As one of the biggest bands in the world during the 1980’s, Culture Club racked up chart hit after chart hit on both sides of the Atlantic, earning themselves a fan-base equivalent to the size of One Direction’s today.
With a new album due next year, the band, fronted by iconic show-man Boy George, took to the stage at Haydock Racecourse to an audience of around 10,000 and proceeded to send everyone on a somewhat nostalgic trip down memory lane full of hits, slightly sexual banter and of course, a couple of sing-alongs thrown in for good measure.
Opening with “Church Of The Poison Mind”, Culture Club made their way on stage a little after 9pm and with the sun only just starting to set (the bit you could see behind the cloud-cover, that is), there was an almost electric atmosphere that only continued to build as the evening progressed.
Encouraging everyone to turn to the person next to them and say hello, Boy George instantly made even newer, younger fans of the band feel part of a long-since established family. “Miss Me Blind” proved particularly popular as did a rendition of Bread’s “Everything I Own”, but it was their cover of “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell that really got the audience involved in the performance for the first time with people of all ages across the site singing along to its chorus. “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” meanwhile had the thousands in attendance waving their arms in the air and swaying along just as the heavens began to open.
With a beaming smile, a short time later, Boy George walked from one side of the stage to the other, delighting in the applause and cheers from the crowd. “We’re almost done…you don’t have to get wet for much longer” he quipped to the crowd – but little did they know then that Culture Club would play far past their ‘scheduled’ finish time. Instead, the band and the crowd refused to have their spirits dampened by the rain and the show charged on, delivering songs including “Victims” and “The War Song” before the band finally began to draw the evening to a close with…what else? – “Karma Chameleon” – cue thousands of people singing and dancing along with utterly delightful abandon.
Culture Club might have been a phenomenon back in the 80’s but tonight they proved – not that they needed to – they could still deliver a great show and the 10,000 people they entertained tonight certainly seemed more than a little pleased with what they’d witnessed.