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Review: Bananarama, Ipswich Regent, December 1

PUBLISHED: 01:22 02 December 2017 | UPDATED: 01:22 02 December 2017

Girl group Bananarama. Photo: Contributed

Girl group Bananarama. Photo: Contributed

Archant

It was a faultless performance by Keren Woodward, Sara Dallin and Siobhan Fahey who helped define the 1980s. So why do I feel underwhelmed?

Seeing them together on stage after so long was really something.

It’s the first time the three of them have toured together and it makes me wonder what could’ve been had Fahey not quit at what turned out to be the height of their success, going on to form Shakespeare’s Sister.

Funnily enough, it was a track by the latter that got one of the biggest reactions of the night.

The trio segued beautifully from Cheers Then - a song fittingly about friendship gone wrong and a rare miss charts-wise - into the chart-topper Stay.

Woodward and Dallin were amazing. It was a beautiful interpretation, Fahey, who had disappeared into the darkness, rejoining them midway through was the closest I got to feeling tingly all night.

The vocals were top notch and you got all the hits you’d expect.

The set-list included Nathan Jones, Robert De Niro’s Waiting, Rough Justice, Cruel Summer, Trick of the Night, Shy Boy, Boy Trouble, He was Really Saying Something, Preacher Man, I Heard a Rumour, I Want You Back, Venus, Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye), It Ain’t What You Do It’s the Way That You Do It and Love in the First Degree.

They even threw in the first ever demo they recorded, Aie a Mwana.

Everybody was on their feet the whole night and left on a high, but I felt there was something missing.

There’s a lot to be said for giving people what they want and not messing with classics, but I wish they had.

I’d love to have heard the group reinterpret some of their hits and really surprise us - play with the tempo, acoustic versions, let the excellent band off the reins.

They could even have sung a couple more Shakespeare Sister songs. Imagine what they could’ve done with You’re History or I Don’t Care.

They disco-fied a couple of tracks, including I Can’t Help It, but it wasn’t quite enough.

I liked the fact the production wasn’t big, brash or even that slick at times. It was just three friends having a great night out - which ultimately is what the sold out Regent crowd had.

The DJ, who kicked things off, deserves special mention. It was a shame more people weren’t on their feet but he didn’t care, dancing like you do when you think nobody’s watching. You just know he’s first up at a wedding.

Work to complete the final section of the Cornhill revamp in Ipswich has started with the arrival of the first part of the “Four Gateways” artwork which is going up outside Debenhams.

Fares on Ipswich Buses are going up again at the end of November – for the second time in nine months.

Free tickets to go and watch the mighty Tractor Boys play at Portman Road are being given to nearby schools.

A nursery in Felixstowe has been put into special measures after it received its second “inadequate” Ofsted inspection this year.

An Ipswich man suffered cuts and bruises and two broken teeth after being attacked by a neighbour, it has been alleged.

An Ipswich man who allowed his home to be used by county line drug dealers has been given three months by a judge to prove he can change his ways.

A young musician is urging other teenagers to learn to respect one another after she suffered at the hands of bullies.

As politicians in the House of Commons debate the latest draft agreement that has been thrashed out negotiators, business leaders in Suffolk and Essex have shared their thoughts on whether they support Mrs May’s proposals or not.

Ipswich Town supporters were among the best behaved fans in the Championship last season, according to a league table of bans for violence and disorder.

Catering staff at Ravenswood Primary School are serving up 225 hot lunches every day - and an increasing number of those are tailored for children suffering from fish, milk and gluten intolerances.

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