Rick Astley To Roll Around The English Countryside With Other Britpop Wonders

Given that nostalgia-driven concerts are the only ones that are sorta guaranteed to at least half-fill the seats, this year will see the seventh running of the Here & Now tour, which–probably semi-ironically, given the tour’s name!–packages together a bunch of pop stars from the ’80s (and early ’90s) and sends them out on stage to perform their greatest hits. And nothing else.

No, really; according to the Guardian, set lengths are “strictly governed by the number of well-known songs you’ve got.” And the shows themselves, while seeming conceptually sad in a “will this wide swath of thirtysomethings who are this tour’s cynically targeted key demo ever care about new music again” way, actually sound like an exercise in blinding efficiency; there are no set changes, all the artists play in front of the same backing band, and the artists get paid a set fee for the entire tour. Honestly, this sounds like a setup that would have really worked wonders when Jordin Sparks tried to stretch out her set past “Tattoo” at the Jingle Ball a few weeks back.

Headlining the tour is the Stock/Aitken/Waterman-powered crooner Rick Astley, who is currently experiencing one of the weirdest sorta-career-resurgences ever thanks to the phenomenon of the Rickroll; other artists on the bill include Bananarama, ABC, Paul Young, Curiosity Killed The Cat, Johnny Hates Jazz, Cutting Crew, and Paul Young, whose excruciating version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” will no doubt get trotted out during the tour’s Manchester stop.

Never gonna give it up: 80s stars cash in on thirtysomething pop nostalgia boom [Guardian]