What to say of you liked it
A chance for VH1’s target audience to relive their youth through ABC’s Lexicon Of Love, one of the best albums of the early 80s.
What to say of you didn’t like it
Observing the valiant Aamer Haleem regroup ABC was rather like watching a small fleet of those old World War One ships being washed up on the shore all covered in barnacles and rusted, which are then towed to port without a renovation before being launched in a glorious ceremony only for the infirm vessels to sink 100 yards out to sea.
What was good about it?
• ABC singer Martin Fry approached the proposal in the right spirit by perceiving it as an opportunity to relive former glories for a single night only.
• Fry even wore one of his appalling gold lame suits that remain one of the greatest fashion crimes of the 80s. But, perhaps through nostalgia, he pulled it off.
• Despite sounding shaky in rehearsals, Fry’s voice was once more a potent weapon during the concert and sounded almost as good as 20 years previously.
• Fry and drummer David Palmer had the good humour to mock their ludicrous videos for The Look of Love and Shoot That Poison Arrow.
What was bad about it?
• Only two members of the original ABC could be convinced to participate. Aamer inveigled his way into the garden of saxophonist Stephen Singleton, but he would only give a guarded: “I will if everybody else will”, which regular viewers will know from watching the snotty Jools Holland on the last series actually translates as: “You must be joking, now please bugger off.” And guitarist Mark White wouldn’t even appear on
camera, but used the same tactics as Singleton to get rid of the intrusive film crew.
• Geoff Bell’s narration that sounded like a casting for a thug on EastEnders.
• Aamir Haleem is just too friendly, making him sound like one of those sales callers from the US who seem to be your best friend until you declare disinterest in their products at which point they hang up without even a “goodbye”.
• Because only two members agreed to the reunion, it meant that the meeting between Fry and Palmer was rather stilted and went on far too long. The absence of Singleton and White also led to the interviews being repetitive, five minute long ad breaks and an early finish.
• Jaunty Kajagoogoo bassist Nick Beggs stepped in to help, eager to compound his publicity after appearing on the last series. At least this time he didn’t get over excited and flash his arse.
• Singleton said of The Lexicon of Love: “I don’t think any band in that era can compare with what we did.” Which is obviously wrong.