NOBODY had come to the York Barbican to hear opening act Kid Creole And The Coconuts but all were impressed with their super-slick charismatic show of choreography, personality and musicianship.

This was more a double-header than support and headliner. With ticket prices up to a staggering £84 expectation was high. Neither ABC nor Kid Creole were standard fare back in the early 1980s, both avoiding post-punk synths and science for lavish line-ups and lush production.

ABC’s back catalogue is a class above many dated Rubik’s cube accompaniments; it's stunning and timeless thanks to arrangements by Anne Dudley and Richard Niles and Trevor Horn’s fingerprints all over them but how would these translate?

Martin Fry's 13-strong band were welcomed by the tightest demographic I have seen at the Barbican: all either teens or early 20s back in 1982. They opened with Viva Love from 2016's The Lexicon Of Love II and embarked on a surprising set of more hits than we recollected. The Lexicon Of Love sits at the top table of not just 1980s' albums but British pop music, still fitting beautifully on the radio.

The audience were treated to exquisite versions of Be Near Me and Ten Below Zero but something was missing. Original pop videos played on a screen, either for nostalgic reasons or to distract from the lack of connection on the stage.

After a full set of hits and the odd miss, Fry et al left the stage to a seated ovation despite the efforts of expert percussionist and phenomenal backing singer Tracy Graham.

Where Kid Creole had made the crowd part of the evening, Fry allowed uncomfortable pauses and four clicks between songs as if he had spent all his time bringing elaborate studio arrangements to the stage but forgetting to deliver them to the audience, often feeling detached and cold. Fry still has his unique, powerful voice and these are great songs played slickly and well, but they lacked the drama that Horn fitted in the factory.

Encores of Poison Arrow and The Look Of Love showed what the night could have been but this was too little too late. I desperately wanted this to give me the feeling their records have since I was 12 but it felt more blue-eyed soulless.

Ian Donaghy