Never Going To Give Him Up…. Rick Astley Beautiful Life Tour Review

A Guest Review by Suzanne Clare Whelan of Sofa Stories 

Take me back to 1987… I was 12 and loving all things Stock Aitken Waterman and 22 year old Risk Astley was my first crush (much to the majority of my friends amusement who had a preference for Jason Donovan). Fast forward 30 years and performing on stage four rows away from me was going to be my long standing guilty pleasure and to be honest I was somewhat giddy.

My partner in crime for the evening was my eight year old daughter. See begged me to come along as I’d introduced her to RA when 50 was released and the CD was played in the car on a seemingly everlasting loop. This was to be her first ever ‘gig’ and for it to be at Sage Gateshead, one of the best live venues in the North East (in my opinion) was epic.

Staging was simple, not fussy but care given to the audience so no one missed the sight of the main man and his team. We were on level 1 row D 15 and 16 which was close but not too close (Rick was far more patient with the two women in the front row constantly taking selfies with him in the background. And to even out the crotch shots he turned around for a rear view).

RA has great stage presence and well and truly worked the audience. I felt that he looked directly at me once, yes just once but it made me grin and I my daughter said “I’m telling daddy!”. Darn it, sprung! There were a lot of women melting at his playfulness and he was actually far funnier than I expected.

Since the tour was entitled ‘Beautiful Life’ I was expecting lots from the newest album punctuated along the way by firm favorites. Wrong ….the set was a well curated mix of the early hits, new music and a somewhat random but enjoyable George Ezra cover. The set was opened with This Old House (my daughter stills worries about RA wanting to marry his house and not a human being and to date I’m not one hundred percent what the lyrics mean but she’s happy to know that he is indeed married to a woman and not a house).

The early classics are as aforementioned, my guilty pleasure and I had to hold back woops of excitement every time  a new one started and it took me back to the 1980’s and early 1990’s. I wasn’t the only one and he did appear to have the audience eating from his hand. Together Forever, She Wants to Dance With Me and Never Going to Give You Up had us dancing as a collective.

I loved the ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’ dedication to all the fellas or those dragged along for company. He said he’s done this for a long time and long may it continue.

The band was such a compliment to Rick and I’m not sure what things were staged and what was real but either way loved the interaction between the crew especially Pianist and Dave the rodie who failed to tune one of the guitars to drop d and he nearly dropped a different guitar that was thrown to him. Whoops.

I was captivated by the two smoking hot backing singers, Dawn Joseph and Lauren Johnson who has a glorious fro to match Dr. Zoe Williams and on point makeup. Those ladies can sing!

RA is a lovely mix of charm, charisma and cheese and he took me back to being a teenager but now that 9 and a bit year age gap is far more appropriate. The evening was all I could have asked for and although I completely embarrassed my child and joined in with the ‘mam dancing’ I genuinely don’t care as I had so much fun and made a lovely new friend. Nikki was sitting to my left and came on her lonesome and just managed to grab her ticket that day. Next time Rick is playing, Nikki and I have vowed to come together.

Rick Astley I will NEVER give you up. I’ll never let you down. I’ll never run around and desert you. I’ll never make you cry, never say goodbye. I’ll never tell a lie, and hurt you. Thank you for being a part of my life for 3 decades!

Thank you to Aaron from In Newcastle.

Editors Response…No thank you Suzanne for attending!