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Pop Culture

Martin Fry’s soul strutters deliver hits all the way to tea-time at Electric Picnic

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It was hits all the way to tea-time as Martin Fry's Eighties soul strutters delivered a breezy and upbeat early evening set at Electric Picnic, writes Ed Power.

In a slim navy suit, his quiff flapping in the wind, Fry looked like he should be sitting at a cocktail bar rather than serenading a field in the middle of County Laois.

"Thirteen billion pounds," he would later quip, a jokey reference to Apple's ongoing tax difficulties.

This was by way of introducing How To Be A Millionaire, a minor hit from the mid Eighties, when the group had seen its popularity slump and was in search of a new direction.

Three decades on, the band have endured a multitude of ups and downs, triumphs and reversals, most seriously Fry's ultimately successful battle with a rare form of cancer.

But ABC are on an upward trajectory again with new LP Lexicon of Love II recently breaching the UK top five (the album is a sequel to their 1982 concept record about looking fabulous in upmarket evening wear).

They certainly appeared in winning fettle at Electric Picnic with a performance that pirouetted from the slinky to the sublime. Here was a pop masterclass to send you off to supper with a spring in your stride.

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