Archive for the ‘Billy Ocean’ Category

Billy Ocean Newcastle City Hall 22 April 2023

ocean tix“Billy is a Geordie”. So the chant went from the Newcastle crowd. Billy joined in and danced around while the crowd kept chant going. This occurred halfway through the set and demonstrated the love and respect the Newcastle crowd have for Billy Ocean. He has appeared at the venue several times before and to my shame, I have always thought about going, but for some reason always passed up the chance.

ocean4This time I went along and the impetus came from the man himself. I saw pictures of him and he looks so cool these days. He is reborn as a Rasta Man with long grey dreadlocks right down his back, almost to his waist. Completely unrecognisable from cool soul singer of the 80s. So when I saw recent pictures of Rasta Billy I decided I should go and show my support for the cool guy. And after all, I do know lots of his songs.

ocean suppThe City Hall was packed. Carer Jan and I arrived during the set of the support act, a young female singer Anthonia Edwards who was just great. I discovered afterwards that she was the winner of the UK TV show The Voice in 2022. She warmed the crowd up well. After a short interval Billy took to the stage and everyone was up on their feet singing and dancing from the start. The hits just kept on coming. I had forgotten how many hits this guy has had over the years. Some great songs and some really massive worldwide smashes. The second song in is “Love Really Hurts Without You”. Lots of singing along and dancing. Billy is Mr Cool, with a cream suit, collar and tie, natty little jacket pocket hanky and those wonderful dreads going right down his back. Respect. A few more songs in and another massive smash that we all singalong to: “Get Outta My Dreams, Get into My Car”. Roll forward a few more and “Red Light Spells Danger” is another fantastic crowd pleaser.

ocean2Then he returns to his true roots, Bob Marley, and he does justice to “no woman, no cry”. My thoughts run back to the hot summer of 1976 when Marie and I were dancing along to Bob Marley performing that very song in Leeds Students Union Refectory. Billy brings back magic memories. The ballad “Suddenly” is just lovely. Billy the Geordie leaves us with, of course, “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going”. Another massive singalong, the capacity crowd simply love the guy and his performance is superb. For many of the songs he holds his microphone towards the audience who take over the singing.

ocean progNow sometimes I don’t like it when an artist allows the audience to take over, but the vibe between Billy and the City Hall crowd is so strong and there is so much love for the guy, it works well. It is like we are all with him, the artist and the audience together as one; as it should be. A few moments later and he is back. There is only one song left to perform: “Caribbean Queen”. We all singalong with Billy the born-again Rasta man Geordie. Magic.ocean3
So that concludes my three days of concerts: Mike and the Mechanics, Matt Goss and Billy Ocean. Three very different acts and all excellent in their own way. A bit of a rest before my next concert.

Setlist: One World; Love Really Hurts Without You; Nights (Feel Like Getting Down); There’ll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry); Love Zone; Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car; “Billy Is A Geordie”; The Colour of Love; Red Light Spells Danger; No Woman, No Cry; Mystery; Suddenly; Loverboy; When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going.

Encore: Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)