There ain’t no party like an 80s party ...

Heaven 17 on stage at Let's Rock Scotland (Pic: Steve Gunn)
Heaven 17 on stage at Let's Rock Scotland (Pic: Steve Gunn)

I took my very first steps into a surreal new world on Saturday – an 80s music festival.

Dalkeith Country Park drew 22,000 people to Let’s Rock Scotland which was basically the same as Rewind.

Billy Ocean at Let's Rock Scotland (Pic: Steve Gunn)

Billy Ocean at Let's Rock Scotland (Pic: Steve Gunn)

It was a bit like stepping into the world’s biggest school reunion disco where fancy dress was compulsory and everyone thought they were 18 again as the DJ cued up some Hazell Dean.

I grew up in the 80s. None of this was my soundtrack.

Saturday just reminded me why I spent those years with my head in a speaker bin listening to bands such as Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, and Rainbow.

Watching the retro circuit playing to such a huge crowd was mind-boggling.

There couldn’t have been a babysitter left unemployed as parents ditched the kids, packed the Prosecco, and went to have a party.

And they did.

I fully expected Sunday’s line-up of the Kaiser Chiefs, Happy Mondays and Pete Doherty to pull in a boozier, up-for-it crowd. Frankly, Bez and his mates wouldn’t have stood a chance trying go keep pace with the 80s party mob.

They may also have set a new world record for the greatest number of fold-away chairs in a field!

Surely the whole point of going to a festival is leaving behind the chairs, a table, and a picnic containing more sarnies than Greggs produces for the entire nation?

We were so far from the stage it was impossible to determine where Nick Heyward ended and Nik Kershaw began. Maybe they are the same person.

The huge swarm of wee beasties which flew above our heads clearly didn’t care much for the sounds of either – or maybe they knew it was Black Lace up next and didn’t fancy hanging around for their Primary Two style jolliness. Can’t blame ‘em.

Must admit, I clung tightly to my rock music credentials, and my chair, as the Agadoo-doo-doo conga hoovered up every unwilling by-stander before heading off into the distance. There is every chance it is still going somewhere in Midlothian.

Black Lace were also one of a number of bands to add in some truly risible cover versions across the day, underlining how few hits some of these big names actually had.

They wrestled both Tom Jones and Neil Diamond to the floor while Go West took on Kings Of Leon’s Sex On Fire. They lost.

And the incongruity of shifting straight from the banality of Black Lace to Heaven 17 storming into We Don’t Need This Fascist Groove Thang rather summed up the utter weirdness of the 80s.

I thought Steps were the worst band I’d ever seen live until Black Lace popped up.

I then thought nothing could be worse than experiencing the full impact of watching grown adults miming pushing pineapple and grinding coffee until Pete Doherty took to the stage the following day with a canine companion.

True, he did miss ‘Bring Your Dog To Work Day’ by 48-hours – standard rock star tardiness – but it did sum up his dog’s dinner of a set. Maybe Doherty will make it to the retro scene in about 20 years.

Fear not – Black Lace will still be there!