Radio Newsletter Editor. Silent Radio Reviewer. Dangerous Panda over and out.