Edinburgh Evening News 
Best of the 80s 
Playhouse Theatre 


Big hairdos? Check. Dayglo stilettos? Check. Ra-ra skirts? Check. 

You guessed it, the decade that taste forgot reared its ugly head again last night, as the Best of the 80s Tour rolled into the Playhouse. 


The acts on the bill were former punk princess Toyah Willcox, Altered Images star Clare Grogan, Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot of Curiosity Killed The Cat fame and Nick Heyward. 

Volpeliere-Pierrot kicked off the gig, and the 40-year-old singer had the hardest task of all in warming up the crowd. 

A former teen pin-up, he still had the dance moves, and although his voice remains strong, he appeared fairly spaced-out during his 20-minute set. 

After sensing the audience wasn't warming to his songs, the lanky six-footer took it upon himself to jump down into the audience to try to rouse the crowd. And when that didn't make any odds, he showed his annoyance by mumbling "there's nothing happening here" and leaving the stage. 

But it was nothing compared to the antics of Nick Heyward. 

The former Haircut One Hundred frontman wandered on wearing a brown cord jacket and red scarf combo, looking more biology teacher than pop star. He then spent the majority of his time spouting some nonsense about a failed relationship, his bandmates' star signs and dolphins... the oddness of it all was only topped when he held aloft a huge sword and started screaming "freedom". 

Fortunately, though, the girls were on hand to restore some sanity to the proceedings. 

First up was Clare Grogan of Altered Images, and despite this being her first time on an Edinburgh stage for 23 years, the Scottish singer had the crowd dancing in no time. 


Her charisma is enormous for such a small lass, and her raucous rendition of Happy Birthday rolled back the years. 

Looking 20 years younger in a red Parisian showgirl's costume, thigh-high black suede boots and matching gloves, Toyah kept the tempo high with her upbeat renditions of It's A Mystery, Thunder In The Mountains and Echo Beach, before an unlikely cover of Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine showed she still likes to rock. 

Listening to the banter from the crowd on the way out, they all seemed to agree that Toyah and Clare Grogan were the stars of this 80s revival show. 

As for Nick Wayward and Ben Whatshisname? Couldn't they have gotten Kajagoogoo or Tears For Fears instead? 

Gary Flockhart
Edinburgh Evening News 
October 2004