British crowds at Rewind the 80s festival, at its birthplace Temple Meadow Island at Henley-on-Thames. The Rewind concept has expanded to Scotland, Australia and SA. Here Boy George performs at the 2010 UK show.

They are not giving up on the 1980s, and Capetonians clinging to fond memories of the era had better not miss the city’s first Rewind festival, set to take place on October 31.

Top stars of yester-decade, including Rick Astley, Belinda Carlisle, ABC and Imagination, are headed here to headline the event at GrandWest’s Grand Arena, and to help revellers relive the days of cassette tapes and leopard print pants.

And the acts are full of eager anticipation.


Rick Astley told Weekend Argus he’d never been to Cape Town, although he had been in SA for the first Rewind festival, in Durban in February.


And he even agreed to try a Gatsby, in spite of not knowing what a Vienna was.

“Everyone says Cape Town is a fantastic place to visit, and our promoters have kindly offered to show us around. Regarding the Gatsby, what are ‘Viennas’? It means a loaf of bread to me. I’m up for it.”

Astley is probably remembered for his videos in which he wore shirts puffing out of his jeans. But he said he’d changed his style somewhat.


“It depends where I am. I wear a suit and tie, or jeans and a jacket. I don’t have a White Raincoat anymore!”

Rest assured, you will hear his 1980s hits like Never gonna give you up and Whenever you need somebody.

“I perform songs that I think people will know. Memories are important, especially with a Rewind show.”

His experience so far of SA audiences has been good.

He said of the Durban event: “The show went very smoothly, started and finished on time. [There were] lots of great acts and hit songs. The crowd were up for it.”



Martin Fry of ABC fame is amped to take on the city’s cycle lanes – and, one day, the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

“This is my first visit. I heard it is a good bike ride,” the keen cyclist said.


ABC have been doing festivals recently with Heaven on Earth singer Belinda Carlisle. Fry said it was great to perform with other 1980s artists.

He revealed that Carlisle likes Special K cereal, while he’s hooked on bananas.


For Rewind, ABC will also keep their attention on things 1980s, like their hit, Look of Love. “When you are on stage, you want to sing your hits.”

Looking back to the era of their heyday, Fry said he was never comfortable with the term New Romantic.

“It was during a whole change in music, where bigger subjects like love and hate came into the pop scene. The music of ABC is glossy, shiny and optimistic music.”

As for their clothes, he said they had toned down their outfits.


“We committed some fashion crimes in the 1980s. It was a brilliant time to grow up in. Fashion was wilder and you could get away with anything.”

Leee John, of Imagination, said this would be his first time in Cape Town since the mid-1990s.

As an ambassador for the SOS Children’s Villages, he plans to visit a children’s home while in SA.


His relationship with SA also extends into the musical arena. He told Weekend Argus that DJ Black Coffee was a doing a remix with them.

The Just an illusion singer said he was amazed by audiences at Durban’s Rewind.

“Fans are still e-mailing. Rewind is a wonderful experience for fans. Get there early. don’t pull a”

Weekend Argus

[email protected]