Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Sheffield
Bang! Welcome to the Pleasuredome. Or Sheffield City Hall anyway. The audience are milling around in a state of quiet hysteria. The boys are here for the music, the girls to see Holly and Mark O’Toole (or is it the other way round?). Nobody really cares when the lights dim to the roars and screams of all and two giant Frankie logos spell out their name in lights just in case anyone should forget who’s behind the curtain. Then it sweeps open to reveal the scallywags themselves.
What greets the eye is what you’d expect from ZTT. A set as deliciously packaged as a chocolate box in grey geometric blocks with Frankie emblems emblazoned across the floor. A screen above them displays a continuous slide show. Ten out of ten for presentation but what about the band? Well, they launch into a plucky rendition of “War” with much oaf! and uh! Holly is the natural front man with his curious semi-robotic motions which keep the Frankie-philes riveted. Twinkletoes Rutherford has to indulge in some suggestive bum-waving to grab some of the attention.
The set moves swiftly through “Pleasuredome” material, including the epic title track which is probably as much of an endurance test as a full marathon. Not surprisingly, the three singles dominate. The audience’s rendition of “The Power Of Love” nearly drowns out Holly while “Two Tribes” has them stomping in the aisles and then ducking for cover as some extremely loud bangs let fly from the stage. Real end-of-the-world stuff. “Relax” is the biggest of all. The final encore, after “Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey” and “Born to Run”, it finishes in an explosion of spectacular fireworks, then BANG! BANG! BANG! and the scallywags are gone.
Relax? How could I?