Frankie Goes To Hollywood To Reunite and Perform at Eurovision 2023
By Mark Nobes and Hannah Johnson
After 36 years apart, fans of the Liverpudlian band were beginning to lose hope that they would ever reform with the original line-up. So you can imagine the excitement when the band's London-based frontman Holly Johnson announced on his Instagram page that he was "happy to announce" the band's reunion for Eurovision. The last time the band performed together with the classic line-up was way back in 1987, shortly before disbanding.
Frankie enjoyed massive success in 1984 with the No.1 hits "Relax", "Two Tribes" and "The Power of Love", and the No.1 (triple platinum) album Welcome To The Pleasuredome, with the title track from the album reaching in No.2 in 1985. The Katharine Hamnett inspired Frankie Say Relax T-shirt (designed by the band's manager and founding member of ZTT records Paul Morley) also became an iconic part of the 80s, and was worn by millions.
The original band members (Holly Johnson, Paul Rutherford, Brian Nash, Mark O'Toole and Peter Gill) did reunite in 2003 for the VHS TV show Bands Reunited (which felt pretty awkward), although, sadly, the band couldn't be persuaded to perform again.
However, the band did perform at the Prince's Trust charity concert in 2004, but without Johnson and the band's guitarist Brian "Nasher" Nash. It was an incredible performance, and so expectations will be high for their 2023 reunion. Johnson was replaced by Ryan Molloy, with bassist Mark O'Toole's brother, Jed, replacing Nash on guitar. They performed the full length album version of "Welcome To The Pleasuredome", followed by the cold war classic "Two Tribes" and classic ballad "The Power of Love".
Nash moved back to his home town of Liverpool three years ago, and in an interview with the BBC about the 2023 reunion, stated "It looks like it's going to be a fantastic thing, so I think it'd be good for them to come back and feel a bit of Scouse love".
Johnson has continued to perform without the band, and sang at the Baloise Session Music Festival in Basel, Switzerland on November 11 2022.
Exactly how many songs Frankie Goes To Hollywood will be performing has not yet been announced, but we do know that they will be performing "a small set".
Also performing at the Eurovision opening ceremony are several more classic pop acts from Liverpool, including Atomic Kitten (who reformed in 2013), The Lightning Seeds (who reformed in 2006) and 70s soul legends The Real Thing, who have been performing since 1970, but are now a duo.
Our fingers are also firmly crossed for this year's Eurovision entry for the United Kingdom, "I Wrote A Song" by Mae Muller. Let's hope she can repeat the success of the 2022 UK entry "Space Man" by Sam Ryder, who finished in second place, or receive a substantial amount of points, at least!
The Eurovision opening ceremony takes place on Sunday, May 7th at St. George's Hall in Liverpool, England, and we are looking forward to it immensely.