80's chart-topper Martin Fry looking to light up Audley End

PUBLISHED: 13:37 28 July 2009 | UPDATED: 21:51 31 May 2010

MARTIN Fry, the lead singer of the chart-topping 80s band ABC, is relishing every minute of the nostalgia revival which has seen his group playing to bigger crowds than ever before. On Saturday (August 1), ABC will join their contemporaries The Human Leag

MARTIN Fry, the lead singer of the chart-topping 80s band ABC, is relishing every minute of the nostalgia revival which has seen his group playing to bigger crowds than ever before.

On Saturday (August 1), ABC will join their contemporaries The Human League, Belinda Carlisle, Go West, and Heaven 17 for the Audley End Picnic Concert's Back to the 80s night.

"Every time I go out on stage it's the best feeling in the world," said Fry, who formed ABC in Sheffield in 1980 and shot to fame with debut album The Lexicon of Love in 1982.

As part of the New Romantic movement which included Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet, the band enjoyed a decade of success in the UK and around the world.

"I had some phenomenal pop success from a very young age," said Manchester-born Fry. "There've been plenty of good times as well as bad times. In the 90s the music scene had moved on and it seemed like nobody wanted to listen to the band.

"Every time I perform now I appreciate it so much more - it's a real privilege and an honour."

Stardom was never guaranteed for the young Fry who freely admits that at school he was "terrible" at music and couldn't even master the recorder. However his enthusiasm was never in question and he pursued his passion in music by writing a fanzine.

But a hobby turned into a career when Fry went to interview a band and ended up as their lead singer.

"We had our first hits in 1982 and then had a run of about 10 years solid making music, which is a long time in pop," said Fry. "After that the band broke up for a while and I settled into family life after my wife had the twins, Nancy and Louis."

ABC started performing again in 1997 and haven't looked back since. Riding high on the crest of an 80s revival, the band have just got back from touring the United States and have recently performed an orchestrated concert in the Royal Albert Hall.

"I'm really looking forward to playing at the Audley End concerts and flying the flag for the 80s," said Fry. "We're lucky because we've got a string of recognisable hits and to have the crowd singing along with the chorus as well as the verse is a wonderful feeling."

The band are about to release a new record, but Fry said he wouldn't short change the audience by not singing the band's repertoire of hits including The Look of Love and All of My Heart.

ABC's sound has developed over time, but Fry said the common theme running through the music has always been the love songs. "We do have a lot of love songs and I always draw on personal experience when writing them," he said. "I think that is why people can relate to them and they are still popular today."

Tickets for the concert can be purchased from the Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre on the Market Square.


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