Bananarara 80’s night at the Hill Station – photos

Bananarara is a new evening based on the music of 80’s pop, brought to you by public demand. From 70’s extravaganza Bazooka Joe’s, we have moved on a decade to bring you the best of the 80’s, whilst not forgetting the same happy, feel good atmosphere.

You might not even realise that you like 80’s music – many people curl their lip Billy Idol-style at it, lumping all of the chart hits into one big 80’s memory. But on preparing the night I remembered and relived just how much good stuff was written. And it was going to be a challenge to fit the best into the time we had on the night.

You know, there was tons of good music during the 80’s, whatever ‘tribe’ you were. Apart from the pop music, there was soul, punk, goth, grunge, ‘Madchester’. But let’s face it, at Bananarara we stuck to what people come to an eighties party for. And seriously, with this much time between then and now, it was so great to dance (and sing) along to the hits again, even if I had heard them (and tried to tape them from the Top 40 on the radio onto a portable cassette player) at least 42,000 times back then.

Some of the most legendary music stars EVER made their name and, arguably, wrote some of their best tunes in the 80’s: from Madonna to Prince, from Michael Jackson to Elton John. I can’t even say if I liked it back then (but aged 11 I really remember watching the video on TOTP) but playing I’m Still Standing by (now Sir) Elton John just felt so right.

On the night itself we were delighted to celebrate two birthdays (a real eighteenth! and a cough twenty-first).  Many happy returns to Yewa and Angela, thank you for bringing your own party to us – but Angela, don’t think we didn’t see you sneaking off with mini chocolate bars in your pop socks!

You may not ‘approve’ of nostalgia but we believe there is nothing wrong with it, not only can it be fun but it can also be life-affirming and positive. We wanted to remember the old days happily; it was ridiculous how many of the lyrics have stuck with us all for so many years. Then again, I was age 8 to 18 during the 80s. No wonder it had such an impact on me, at such a formative time in my life, and despite turning my back on it for some years, I am so pleased to be back.

We will return with another Bananarara and I promise you we will play Footloose, Fame and all the other dance-related songs starting with F that you requested. Thank you to everyone who came to the inaugural night, yes all of you lot who dressed up and did brilliant air-guitar and singing with us (it was especially great to see all three of you men, thank you for dressing up so perfectly – I’m not going to forget the appearance of Phil Oakey for a very long time).

See you in 2016 for more lacy cropped tights and shoulder pads. Come on (Eileen) have a laugh at the photos with me and see how many Madonnas you can count.

With thanks to the Hill Station for the warm and friendly venue.

Happy Christmas and here’s to more music, singing and dancing in the next year.

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