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80s star Limahl to roll back the years at Newark Festival

Limahl is performing at Newark Festival next month.
Limahl is performing at Newark Festival next month.

Eighties pop icon Limahl is expecting a good crowd for his performance at Newark Festival.

The singer rose to fame with hits including Too Shy with the band Kajagoogoo and his solo song, The Never Ending Story, from the soundtrack to the film of the same name.

After touring in Australia and Japan in 2016, doing 30 shows, Limahl had a relatively quiet 2017 and is looking forward to performing again.

It will be his first visit to Newark.

"I have never been to Newark and to be honest didn’t know where it was. I had to find it on Google maps," Limahl said.

"One thing I like to do now is have a look around the places I do shows.

"I have been around the world twice to all different locations and as good as it looks on paper it was always airport, hotel, TV or radio studio, hotel and back to the airport — I never actually had the chance to appreciate where I was because we were so busy."

Limahl will be taking centre stage at Newark Festival on Saturday, June 16, at 2pm — after The Fizz (featuring former members of Bucks Fizz).

He said: "It is ironic that I will be performing after The Fizz because before Kajagoogoo and my solo career, I was in a band with Mike Nolan (of The Fizz) so it will be great to see him again.

"I got fired from that band, so I always like to brag that it wasn’t just the one band who fired me."

Limahl said retro festivals like Newark Festival could be quite chaotic because there were a lot of artists and usually only 15 minutes or so to do the changeover.

"The band have to set up and connect all of the cables and get everything ready in a short space of time, so keeping things tight is one of the most important aspects," he said.

When asked about how he usually prepares for a show, Limahl said a good night’s sleep was vital.

"Making sure I am well rested is important, but because I have been doing it so long most of the things are ingrained into my psyche.

"For three days before a show I won’t do any shouting at gigs or football matches for example; the vocal chord is such a delicate muscle and it needs to be taken care of to make sure I can put on the best show."

He said exercise helped to get him in the mood to perform, so just before taking to the stage he jogged on the spot to get his heart pumping.

He said: "I like to keep as fit as I can anyway so I frequently go to the gym and after every session I always feel like singing."

Above all, Limahl is excited to perform his two smash hits Too Shy and The Never Ending Story.

"When people hear the intro to Too Shy I always see such beaming smiles. It’s a song that makes people reminisce," he said.

"It can take people back to their first kiss, first holiday or even first dance at their wedding and wherever I perform it there is always a nice response.

"That’s also the case with The Never Ending Story. It was such a popular children’s movie and, therefore, has that association to childhood, which is the vibe I always get from the crowd, and it is lovely."

His career has included wide-ranging gigs, including New Year’s Eve 2017, when Limahl performed to his biggest crowd, 120,000 people in Poland. The show was aired on national television there.

This was followed by what he said was the most intimate show he had done — Valentine’s Day this year, where he performed to a couple at Syon House, Brentford.

Limahl will be joining Kim Wilde, Go West, Nick Heyward, The Fizz and Hothouse Flowers at Newark Festival on June 16. The headline act is Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet.

Newark Festival at Riverside Park kicks off on Friday, June 15 with Riverside Rocks, featuring tribute acts to The Who, The Stone Roses, The Rolling Stones and Queen.

There is a free Family Fun Day on Sunday, June 17. There will be activities and entertainment throughout the day, followed by the popular Swing In The Park evening concert and fireworks finale.

For more information, and tickets, go to www.newarkfestival.co.uk

Tickets can also be obtained from Newark Town Hall.

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