Frankie Goes To Hollywood, G-Mex, Manchester
It seems to have taken a phenomenally short time between the rise and fall of Frankie. If anything, their decline has been all the more rapid.
Ironic, somehow, that the LP named after their home town, should be the one that’s put them out of a job. And that the tour to promote that same piece of waste plastic won’t in the city of the title. But Manchester is fairly close, and while it’s difficult to judge in a warehouse like G-MEX, and while it’s clearly far from sold out, there are evidently still thousands of people who remember the halcyon days of Frankie.
The Frankies take to the stage looking for all the world like the Shadows at the London Palladium. Aside, that is, from Paul Rutherford who, in his tight-fitting mod suit and matching daft dance, is an absolute dead-ringer for Alexei Sayle.
From the early part of the set, it’s clear that the Frankies are as embarrassed about their new material as they ought to be. They bravely parade a selection of the golden turkeys that make up ‘Liverpool’ without so much as an apology. All of the pomp and excess of the early Frankie is present, but that clever, indefinable something that let them get away with it is sadly long gone.
As a Big Band, they deliver the goods as expected: ‘Relax’, ‘Two Tribes’ and the supremely silly ‘Power Of Love’. All are present, and, it has to be said, admirably well done. Doubtless the fans will go away happy with a satisfactory momento of their crumbling heroes. But on tonight’s showing, it’s probably just as well that they are set to call it a day. The only real pity is that they didn’t do it on one of their high points.