Last night Birmingham was dragged back to the early electronic 80s by a brilliant new show that has been taking the Country by storm. Calling Planet Earth is a live music show that features all the greatest songs of the New Romantic/Electronic era performed by a full band and singers Michael King, Jay Ashton and Lindsay Goodhand. I was there as a guest of SeatPlan, who can find you the very best seats for all sorts of theatre performances. The vocals and performances are all exceptional, and those classic songs are still capable of having the whole room on its feet as we are transported back to the days of the Blitz Club, and, as we are in Birmingham, The Rum Runner.
Starting with the classic Visage song Fade to Grey, the show never ever flags from this peerless opener. Songs from Duran Duran (Is there something I should know, The Reflex, Planet Earth, Girls on Film), ABC (Poison Arrow, The Look of Love), Tubeway Army (Are Friends Electric), Depeche Mode (New Life, I just can’t get enough) and Yazoo (Don’t Go) are interspersed with songs from Japan, A Flock of Seagulls, Spandau Ballet, OMD, Ultravox, Human League and many, many others. Every single song is a banger, an iconic classic designed to get you on your feet, reminding us what an absolutely stunning time the early 80s was for music.
The singing duties are shared between the three fantastic lead performers, and there is plenty of banter between them that just adds to the fun. Lindsay Goodhand, as well as being a fantastic singer, is also a talented percussionist who plays a mean saxophone and adds many other instruments to the show. Stand out songs include a spine chiller rendition of Vienna, ABC’s classic ‘The Look of Love’ and the roof raising finale, Duran Duran’s Rio. There are also beautiful quieter moments that include ‘Through the Barricades’ and ‘True’, both by Spandau Ballet and performed to perfection.
If you love the electronic 80s, then Calling Planet Earth is a show that should not be missed. Grab the glitter and the shoulder pads and dive right in.