Gig Review: Billy Ocean Spring Tour 2017 – The Lowry, Salford

Billy Ocean Spring Tour

Billy Ocean performs tracks from the new album as well as his greatest hits as part of his Spring Tour

Billy Ocean’s heyday may have been in the 1970s and 1980s but the 67-year-old singer songwriter still knows how to entertain a crowd.

Born in Trinidad in 1950, Ocean is the biggest black recording star Britain has ever produced. The soul legend, who string of R&B and pop hits in the 70s and 80s, has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime, with number one hits in the USA, Australia, Germany, Holland and the UK.

Following the success of his album HERE YOU ARE: THE BEST OF BILLY OCEAN which hit number four in UK charts following its release in April 2016, the Billy Ocean Spring Tour sees the singer perform his greatest hits, as well as tracks from the new album.

Dressed in a light grey suit, the two-hour set sees Ocean stroll casually onto stage to a rapturous welcome from the audience to open with his 1980 single ARE YOU READY. Ocean may be nearing closer to his 70th birthday but the Caribbean King certainly hasn’t lost his voice – or his enthusiasm – wowing the crowd with his signature hip twists and Michael Jackson-esque shuffles as he belts out classics such as LOVE ZONE and THE COLOUR OF LOVE.

The opening bars of 1976 hit LOVE REALLY HURTS WITHOUT YOU quickly gets the crowd on their feet, the energy staying high for tracks like RED LIGHT SPELLS DANGER, LOVERBOY, WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING and GET OUTTA MY DREAMS, GET INTO MY CAR.

But it is when the tempo slows down for SUDDENLY and THERE’LL BE SAD SONGS (TO MAKE YOU CRY) that Ocean’s incredible vocal talent truly shines through. Accompanied by a five-piece band and three backing vocalists – including his daughter Cherie – Ocean’s distinctive soulful voice sounds better than ever.

It isn’t long however before the crowd are back on their feet for the encore of A SIMPLE GAME, a cover of The Four Tops’ 1972 hit and a track from his new album, as well as his 1984 hit CARIBBEAN QUEEN (NO MORE LOVE ON THE RUN) which ends the party with a bang.

BILLY OCEAN performed at The Lowry on 17 April and tours nationally until 28 April 2017