Retro Futura Set to Bring New Wave Back to the States
Howard Jones at The Paramount.
Article and Photos by LJ Moskowitz

Retro Futura Set to Bring New Wave Back to the States

It’s been tough over the years to be a New Wave aficionado in the US. Every year, fans have only been able to watch as their favorite 80’s bands tour the UK as a part of amazing festivals while they wiped tear-stained eyeliner from their eyes. Individual artists have hit the roads across the country in recent years, but those big multi-group festivals have been out of reach.

Howard Jones at the Paramount by LJ Moskowitz. Full review and photos through the link.

Retro Futura has finally changed that for 2017. The tour, formerly known as The Reneration Tour, has been defunct since 2014, but summer dates were announced today featuring a slew of top acts starting in mid-July. Howard Jones will headline the tour, which will also feature Paul Young, The English Beat, Katrina, Modern English, and Men Without Hats.

Howard Jones scored 13 hits throughout the 80’s including “No One is to Blame”, “What is Love”, and the eternally optimistic, “Things Can Only Get Better”. His last two tours of the US have been a hit with fans and critics alike. Most recently, Jones took the main stage on the 80’s Cruise, along with fellow Retro Futura guests, Men Without Hats of “Safety Dance” fame.

The English Beat never made big waves on the pop charts here in the US, but elsewhere in the world, The Beat was a hugely popular part of the Ska sound scoring hits with “Mirror on the Bathroom”, “Save it for Later” and the Smokey Robinson cover, “Tears of a Clown”. But it was the band lead singer, Dave Wakeling, formed after The English Beat broke up that made a splash in the States. General Public had big hits with both “Tenderness” and “I’ll Take You There” in the mid-80’s, both of which have been played as a part of The English Beat’s live sets in the last few years.

Dave Wakeling @ The Troc by LJ Moskowitz. Review and pictures through the link.

Most of the Retro Futura acts have toured on their own or on small tickets in recent years, but this will be the first time since 1987 that Paul Young has toured stateside. The singer had nine top singles from 1983 to 1990, including the #1 hit, “Every Time You Go Away”, but by the late 80’s, he had burned out and quit music altogether. He returned to touring a few years ago, but hasn’t ventured outside of Europe. Fans will no doubt be thrilled to hear, “Come Back and Stay” and “I’m Going to Tear Your Playhouse Down” once more.

Although Modern English is best known for the 1982 track, “I Melt With You”, which appeared on many a soundtrack and mixtape, they put out several excellent albums starting with 1981’s, “Mesh and Lace”. Fans can look forward to songs from their earlier albums while hopefully hearing some new tracks from 2016’s, “Take Me to the Trees”.

Robbie Grey of Modern English performing at Johnny Brenda’s. Read the whole review here. 

The summer of 1985 featured some of the best songs to come out of that decade, including “Raspberry Beret” by Prince, “Shout” by Tears for Fears, and Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill”, but no other song from that summer has had the endurance and profitability of “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves. It’s no surprise the song has made former lead singer, Katrina Leskanich, and her former band mates millions over the years. Look for Leskanich to perform the infectious track as a part of her set this summer.

The UK may have The 80’s Invasion Tour and Rewind Festival to look forward to, but American fans finally have a 80’s tour to call their own. Tickets for Retro Futura start going on sale this Friday, March 3rd. Full details are available through the Facebook page.