Archive for the ‘Tears for Fears’ Category

Tears for Fears and Alison Moyet Newcastle Arena 7 July 2022

TEARS TIXThis was a strong 80s double bill. It has been many years since I had seen either of these acts and, to be honest, I had forgotten just how great they both are. Tears for Fears were absolutely massive and I remember seeing them at the time “Shout” was in the charts at Newcastle City Hall and they were simply tremendous. Everyone walked out of the venue that night singing “Shout” at the top of their voices. A magic moment. And Alison Moyet, I remember seeing her in both Yazoo and as a solo artist. But enough of the past.TEARS 3
The first thing I noticed was just how full the venue was. I would say more than three quarters of the seats were taken. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. Two great acts on the same bill. Alison Moyet was first to take the stage and did a set of her own songs and Yazoo hits. The venue was almost full from the start; no ordinary support act this one, the bar must have been empty. Alison was dressed all in black, looked well and her voice was as strong and soulful as ever. If anything she has become a little darker in her approach, the songs taking on an almost Gothic style (that may be a slight exaggeration). The crowd gave her the great reception she deserved. A fantastic opening act, but the best was yet to come.TEARS 4
Something is different about Tears for Fears these days. In my memory (and I could be quite wrong) Curt was almost the front man and sang all the hits when I saw them “back in the day”. While Roland took more of a back seat. There seems to have been some sort of change around, at least for the newer songs. Roland looks very different with long white hair and a white beard and seems to almost have become the leader, talking a lot more than his partner. Roland jokingly said that he had been compared to Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen or a well-groomed Bill Bailey! The set was a mix of old and new. I had forgotten just how many hits they had. They drew heavily from their new album TEARS 1The Tipping Point which has been several years in the making and has returned them to the top 5 of the American album charts. This band are massive around the world. The hits just kept coming: early on we got “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and the wonderful “Sowing The Seeds of Love”. We were soon taken right back to the start and “Mad World” along with “Pale Shelter”. The encores included “Change” and the closing song was (of course) “Shout”. Everyone went home happy. A truly great 1980s double bill.

I was lucky to catch the tour. Shortly after I saw them the following announcement was made: “The remaining dates of Tears For Fears tour have been cancelled today because of Curt Smith’s rib injury. Ticket holders are advised to contact their point of purchase.”

TEARS 2In the three dates where Alison Moyet performed, she got massive praise from the press: “The Express newspaper noted “Pop chanteuse Moyet… put on an incredible last-minute headline performance”. The Blackpool Gazette welcomed “an uplifting evening of electro torch songs” and described Alison’s performance as a “triumph”. And All Music Magazine praised Alison as “a flawless performer”.”

Alison Moyet Setlist: I Germinate; Nobody’s Diary (Yazoo); Do You Ever Wonder; Beautiful Gun; All Cried Out; Wishing You Were Here; Situation (Yazoo); My Best Day; Only You (Yazoo); Love Resurrection; Don’t Go (Yazoo)

TEARS 6Tears for Fears Setlist: No Small Thing; The Tipping Point; Everybody Wants to Rule the World; Secret World; Sowing the Seeds of Love; Long, Long, Long Time; Break the Man; My Demons; Rivers of Mercy; Mad World; Suffer the Children; Woman in Chains; Badman’s Song; Pale Shelter; Break It Down Again; Head Over Heels / Broken.

Encore: End of Night; Change; Shout.

Many thanks to Jackie for the photos and Chris for helping me into my bed. A great night.

Tear for Fears Newcastle City Hall 6th April 1985 (and Knebworth 1990)

Tear for Fears Newcastle City Hall 6th April 1985 (and Knebworth 1990)
Tearsforfears85tixIn 1985 Tears for Fears released “Songs from the Big Chair”, their second album. It was a massive worldwide success, reaching No. 2 in the UK, and staying in the Top 40 album chart for over a year. It also reached No. 1 in the US, and gave them a string of international hit singles: “Mothers Talk”, “Shout”, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and “Head over Heels”. The album was well received by the music press and fans alike, and saw them move from their previous dark pop synth style to more poppy upbeat music. They toured extensively to promote the album, and called at the City Hall in April 1985 for a concert which sold out well in advance. Support came from Vitamin Z who had a hit with the single “Burning Flame”. My memory of the concert is of a joyous fun night with some serious audience singalongs during “Shout” and “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”. This was definitely the best time I saw Tears for Fears.
tearsforfears85prog1985 Setlist: Mothers Talk; Broken / Head Over Heels / Broken; Start of the Breakdown; The Prisoner; The Working Hour; Pale Shelter; Suffer the Children; Memories Fade; I Believe; Mad World; Shout; Everybody Wants to Rule the World; The Hurting; Change.
The next and final time I saw Tears for Fears was when they appeared low down on a multi-band bill at Knebworth in 1990. The day was headlined by Pink Floyd and Paul McCartney. Tears for Fears opened the day around noon, and we were listening to them as we drove in (it was broadcast live on the radio) and then caught the end of their set as we entered the park. They were having a big success at the time with “Sowing the Seeds of Love”.
Setlist at Knebworth 1990: Women of Ireland;Head Over Heels / Broken Change; Pale Shelter; Sowing the Seeds of Love; All You Need Is Love (The Beatles); Advice for the Young at Heart; I’ve Got To Sing My Song; Badman’s Song; Everybody Wants to Rule the World

