June 19 2013 Latest news:
By Ross Logan , Reporter
Thursday, May 24, 2012
ABC, Howard Jones and Heaven 17 will all play the Ultimate 80s Festival at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield this weekend.
WHILE it is always good practice to watch out for cyclists, do pay particular attention if you’re heading to the University of Hertfordshire on Saturday.
Because one of those lycra-clad, two-wheeled travellers might just be ABC frontman Martin Fry, on his way to the Ultimate 80s Festival being held at the College Lane campus.
Martin and his group will be headlining the all-day show at the Forum Hertfordshire, with support from fellow 80s legends Heaven 17, Howard Jones, Doctor & The Medics and Katrina from Katrina & The Waves.
And Hatfield happens to be a place he knows relatively well, given his new-found passion for the pedal bike.
“I know Welwyn Hatfield, I’m usually flying through on my bike,” says Martin.
“I’m a keen cyclist. I got into it last year. The other day I went up to Hertford, had a coffee and cycled back [to his home in West Hampstead].
“I’ll probably cycle to the Hatfield gig, in fact.
“I’d like to cycle to all my gigs, but unfortunately that’s not particularly feasible.”
Like a lot of bands, fashions and memorabilia from the 80s, ABC are in high demand right now.
The writers of hits such as Poison Arrow, The Look of Love, All of My Heart, When Smokey Sings and Tears Are Not Enough have reconnected not just with their old fanbase, now 30-years-older, but with their fans’ children too.
Even Martin is surprised by the size of the 80s revival.
“Who would’ve thought the 1980s would make such a comeback?,” he says incredulously.
“It was reviled. It was the decade that fashion and music forgot.
“But now it’s changed, and it’s the decade of big choruses and outrageous outfits.”
In their early breakthrough years, ABC were not against donning some fairly outlandish garbs themselves.
Does Martin ever look back on that time with a sense of, well, embarressment?
His response is immediate. “Honestly? Never. I don’t really look back to be honest. I don’t think you can do that.
“It’s 2012 and it’s just about being as good as you can be on stage.”
Martin will be making the most of performing live, for there was a time not long ago when music had to play second fiddle to family life.
“I spent 10 full years in the 90s thinking about recording and playing on stage,” says Martin, a father of two.
“But rather than being at the Hacienda, I’d end up at Ikea and Homebase.
“There’s a phase in your life when you’re forced into DIY. It seems like a right of passage, like national service.”
But with the house seemingly in order, the children that little bit older, Martin can concentrate once again on the music.
That and the cycling, of course.