Enmore Road, Enmore is ‘totally’ buzzing tonight, the sidewalks are packed with Saturday night revelers, mingling outside restaurants, pubs and cafes. The Enmore Theatre is about to be descended upon by 40 and 50 something’s reliving their 80’s teenage years. It’s the ‘totally 80’s’ gig featuring pop star Martika, Wa Wa Nee, Real Life and a host of others.
The mullet wigs are out in full force as well as teased up hair and tight leather pants. It’s a smorgasbord of 80’s fashion and hairstyles that looked great at 17 but probably a bit shoddy at 48, but what the hell, there’s no judgment in this theatre, everyone is here to dance and sing and spill some wine.
This joint is packed as ‘Men without Hats’ kick it off and get into their hit ‘Safety Dance’, lead singer Ivan Doroschuk was totally into it, he danced that safety dance all over the stage, skipping and raising his hands in 80’s triumph, he could sell you a car with that grey-haired ponytail and big shades but he did the safety dance proud.
Melbourne new wave band ‘Real Life’s lead singer David Sterry sashayed and shimmied his silver glitter suit through ‘Catch me I’m falling’ and one of my favorites ‘Send Me an Angel’, which really got the crowd going, I also admitted to myself that I would totally wear that suit.
Another of my favorites, Wa Wa Nee was up next (my heavy metal membership was slowly being revoked). They stormed through ‘Stimulation’ and lead singer Paul Grey even broke out the shoulder strapped synthesizer for ‘Sugar Free’, their 1986 hit which reached the US Billboard charts at number 35. Grey was decked out in all white, which I freely admit I do often wear for Sunday lunch restaurant adventures.
Around about this time I was so caught up in my teenage memories I had to go buy a Wa Wa Nee t-shirt and missed most of ‘Katrina’ from ‘Katrina & the Waves’, but managed to catch the last part of ‘Walking on Sunshine’, which warmed the crowd up nicely considering it was the middle of winter outside.
Paul Lekakis with perhaps the greatest song title ever ‘Boom Boom (Lets go back to my room)’ sexed his way around the stage with his high vis vest, biceps and busty back-up dancers, it was outrageous, raunchy and everyone was loving it, and don’t tell me after listening to this song, you’re not singing it in your head for days, after seeing this guy I wanted to go and do some sit-ups.
The crowd needed a break and possibly a little lie-down and after a 20-minute intermission where the houselights revealed more mullets and tight pants, ‘Berlin’ almost stole the night. Terri Nunn still has a great voice and talk about a pocket rocket, she ripped through 5 songs and for the ‘Top Gun’ hit ‘Take my breath Away’ she sat on the shoulders of a security guard who proceeded to walk through the crowd as she sang, cool stuff.
Limahl from Kajagoogoo in contrast to the glitter suits came out looking like he’d just attended a backyard BBQ in his t-shirt and cargo pants, he also dropped his phone using a selfie stick to take a photo for his twitter account, regardless his hits ‘Too Shy’ and ‘Never Ending Story’ went over well.
In contrast to Limahl, Martika was all business and pop star fierceness. Although she recently admitted fame was too much for her during the excesses of the 80’s she was the headliner tonight and she showed it. The Cuban American belted through ‘Love thy will be done’, ‘I feel the earth move’, a Prince tribute and ended the night with her huge hit ‘Toy Soldier’.
All in all the crowd left the theatre buzzed as we stumbled back out onto Enmore Road, singing the soundtrack to our teenage lives, remembering the break ups, the boyfriends, the girlfriends, smoking in the park, dingy nightclubs, backseat fumbles and failing economics, long live the 80’s.