‘Never gonna let you go…’ definitely not Mr Rick Astley, we’re never gonna let you go when you put on a performance like that! What a fabulous evening’s entertainment at Newmarket Racecourse.
We all know Rick Astley yet I don’t think we all know how good his voice is. It’s rich, smooth, soulful and strong while belting out his hits across the enclosure to an enraptured audience.
Coming out in a light pink suit, he kicked off with three back to back pop tracks before stopping for a quick chat and straight into more pop tracks which the crowd were dancing and singing to. He covered all the hits, including: ‘Together Forever’, ‘She Wants to Dance with Me’, ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’, ‘Take Me to Your Heart’, ‘Angels on My Side’.
Taking a slight breather with tracks ‘Cry For Help’ and ‘Hold Me in Your Arms’ he upped the beat with more beat pumping tracks.
He played guitar on a couple of songs and after telling us he started off as a drummer, he then got on the kit to play and sing ‘Highway to Hell’ – crowd-pleasing awesomeness. A few other covers were thrown in such as Rag n’ Bone Man’s ‘Giant’ (which was fantastic) and some Motown – he really is Mr Slick Rick.
A four-piece band set-up with very talented musicians and the two backing singers were soulful divas, and I’m sure I saw one of them with a guitar at some point. These two ladies had wonderful voices which enhanced not only Rick’s voice but also the tracks for them all come alive.
There was plenty of audience participation which was highly encouraged by Rick and the girls. At one point the girls were splitting the crowd into men & women where we had to sing certain lines each – it was fun – and I still can’t sing…
Of course we were all waiting for the big song – and he knew it, and played with it. He gave us a hint going solo three-quarters of the way through the set, mentioning that people could leave now if they needed to get a train as the wait was over.
He left it for the finale, and rightly so, the crowd loved it – we were building up to it all night and it delivered on all levels.
He came across warm, funny and friendly (almost felt we were in Oklahoma it was so friendly).
Rick Astley ticked every box and put on an amazing show and performance, one that had the crowd going from the off and all the way to the end. It was a long set, an hour and a half I’m sure it reached, although the time went quickly due to the amount of fun we all had.
The sound was excellent and the atmosphere was full of joy, smiles, singing and happiness. The setting, the stage and the lighting all came together for a night to never to say goodbye.