Pop goes stately home with 10 great acts

RICHARD BATSON Ten stars acts, with a galaxy of singalong party hits, have been lined up to mark a decade of pop at a Norfolk stately home. In 1998, as Blickling Hall hosted its first ever non-classical concert - by Chris de Burgh - US president Bill Clinton was in the middle of a sex scandal, viagra was launched, Frank Sinatra died, Geri “Ginger” Halliwell left the Spice Girls, and David Beckham got engaged to another of them, Posh.

RICHARD BATSON

Ten stars acts, with a galaxy of singalong party hits, have been lined up to mark a decade of pop at a Norfolk stately home.

In 1998, as Blickling Hall hosted its first ever non-classical concert - by Chris de Burgh - US president Bill Clinton was in the middle of a sex scandal, viagra was launched, Frank Sinatra died, Geri “Ginger” Halliwell left the Spice Girls, and David Beckham got engaged to another of them, Posh.

The promoter behind 10 years of gigging at Blickling has decided to mark the milestone with 10 top acts sharing the bill to crank up the party atmosphere at the picnic style open air gig, supported by the EDP, on Saturday July 14.


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They include some favourite artists famed for getting the girls to dance around their handbags - including Gloria Gaynor with I Will Survive, and the Weather Girls with It's Raining Men.

Also sharing the stage, as each act does a handful of their top hits, will be: Bananarama, Midge Ure, Nick Heyward, Tony Hadley, Belinda Carlisle, Paul Young, T'Pau and Limahl.

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Between them they have 83 top 20 hits, and have spent a total of 23 years in the charts.

Promoter David Heartfield admitted it had been a “logistical nightmare” organising the event - with months of planning needed to arrange artists who were based and touring all over the world, from Germany and South Africa to New York.

Since the de Burgh debut the concerts have grown in size and reputation so that 50,000 people now visit the National Trust park near Aylsham over two summer weekends to enjoy the live music.

Over that decade acts have ranged from rockers Bryan Adams and Meatloaf to evergreen crooners Cliff Richard and Tom Jones, along with newer acts such as Westlife and Will Young.

Blickling will again host a string of concerts this year. The party gig is the first to be announced, with the others to follow in the New Year.

Mr Heartfield said: “We really wanted to create a party atmosphere to celebrate the occasion. By putting together so many acts with great classics it should be a lot of fun. - and to top it off we will stage the biggest firework finale ever at the concerts.”

Tickets for the Blickling 10th anniversary party go on sale from 9am tomorrow priced at £37.50 through the credit card hotline on 0871 424 4444, or the Blickling Hall box office on 0870 010 4900.

Party Profiles

Gloria Gaynor - reached number 2 with Never Can Say Goodbye in December 1974 before topping the charts with the anthem I Will Survive in February 1979. Last year Gloria, along with I Will Survive were inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York City.

The Weather Girls - The larger-than-life Americans kicked up a storm with the number one It's Raining Men which hit number two in March 1984, seven months after it failed to get higher than 73rd. The current line up Dynelle and Ingrid are the daughters of founder member Izora Armstead.

Bananarama - Successful girl group who had a sting of hits in the 1980s, starting in February 1982 with It Ain't What You Do It's The Way That You Do It, and including Cruel Summer (July 83), Robert de Niro's Waiting (March 84) and Venus (May 86). Despite being down to two now, Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward, they are still popular and touring.

Midge Ure - Co-founded of Band Aid with Bob Geldoff, had a solo chart topper with If I Was in September 1985 after group success with new wave electro poppers Ultravox, whose hits included Vienna (number two in January 1981) and Dancing With Tears in My Eyes (number three, May 1984)

Nick Heyward - Boyish lead singer with Haircut 100 who had top 10 hits with Favourite Shirts(Boy Meets Girl) in October 1981, Love Plus One (Jan 82) and Fantastic Day (Aug 82) before going solo in 1983, which gained him more credibility as a musician with songs like Whistle Down TheWind, but fewer chart hits.

Tony Hadley - Former lead singer of Spandau Ballet, who topped the chart with True in April 1983, following up with Gold the same year and Through the Barricades in 1986, before going solo in the 90s and having his career reignited by winning the TV show Reborn in the USA in 2003.

Belinda Carlisle - Ex Go-Gos punk group member who went solo to have a number one with Heaven is a Place on Earth in December 1987, followed by top tenners I Get Weak and Circle In The Sand the next year. In 2001 at the age of 43 she posed for the August edition of Playboy.

Paul Young - Soul man who kicked off with a chart topping Wherever I Lay My Hat in June 1983 before a string of top ten hits including Come Back and Stay (Sep 83), Love of the Common People (Nov 83) and Every Time You Go Away (Mar 85) -and teaming up with Zucchero for Senza Una Donna in the early 90s.

T'Pau - Fronted by flame haired Carol Decker, and named after a Star Trek character, the group had a number one with China in Your Hand in October 87 just a couple of months after their debut top ten single Heart and Soul which was boosted by being used in a jeans commercial. The original band split in 1991 but reformed in 1997 and are still touring

Limahl - His name is an anagram of his surname Hamill (first name Chris), and he shot to prominence as lead singer with pop-synth group Kajagoogoo who had a number one with Too Shy in January 1983, before he went solo and found chart success on both sides of the Atlantic with the theme tune for the fantasy film Never Ending Story the following year.

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