Rick Astley ‘Beautiful Life’ Album Launch Show

Thursday 12th July 2018

All Saints Church, Kingston, United Kingdom

Supplied By Artist

On a hot July summer evening in Kingston the streets and surrounding shops seemed to be fairly quiet. However, the same was not to be said for several of its venues which provide the area with space for live music events including The Hippodrome and the intimate All Saints Church. Kingston is fortunate enough to be one of the few locations across the UK that still has an independent record store called Banquet Records (previously called Beggars) in the heart of town. Banquet prides itself on not only providing physical music to the masses on CD and vinyl but also organises in-store signings, in-store performances and live gigs for album launches.

In the past Banquet has welcomed Fall Out Boy, Frank Turner, Snow Patrol, Declan McKenna and countless others. Tonight, The Hippodrome was holding its final show with Tom Grennan launching his debut album ‘Lighting Matches.’ Interestingly though Kingston was alive with music as pop icon Rick Astley was performing two sold-out album launch performances in the up close and personal environment of All Saints Church which has a capacity of 300 when arranged in a concert style.

Astley was there to support the release of his new studio album ‘Beautiful Life’ which is out now through BMG and as he walked onstage with a full electric band and female backing vocalists the audience response was immense.

Opening with the album’s title track this funky Chic/Nile Rodgers influenced electric guitar zooms in alongside Astley’s yodelling vocal effect which makes the song a pop earworm. At times the pacing reminds me of Robin Thicke and Flo-Rida’s ‘I Don’t Like It, I Love It’ as he sings out. Wearing a short-sleeved black shirt he then grabs an acoustic guitar for ‘She Makes Me’ and informs us “This is written about a woman I live with.”

It has a country-pop vibe about it which showcases his versatility as a writer because he has pulled pop, funk, and country together for ‘Beautiful Life’. At this point I need to mention that Rick Astley is a highly skilled multi-instrumentalist having played all of the instruments for his new album and his previous album ‘50’.

The upbeat ‘Last Night On Earth’ for me is a vocal highlight as he got the crowd to clap along. The impression I get is that Rick Astley is happy in himself and he has put a lot of time and consideration into the new material to make it work.

“Are you still with us?” he asks before breaking into the appropriate ‘Angels On my Side’ with the heavenly backing vocals traveling around the room. Catching a breath Rick chuckles “I’m definitely not match fit!” You could’ve fooled me Rick!

‘Rise Up’ also from the new album features a hypnotic percussion which helps create an atmosphere when he “just talks long verses” (his words). The groovy ‘Chance To Dance’ should be the next radio single and I’m sure a fun music video can be created.

Album track ‘Shivers’ could be a huge hit for someone like Shawn Mendes as it is some 2018 pop at its finest. Having said that, Rick Astley’s warm voice makes the song and proves that he has a great ear for a classic pop song-construct.

Then the keyboard intro starts for ‘A Cry For Help’ and everyone sways in time. Some artists get frustrated at having to perform their back catalogue but just like his comtempories Duran Duran, Rick Astley has accepted that he needs to find a balance – and he does so with such ease.

The Stock-Aiken-Waterman days are an important part of his overall career but he hasn’t let that define him. If Rick Astley wanted to he could tour the world performing his classic hits and not record any new material. But then we are treated to ‘Try’ which Astley admits “It’s what’s known in the industry as a sway. The song is about when you get to a point where you think now one cares and then you try one more time.” A concept that I believe a lot of people can relate to. Also, it features this Snow Partol-esque electric guitar that just suits the number perfectly.

He should be very proud of his band as they support him by framing the songs with such musical skill and energy. “This is the last song on the album and it has a gong on it!” before regaling the audience with stories of his first ever gig with his siblings aged ten watching Prog band Camel at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester. ‘The Good Old Days’ has this sweeping keyboard and fantastic lyrics including “Someone saved my life every night.”

He remembered to thank the band, crew, Banquet Records and his record label before closing the evening yelling “We’ve got one more song left and you know what it is!” Sure enough everyone got to their feet and got out their phones for the rousing “Never Gonna Give You Up” which even nearly thirty years on sounds fantastic on a hot night.

In conclusion, Rick Astley is still a mighty pop force to be reckoned with and having played a total of eight tracks out of twelve from ‘Beautiful Life’ I think it is one of his strongest bodies of work to date.

Glenn Sargeant


(Feature Image Photo Supplied By Artist)

You can watch the official music video for ‘Beautiful Life’ in this article. 

Rick Astley’s new studio album ‘Beautiful Life’ is out now on BMG. It is available in several formats including CD, Download, Vinyl and Cassette Tape.

You can purchase  ‘Beautiful Life’ from: https://RickAstley.lnk.to/BeautifulLifePR

For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/2LgFhUO

In addition, Rick Astley will be embarking on a Winter 2018 UK Tour with special guest Gabrielle.

The Winter 2018 UK Tour will stop at the following venues:


Thursday 25th October 2018 – SEC Armadillo, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2nibMuL

Friday 26th October 2018 – Hull Venue, Hull, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2Fk8EqF

Saturday 27th October 2018 –  Manchester Arena, Manchester, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2miS5Ag

Monday 29th October 2018 – Sage Gateshead, Gateshead, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2a3RVJk

Tuesday 30th October 2018 – Sage Gateshead, Gateshead, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2a3RVJk

Thursday 1st November 2018 – Plymouth Pavilions, Plymouth, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2mmVBrR

Friday 2nd November 2018 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2naiG4E

Saturday 3rd  November 2018 – Brighton Centre, Brighton, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2nX6PE6

Monday 5th November 2018 – Southend Cliffs Pavilion, Southend, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2oW0Ui4

Tuesday 6th November 2018 – Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2a1l5XR

Thursday 8th November 2018 – Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2lcviCJ

Friday 9th November 2018 – Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2lcviCJ

Saturday 10th November 2018 – Bournemouth International Centre (BIC), Bournemouth, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2p0bJzI

Monday 12th November 2018 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2kNM1yH

Tuesday 13th November 2018 – Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2kNM1yH

Thursday 15th November 2018 – Birmingham Genting Arena, Birmingham, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2naxmAA

Friday 16th November 2018 – Leeds First Direct Arena, Leeds, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2wAOPGx

Saturday 17th November 2018 – Liverpool Echo Arena, Liverpool, United Kingdom http://bit.ly/2yZXm3d