Kew the Music: Will Young and Billy Ocean

Will Young and Billy Ocean were the entertainment for one beautiful July evening in the even more beautiful surroundings of Kew Gardens.

First up was a pop group from San Francisco, Con Brio. I sadly missed them as I came after work and then had to grab a burger (from an amazing veggie burger stand, very impressed!) However my dad announced they were ‘very good’.

Billy Ocean came next, and with him a great deal of flamboyant middle-aged dancing.

Together with his slick band, Billy swept through his hits and there was barely a dull moment (although the 70s and 80s numbers certainly garnered a louder cheer than 2016 single A Simple Game).

Red Light Spells Danger, Stay the Night and of course When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going were the key highlights. And when the saxophone solos came out the band rose to a whole new level.

Shortly afterwards, popstar Will Young suddenly appeared on stage and began as he meant to go on with Joy whilst bouncing some huge balloons around. He barely sounded out of breath and his voice stayed perfectly smooth throughout the night.

He was full of energy, chatting to the crowd every few songs. These interludes started with an introduction to loud punter Debbie from Kent, then a Q&A session in which he confirmed his single status. It was lively, fun and clear Will has a good sense of humour.

The set list had a great range of Will’s career, with old, slower numbers like Leave Right Now and Who Am I mixing nicely with bouncier Grace, Jealousy and Your Game to name the most memorable. All Time Love was a particularly nice touch to end the evening on a tender note, giving Will an opportunity to really show off his pure voice.

Then there were the newer songs from 2015 album 85% Proof which, exactly as new stuff often doesn’t at these gigs, lived up to the old hits. To follow on from Joy was funky Love Revolution and later Thank You and I Don’t Need A Lover, all dispersed nicely throughout the set.

The one thing I would have asked for is more songs – the 14-strong set list just flew by, and we were definitely left wanting more.


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