Summer downpour can't dampen the 80s nostalgia at Audley End

PUBLISHED: 13:23 03 August 2009 | UPDATED: 21:51 31 May 2010

THOUSANDS of people defied a summer downpour as Audley End House and Gardens went Back to the 80s on Saturday. Some of the biggest stars of the decade played some of their biggest hits on the penultimate performance of the historic mansion s Picnic

THOUSANDS of people defied a summer downpour as Audley End House and Gardens went Back to the 80s on Saturday.

Some of the biggest stars of the decade played some of their biggest hits on the penultimate performance of the historic mansion's Picnic Concerts.

The nostalgia was kicked off in fine style by synthpop band, Heaven 17. Although they worked to a tight set, the three-piece outfit worked up a wet but enthusiastic crowd with hits including Crushed by the Wheels of Industry and Temptation.

Pop duo GoWest were next up and they really got things moving. The Kings of Wishful Thinking hit the high notes with Don't Look Down and Call Me which had the audience dancing in the rain.

Grammy Award-nominated American singer Belinda Carlisle was given a rapturous welcome for her appearance onto the stage and it was applause well deserved. She offered up two of her big hitters, We Want the Same Thing and Heaven is a Place on Earth, which arguably went down as the highlight of the evening.

After a short interval, play resumed with chart-topping 80s' band ABC. The band had a decade of success alongside others in the New Romantic movement -and they rolled back the years again here.

Those expecting their big hits were not disappointed as Martin Fry and co. belted out top tunes Poison Arrow, The Look of Love and All of My Heart.

80's icons The Human League, who topped the bill, closed the concert with a 45 minute-long performance spanning their 30-year career.

Led by singer Phil Oakey, the three-piece band played their hits Tell Me When, Don't You Want Me,and Mirror Man as well as the huge hit single, Together in Electric Dreams - it was a fitting finale to an electric, if not a damp, evening.

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