Rick Astley wows crowds In Halifax with a soulful show

Posted on 9 July 2024
By Frank Ralph
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Stock, Aitken and Waterman were responsible for many hits in the 80s, but the sausage factory, production line way of making music was the focus of much criticism and negativity. One thing they did get right was spotting talent, and tonight’s headliner, Rick Astley was probably one of their best finds. 

Before he took the stage, the legendary Liverpudlians, The Lightning Seeds opened the show with a set of stone-cold classics. It was almost unbelievable how many of the songs were recognisable, even with not having been a massive fan of the band, every song had somehow worked its way into the subconscious over the years to the point of being able to hum along with them all. 

Their big finish was extremely football heavy, and perfectly timed with England having reached the semi-finals of the Euros the night before with a perfect penalty shootout. ‘The Life of Reilly’ was featured heavily on Match of the Day for years, so is pretty much ingrained into everyone in the audience. However, it was ‘Three Lions’ which got the biggest reaction, as it probably always does, with the crowd up on shoulders and arms aloft singing the ever hopeful ‘It’s Coming Home!’ refrain. 

Rick Astley, and his hit ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ are possibly the most famous coupling in the world. Back when the internet was fun 90% of the people on the planet had probably been ‘Rickrolled’ multiple times, but it would be unfair to class him as a one hit wonder despite the phenomenal reach of his biggest hit. Recently he’s also been doing shows with Blossoms that see him acting as Morrisey as they play Smiths hits, which is a wonderful show. 

Taking to the stage to rapturous applause he started with a new track ‘Never Gonna Stop’ from his latest album ‘Are We There Yet?’ his voice as rich and soulful as it ever was. 

Not only is he the owner of one of the greatest voices out there, but he has a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humour that endears him to everyone. At one point he scared the bejeezus out of the BSL interpreter whose reaction when she realised he’d crept up behind her was hilarious. He also took the time to pose for the photographers and shouted “Lock the doors” before they played a new song. 

Both his band and backing singers are fantastic, with the two girls taking over vocals on several occasions and absolutely slaying it. There’s a great version of Sam Fender’s ‘Seventeen Going Under’ and a bit of Chic tacked on to the end of ‘Whenever You Need Somebody’ before his drummer gets a brief rest as Rick, who started out as a drummer, takes over to perform a more soulful, less screechy version of AC/DCs ‘Highway to Hell’. 

The night ended with a barnstorming version of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ which was jammed out to introduce the band and give them all a solo spot to shine, and topped off what was a great show from a great performer – who will never let you down.