Lisa Stansfield & Simply Red, Lytham Festival – A Review


by Linze Watson

80s chart topper Lisa Stansfield (56) was a brilliantly worthy support for Simply Red on a breezy July night at Lancashire’s Lytham Festival.  The once raven haired fashion icon, that ignited girls across the country to cut their luscious long locks and donne the Stansfield ‘bob’ proved that her voice was still as good as when she performed on T.V. shows such as: Top Of The Pops, Saturday Swap Shop and CD:UK.

Opening her set with the aptly named Connection setting the tone for one of the most joyful performances of Lytham.  The band and Lisa constantly smiled, laughed and chatted to each other and the audience in between songs making everyone feel we were welcome guests at the party.

The heavy sax and bass sound permeated through the tracks both old and new throughout the nine strong set.


Lisa looked cool and relaxed throughout the performance whilst her velvety mellow voice glided through the tracks.  She adeptly upped the tempo mid-way through the set to perform This Is The Right Time getting everyone dancing whilst the cattle bells and drums pounded in chests of the audiences. Around The World, Lisa’s biggest hit in 1989 – which catapulted her to fame and secured her place within the higher echelons of modern music as a songwriter and winner of the prestigious Ivor Novello Award, for Best Song Musically and Lyrically of the same year – had the audience singing and chanting back to her the lyrics.  Real thing/People Hold On was another crowd pleaser with Lisa’s clear appreciation of the enthusiastic all-age crowd’s participation. 

Set list
2. Do It The Way You Want
3. Never Ever
4. This Is The Right Time
5. Change
6. Around The World
7. Big Thing
8. Real Thing/People Hold On
9. Someday Somewhere

Lisa’s percussion player interweaved between a variety of instruments demonstrating such a high musical ability together they serenaded the audience until they reached fever pitch with her final song Someday Somewhere.

Simply magical, simply musical…Simply Red.

62-year-old Mick Hucknall and the remainder of his band proved age was simply a number when they rocked out and tore up the stage at Lytham Festival on a cold, windy and drizzly July night.  The pulsating beat of the bass and drums reverberated around the 20,000 strong crowd with their opening song Look At You Now as Hucknall crooned hit after hit from their back and most recent catalogues including, covers from other notable artists such as Barry White’s It’s Only Love who he dedicated to an ill, long-time friend of the band, thrown in for good measure.

Set List
1. Look At you now
2. Come To My Aid
3. She’s Got It Bad
4. A New Flame
5. Your Mirror
6. Holding Back The Years
7. Thrill Me
8. Night Nurse
9. Fake
10. Ain’t That A Lot Of Love & Hold On
11. It’s Only Love Doing It’s Thing
12. The Right Thing
13. Sunrise
14. Something Got Me Started
15. Fairground
2nd Encore
16. Baby – Thinking Of You
17. Money’s Too Tight (To Mention)
18. If You Don’t Know Me By Now

Mick proved what a seasoned professional he was as despite the wind that attempted on several occasions, to blow him from the stage as he hit every high note and key change. His gravelly voice sounded the same as when he first started recording in 1985.  He continually interacted with the crowd; profusely thanking them for all their years of support and currently standing in the rain watching them perform.  His wit, good natured and genuinely funny down-to-earth humour throughout the night underpinned the pleasure he takes in a live performance. A true showman!

Wearing his trademark velvet jacket, snazzy waistcoat and cravat, the flame- haired lothario punctuated the high notes of each song with a high kick and leg raise much to the delight of the crowd who despite knowing his set list, bayed for more.  Hucknall responded with an additional encore. 


Come To My Aid and A New Flame; Something Got Me Started and Fairground and Holding Back The Years proved to be crowd pleasers as the audience of all ages chanted back the lyrics.  Whilst Night Nurse taken from their 1998 Blue album transported the audience to a spliff-smoking chill on a Jamaican beach.  

The amazingly timeless set concluded with the rousing hit of Money’s Too Tight (To Mention) and the ballad If You Don’t Know Me By Now.  The dispersing crowd left happy and upbeat after a top performance from an iconic band.

Simply Red:
Mick Hucknall  Vocals
Steve Lewison Bass & Vocals
Dave Clayton Keyboards & Vocals Roma Roth Drums& Vocals
Ian Kirkham Sax & Keyboards
Kevin Robinson Percussion & Trumpet
Ken G Suzaki Guitar & Vocals

A fantastic concert venue, with amazing acoustics based on the sea front next to Lytham’s landmark windmill.  A truly inclusive venue with a signer situated at the front of the stage communicating in BSL sign language. Generous disability parking. Combined with an abundance of bars, and food outlets and an even more welcome sight of numerous portaloos with the ladies (for once) being in the majority to the gents plus, free roadside parking, this seriously needs to be a venue that is used more often for other festivals.

‘Thanks for having us Lytham Festival – a memorable evening and a wonderful audience!’ – Simply Red

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