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Review: Rick Astley, Victoria Theatre, Halifax
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Rick Astley in Halifax
One of the biggest success stories of last year in the pop world was the return of Rick Astley. Who can have foreseen his incredible return? His album entitled 50 went to Number 1 in the album charts. As comebacks go it is very impressive.

It is a long time since I have seen the Victoria Theatre packed so full as it is tonight. The atmosphere was buzzing as snippets of Rick Astley's hits are played while the rest of the band walk onto a darkened stage. The lights go up and there he is stood centre stage. Dressed in black he cuts a fine figure and age does not seem to have caught up with him.

He opens up with Coming Home The lyric could not have been more meaningful: "I've been waiting for this moment " he sings as the mainly female audience cheer in admiration.

"Do you want to go back to the 80's?" he asks as Together Forever sends the crowd into a frenzy.

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By now the seated fans in the balcony are up on their feet. The voice is still there and as good as ever, older, wiser and more confident than he was 29 years ago. He looks to be more comfortable on stage and enjoying himself.

The difference between the old songs and new ones is obvious, they sound more updated and with his superb band and 2 female backing singers it is an aural treat.

"My mum smiled when she saw the tour dates and saw Halifax, she said it is a lovely place," he shares.

Rick even drops in his version of the Ed Sheeran track, Shape of You. It's not a nostalgia trip at all as the gig is mainly the tracks off the new album, along with the surprise cover version of the Sheeran current Number 1.

There is the acoustic set where he and the band are meant to be sailing on a ship with the backing singers now sitting on deck chairs.

He seems genuinely pleased to be back. Mind you it's not hard when the Halifax audience are so enthusiastic.

He says he likes doing cover versions, which explains why he mixes in his hit Take Me To Your Heart in with Rihanna's We Found Love In A Hopeless Place.

There was one song missing by now. Rick sings the first line and the Halifax audience literally take it over. Never Gonna Give You Up might bring back memories of turned up jeans and Stock Aitken and Waterman songs but what a song it is.

A spectacular return, probably the best concert Halifax has seen in years.
Review: Rick Astley, Victoria Theatre, Halifax, 19th March 2017, 21:20 PM