First Night: Sweet dreams of the Eighties come echoing back

The Eurythmics, Wembley Arena, London

GOD, THE Eurythmics were everywhere in the air back in the Eighties, like wild yeast and flakes of dead skin. Now - although few people probably even noticed that they had split up, such has been their enduring ubiquity on local radio - Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart are back together promoting their first album in nearly a decade, the overproduced Peace.

It is an odd record, something of a fight between Stewart's obsession with recreating the work of the Rolling Stones and The Beatles - the track "Forever" makes Oasis sound solidly original - and Lennox's talent for the dramatic ballad. Even now she shows up the likes of Celine Dion for the shouters they really are.

Few Eighties hit-makers can get away with charging pounds 35 a pop for a revival show at the huge horrible barn at Wembley. The best most stars of that benighted decades can expect these days is a slot on a pre-Christmas package tour of office outings. Annie and Dave are above such things, presumably not needing the money - profits from the "peacetour" are slated for Greenpeace and Amnesty International.

Reassuringly, Lennox never changes, vocally she is as spot on as ever and is doubtless fated to live out her days as Scotland's answer to Marlene Dietrich.

So many of the audience are in their coats that it looks like a winter catalogue. But to the Eurythmics' credit, this greatest-hits show warms them up. It is like turning up at a wedding to find every single lover you have ever had present.

For some reason the ever horrid "Thorn in My Side" gets everyone out of their seats, but more interesting is the loose version of "Who's That Girl", the exact antithesis of the metronomic original. New songs such as the Bryan Adamesque "17 Again" which actually stoops to quoting from their own "Sweet Dreams", and the single "I Saved The World Today", possibly an ironic comment on "Candle In The Wind" with which it shares a melody, are no classics.

But it is a slick show for all that. In fact, it is like they never went away, but don't take that as a recommendation.

Steve Jelbert

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