By Lauren Kreisler / Photo Credit: Ian West/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Last night all of our festive pop dreams came true.
Kylie and Jason reunited in front of our very eyes to sing Especially For You, especially for us.
London’s O2 Arena played host to Hit Factory Live – a celebration of 25 years of Pete Waterman’s record label PWL, and possibly the most euphoric Christmas party the capital saw this year.
Introducing the pair on stage, Waterman said, "Twenty five years ago I had a dream. I had a dream that we’d still be singing songs twenty five years later, and there’s one song that’s very special. Please welcome Kylie and Jason, Especially For You!”
It was the first time in 23 years that Kylie and Jason had reunited to perform the duet. "How long have you waited for this?” Kylie asked the crowd during the chart topping song that sky rocketed her and Jason Donovan from soapstars to the status of pop’s golden couple upon its 1988 release. The Australian actors went on to become global popstars with the help of PWL and the era-defining production team, Stock Aitken Waterman.
Hit Factory Live featured countless household names from the ‘80s and ‘90s - Sonia, Rick Astley, Bananarama, Steps, Sinitta, Dead Or Alive, amongst many more, all coming together to pay tribute to the man who helped kickstart their pop careers all those years ago.
At this point we were planning to write up a review of the show, in the finest of detail, with the vast swathes of notes that we intended to scribble while sat in our seats. The truth of the matter is, we didn’t sit down for 3 hours. Or more accurately, we jumped about like loons for 3 glorious hours of shameless, riotous fun to some truly uplifting, joyous pop music. From the tone-setting opening strains of 2Unlimited (yes, 2Unlimited!) Get Ready For This, journeying through tune after tune that soundtracked our childhood, all the way to the final curtain, we danced so hard we got blisters, so hard our fringe went curly too.
Here’s a sneaky glimpse at the setlist that caused this.
Medley: Get Ready For This / Twilight Zone / Tribal Dance
Happenin’ All Over Again
Pat & Mick
Megamix: Let’s All Chant / Use It Up & Wear It Out / I Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet
Who’s Leaving Who?
Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)
The Harder I Try
Megamix: Can’t Forget You / Counting Every Minute / Listen To Your Heart
You’ll Never Stop Me From Loving You
Pepsi & Shirlie
Megamix: Cross My Broken Heart / Right Back Where We Started From
Love’s About To Change My Heart
I’ll Always Be There
After The Love Has Gone
Say I’m Your Number One
Dead Or Alive
Megamix: My Heart Goes Bang / Lover Come Back (To Me) / Something In My House / Brand New Lover
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
She Wants To Dance With Me
When I Fall In Love
Whenever You Need Somebody
Presentation: Rick presented Pete with an Official Number 1 Award for oustanding services to pop, on behalf of the Official Charts Company
Never Gonna Give You Up
I Heard A Rumour
I Want You Back
Love In The First Degree
When You Come Back To Me
Every Day (I Love You More)
Nothing Can Divide Us
Too Many Broken Hearts
Deeper Shade Of Blue
Last Thing On My Mind
One For Sorrow
Kylie & Jason
Especially For You
Steps / Ensemble
Merry Christmas Everybody
And finally, to celebrate 60 Years of the Official Singles Chart, 25 years of PWL, and countless classic Number 1 hits between the two great pop institutions, the Official Charts Company and OfficialCharts.com last night honoured Pete Waterman with his very own Official Number 1 Award – for oustanding services to pop. The packed O2 arena cheered as ‘80s hero Rick Astley handed over the award on stage, just before launching into last song of the set, Never Gonna Give You Up.
Congratulations to Pete Waterman and all at PWL for 25 years of one of the UK’s most important pop labels.