Cascais Revival Festival REMEMBERED!
The largest-ever crowd at a Cascais Revival Festival was restless. A rushed performance by the preceding act, eager to be off to see England play in the World Cup, had sprinkled the warm night air with tension. Anticipation steadily grew as musicians and vocalists made their way onto a stage tinged with blue light. In seconds a jazzy, soulful instrumental set the scene for what was to come.
Billy Ocean strolled on, his trademark permanent smile lighting up a face seemingly untouched by age. The main sign of ageing was the silver-white Rastafarian locks tied neatly into a ponytail. Initially a little faint, volume quickly increased as he found his stride and mastered the acoustics, his voice barely changed from the 80s. A finger singled out someone in the crowd to create an instantaneous personal link with each and every person. The audience was soon chanting out the chorus of ‘Stand up – Stand Up’.
He owned the stage delivering wonderful renditions of his greatest hits; Mystery Lady, Suddenly, Get Outta My Dreams, and When the Going Gets Tough. He treated us to some smooth moves – shuffles, sidesteps and moments of introspection, still able to lose himself in his art. I was concerned he would displace a hip in Loverboy, but from the ladies’ shouts and hoots, his sacrifice was clearly appreciated! Affable and engaging, Billy Ocean displayed all the traits of a man at ease with himself and the world. As the music rolled on and I watched him sing and dance on the stage, he epitomised the image of the mature individual able to do the things he likes after a long working career. Introducing one of the backing singers as his daughter, part of his motivation was plain to see – the opportunity to perform with one of his children. Here was a man, happy with his own life, who could now impart some of that joy and energy to others, even at sixty four. When he bade farewell, everyone knew he would be back for an encore. Sure enough, he came out to sing two more hits. As the crowd melted, slowly, into the moonlit evening, someone I chatted to expressed the general sentiment: “What an artist. Kim Wilde was good last night, as was Rick Astley, but Billy Ocean was fantastic. At his age, what a show! And what a personality!”
Well done, Billy Ocean, such a testament to what an active senior life should be like!