British and Irish Invasion, Mission Estate Winery, February 15
Reviewed by Tracey Chatterton
The British and Irish Invasion took the crowd on a rollercoaster ride of tempo and pace to accommodate five distinct musical flavours.
Billy Ocean, Melanie C, Leo Sayer, Sharon Corr and Ronan Keating took to the stage for a song each in a taster of what was to come at the Mission Estate Winery Concert on Saturday.
A glittering Sayer burst on to the stage and turned the clock back to the seventies. He brought humour to the stage bringing the crowd into You Make Me Feel Like Dancing.
Corr added some romance as she started her set on the violin.
Now with two solo albums under her belt, she mixed the old with the new. Songs she had written with The Corrs, Radio and So Young, proved the biggest hit with the audience.
Age hadn't slowed down 64-year-old Ocean's rhythm and blues as he belted out Lover Boy.
The winery echoed with "toot toot yeah" as Ocean sang Get Outta My Dreams Get Into My Car.
He gave the audience a few playful jabs as he rounded off his set with When The Going Gets Tough.
Intermission gave the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra a well deserved rest but with nothing to fill the gap the crowd became restless.
Former Spice Girl Melanie C swept out and pulled the crowd in with her voice. Sporty Spice was a distant memory as she dominated the stage on her own.
She revealed her feminine side with Both Sides Now which also emphasised the powerful range of her voice.
Keating's boyish energy peppered his set as he bounced and pumped the air with his fist. There were a few weak-kneed women in the crowd as he performed If Tomorrow Never Comes and the song that sparked his solo career When You Say Nothing At All.
But the highlight was his and Melanie C's version of the Boyzone hit No Matter What.
Keating told the crowd he'd spent the day among the vines.
"And I'm an Irishman - it's not a good mix," he joked.
He finished the set on a high with Life is A Rollercoaster.
All five artists closed off with Love Train which fell a little flat as it wasn't quite the right song to tie their talents together. Overall the British and Irish Invasion was a melting pot of artists that provided a good mix of old and new.
- The Dominion Post