ABC at The Lowry Review


The Lowry, Manchester

29 March 2014

Reviewed by Debbie Tasker

Martin Fry burst onto the stage singing ‘When Smokey Sings’ (which was wrote as a tribute to Smokey Robinson’s amazing voice) and the line “I hear violins” was very apt as ABC were joined on stage for this fantastic concert by The Southbank Sinfonia. From start to finish this was a first class show and we had a fabulous evening.

Martin Fry is ageing well. He was suited and booted and looked suave and sophisticated. His vocals are strong and he sounds as good today as he did over 30 years ago. The rest of the band are not the original members but all are brilliant and the two female backing singers compliment and blend well with Fry’s voice.

I was a big ABC fan back in the 80s and have seen them on a few occasions over the years so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with Saturday night’s concert at The Lowry Theatre in Manchester. The sound quality was superb and the atmosphere was electric.

For the first set they belted out some of their hits from the 1980s including Ocean Blue and SOS. After a 20 minute interval we were treated to the Multi-Platinum No1 album ‘Lexicon Of Love’ in its entirety. There are no weak tracks and it’s no surprise that it is included in the top ten albums of the 1980s! My favourite track is Poison Arrow, by the time this was performed the whole audience were on their feet with quite a few dancing in the aisles. Other big hits The Look of Love and All of my Heart got a great response too.

There is not much in the way of stage setting and no backdrop but as the whole stage is full of the orchestra and musicians it is not something you notice really. Everybody is placed well as to make the most of their presence and the whole set up looks very professional.

ABC still rock and Martin Fry is one cool dude. This was one of the best concerts I have seen in a long time. Fry’s voice is smooth and faultless and we felt very lucky to be able to be part of this marvellous night. We left singing the songs- and I am still doing it now!

A great night.

ABC are touring at the moment and if you were/are a fan or just appreciate good music this is a must. My only negative is the tickets are a little pricey (£37 to £67).

The Lyric Theatre is the largest of the three auditorium situated in The Lowry Theatre, Salford Quays, Manchester.  There are plenty of helpful staff on hand throughout the evening.  Everywhere is always clean and tidy. The only problem I found was the bar was rather busy and it took a while to be served.

A tip is get your car parking ticket stamped when you buy a drink/snack in any of the venues in the Lowry outlet or the theatre itself. If you are not purchasing anything pay before the show. At the end of the night the queues at both the meter machines and to get out of the car park are horrendous. If you have pre-paid or had the ticket stamped you can leave quickly and not get stuck in a jam for 30 minutes.

Rating: 5/5

For more information and tour dates visit

The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | Box Office 0843 208 6000


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