Tear for Fears Newcastle City Hall 5th December 1983

Tear for Fears Newcastle City Hall 5th December 1983
tearsforfeasrdec83tixTears for Fears were inescapable during the mid 1980s. Their music was played absolutely everywhere. The band spent most of 1983 out on tour around the world, promoting their debut album “The Hurting”. In November 1983, they released a new single, “The Way You Are”, and finished a successful year with another UK tour to promote it. This was their second UK tour of the year, and they returned to Newcastle City Hall to play another sold out concert. Support came from Bristol band The Escape. This was another great concert. Tears for Fears performed most of the tracks from The Hurting as well as the new single and a few new songs which would eventually end up on their second album, “Songs from the Big Chair”, in 1985.
tearsforfearsdec83progSetlist (something like): Start of the Breakdown; Mothers Talk; Pale Shelter; The Working Hour; The Prisoner; Ideas as Opiates; Mad World; We Are Broken; Head over Heels; Suffer the Children; The Hurting; Memories Fade; Change; The Way You Are; The Marauders
The single “The Way You Are” was written while on tour, as a sort of stop gap to keep the band in the public eye while they recorded their second album. It wasn’t a massive hit compared to their previous releases, reaching No. 24 in the UK singles chart. Both Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith later admitted that they didn’t rate the song, Roland stating it was “the point we realized we had to change direction”, while Curt said it was “the worst thing we’ve done”. And change direction they did indeed. The 1983 Tears for Fears sang very dark, depressive songs. A year or so later a new Tears for Fears would emerge with a clutch of joyous pop songs which would take them to massive international success. I saw them perform back at the City Hall in 1985, but that’s a story for tomorrow.

Tear for Fears Newcastle City Hall 22nd March 1983

Tear for Fears Newcastle City Hall 22nd March 1983
Tearsforfearsmar83tixTears for Fears seemed to appear from nowhere and were suddenly massively popular. This concert at the City Hall was completely sold out, and came a couple of weeks after the release of Tears for Fears first album “The Hurting”. The Hurting reached No. 1 on the UK Album Chart, was certified Gold within three weeks of release, and contains Tears for Fears first three hit singles: “Mad World”, “Change”, and “Pale Shelter”, all of which reached the Top 5 in the UK. I remember thinking how young Roland and Curt looked. I only knew the singles, but enjoyed the gig. “Mad World” and “Pale Shelter” are great pop.
tearsforfearsmar83progFrom the tour programme: “Mad World was released in September 1982 and while Curt and Roland expected moderate sales, they were staggered when it smashed into the UK charts reaching No. 3 just before Christmas and staying there for three weeks.” Support came from North East band Verba Verba.
Curt Smith said of “Mad World”: “We were sitting in his [Roland’s] flat….and we were looking out of the window at people going to work, and existences we thought were pointless….we thought it was a really great, original track but we also thought there were songs on the album that were far more commercial. So we thought we’d release it first and that it would garner us some critical acclaim because it was interesting and different. None of us – including the record company – thought it would be a hit”.

“All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere”
(Mad World, Tears for Fears, 1982)

Judie Tzuke Newcastle City Hall 25th April 1980

tzuketixJudie Tzuke’s emerged in 1977, when she signed to Elton John’s Rocket Record label, and had her first major single success “Stay with Me till Dawn” in 1979. “Stay with Me till Dawn” was co-written with Mike Paxman (more of him later) and featured on Judie Tzuke’s debut album “Welcome to the Cruise”. It was a massive success and stayed in the UK charts for 16 weeks.In 2002, BBC Radio Two conducted a poll to determine the top fifty British songs of the past fifty years, and “Stay With Me Till Dawn” was at No. 39. In 1980 Judie Tzuke released her second album “Sportscar” which was a bigger success than her debut album. I saw Judie Tzuke at this time, when she toured the UK playing at Newcastle City Hall on 25th April 1980. It was great concert, by a superb artist.tzukeprogBut there are a few facts relating to this concert that I have to mention. The first is the Status Quo connection. The aforementioned Mike Paxman, who was Judie Tzuke’s co-writer for “Stay with Me till Dawn” and many other songs, as well as her guitarist, has more recently been a producer for Uriah Heep and Status Quo. Paxman had produced several Quo albums including Heavy Traffic (2002), The Party Ain’t Over Yet (2005), Quid Pro Quo (2011) and the recent Aquostic unplugged album. But that’s not the only Quo connection here. Judie Tzuke’s band also included John “Rhino” Edwards on bass, and Jeff Rich on drums. Rhino is of course Quo’s current bass player and Jeff Rich was drummer for the Quo from 1985 to 2000. If you look closely at the centrefold picture from the Judie Tzuke programme pictured here, you can see a young Rhino. He is the tall blonde guy in the leather jacket. Jeff Rich is the guy with the red curly hair, also wearing a leather jacket. tzukeprogcentreBut there is yet another interesting connection relating to this gig. The support act was an unknown new wave mod band called Graduate (see the flyer which I found in my programme). Graduate had just released their debut album “Acting My Age”, and a single “Elvis Should Play Ska” (which refers to Elvis Costello, rather than Presley). The single wasn’t a big success and Graduate soon split, but two of their members Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith went on to form Tears for Fears. If you strain your eyes you may be able to recognise Curt and Roland.
graduateflyerJudie Tzuke’s music is classic adult rock with great melody and romantic lyrics. David Sinclair reviewed a London gig in the Times: “the central image throughout was of the disarmingly beautiful Miss Tzuke, face framed by a tangle of teeming blond hair, singing with a fragile passion in the voice of a convent schoolgirl turned waif. Combining a glacial poise with her innate sensuality, she projected with controlled emotion through the preponderance of haunting slow songs… dignified and compelling performance.”
Judie Tzuke continues to record and perform today.
Judie Tzuke setlist: Chinatown; Sukarita; Welcome to the Cruise; Stay With Me Till Dawn; Living on the Coast; The Rise of Heart; Nightline; Rain on the Hills; Southern Smiles; Katiera Island; The Choices You’ve Made; Sports Car
Encore: For You; Ladies Night; New Friends Again; These Are the Laws