Club Fantastic Tour

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Club Fantastic Tour
Local tour by Wham!
Wham! Club Fantastic 1983 official tour programme cover.jpeg
Tour programme cover
LocationUnited Kingdom
Associated albumFantastic
Start dateOctober 9, 1983 (1983-10-09)
End dateNovember 30, 1983 (1983-11-30)
No. of shows29 (30 scheduled)
Wham! concert chronology
Club Fantastic Tour
(1983)
The Big Tour
(1984)

Club Fantastic Tour (also advertised as Club Fantastic ‘83 Tour) was the debut concert tour by English musical duo Wham!, launched in support of their first studio album Fantastic (1983). It was sponsored by Fila sportswear and spanned two months from October to late November, comprising 30 sold out shows across England, Scotland and Wales.[1][2]

Background[edit]

Wham! announced a tour in August. Their co-manager Simon Napier-Bell had a plan to raise some revenue; if little money was to be made from records, then it was time for the duo to get on the road, with a 30-date tour of the UK. He managed to get a £50,000 sponsorship deal with the sportswear manufacturer Fila, with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley wearing the company's clothing on stage throughout the tour.[3]

Halfway through the tour Michael lost his voice and had to cancel ten consecutive shows with concerts pushed back and rescheduled.[4]

Concert synopsis[edit]

The show started with Michael entering the stage right-side in yellow Fila sports gear, and Ridgeley entering the stage left-side in red Fila sports gear while the band played "Bad Boys". Pepsi and Shirlie, backing singers and dancers, ran on stage for "Club Tropicana".[5]

Ridgeley then announced the next song, "Blue", a slow love ballad. He held a plectrum in his mouth and shook hands. They then sang "Wham Rap!", dancing as a foursome. They continued with "A Ray Of Sunshine", which ended the first part of the set.[6]

During the break a screen appeared and the crowd were shown family photos such as Ridgeley in pyjamas, and a young Michael in glasses. A mixed compilation of the group's music videos was played.

Then Michael sang "Careless Whisper" to a backing track on his own. He and Ridgeley changed into white Wham! singlet T-shirts and sang "Bad Boys". "Love Machine" followed, then "Nothing Looks The Same In The Light". "Come On" ended the set, with the two playing a mock game of badminton, occasionally whacking a shuttlecock out to the crowd.[7]

The encore was "Young Guns" with the duo wearing camp cowboy outfits, "Wham Rap!" with them wearing white, and finally Chic's 1979 disco hit "Good Times".[8]

Opening acts[edit]

The group decided to go back to their clubbing roots and had Gary Crowley (of Capital Radio) as the opening DJ act. Also included were some body poppers called Eklypse who did dance routines for over an hour before the show.[9]

Set list[edit]

Lyceum Theatre, the venue of five consecutive shows in London

The first set saw the band play most of the hits from the Fantastic album before George Michael was on stage alone singing tracks like "Careless Whisper", an unreleased track.[10]

The average set list was as follows:[11]

  1. "Young Guns (Go for It)"
  2. "Club Tropicana"
  3. "Blue"
  4. "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)"
  5. "A Ray of Sunshine"

Break

  1. "Careless Whisper"
  2. "Bad Boys"
  3. "Love Machine" (The Miracles cover)
  4. "Nothing Looks the Same in the Light"
  5. "Come On!"
  6. "Young Guns (Go for It!)"
  7. "Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)"
  8. "Good Times"

Tour dates[edit]

Tour dates as printed in the official Club Fantastic 1983 tour programme.[12]

Date City Country Venue
United Kingdom[13]
Sun 9 October 1983 Aberdeen Scotland Capitol Theatre
Mon 10 October 1983 Capitol Theatre
Tue 11 October 1983 Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre
Thu 13 October 1983 Glasgow Apollo Theatre
Fri 14 October 1983 Blackpool England Opera House
Sat 15 October 1983 Newcastle City Hall
Sun 16 October 1983 Manchester Apollo Theatre
Tue 18 October 1983 Liverpool Royal Court Theatre
Wed 19 October 1983 Sheffield City Hall
Fri 21 October 1983 Leicester De Montfort Hall
Sat 22 October 1983 St Austell Coliseum
Sun 23 October 1983 Bristol Studio
Mon 24 October 1983 Swansea Wales Top Rank
Thu 27 October 1983 London England Hammersmith Odeon
Fri 28 October 1983
Sat 29 October 1983
Sun 30 October 1983 Brighton Centre
Tue 1 November 1983 Nottingham Royal Centre
Wed 2 November 1983 Poole Arts Centre
Thur 3 November 1983 Crawley Leisure Centre
Fri 4 November 1983 Leeds University
Sun 6 November 1983 Birmingham Odeon Theatre
Mon 7 November 1983
Tue 8 November 1983 London Lyceum
Wed 9 November 1983
Thu 10 November 1983 Brighton Centre
Sun 13 November 1983 London Lyceum
Mon 14 November 1983
Tue 15 November 1983
Wed 16 November 1983
Thu 17 November 1983
Sat 19 November 1983 Whitley Bay Ice Rink
Sun 20 November 1983 Swansea Wales Top Rank
Mon 21 November 1983 Poole England Arts Centre
Thu 24 November 1983 Birmingham Odeon Theatre
Fri 25 November 1983 Leeds University
Sat 26 November 1983 London Hammersmith Odeon
Mon 28 November 1983 Nottingham Royal Centre
Tue 29 November 1983 Brighton Centre
Wed 30 November 1983
Key
Show Denotes cancelled concert dates that were rescheduled

Personnel[edit]

Comments[edit]

Gary Crowley – "Some of my bestest bestest memories will always include my stint as Wham!'s warm-up man on their debut Club Fantastic UK tour, 1983. The nearest I’ll ever get to being in the Beatles’ A Hard Day's Night." – December 26, 2016[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Careless Whispers: The Life & Career of George Michael: Revised & Updated By Robert Steele
  2. ^ George Michael: The biography By Rob Jovanovic
  3. ^ Careless Whispers: The Life & Career of George Michael Revised & Updated By Robert Steele
  4. ^ Disco 45 Hot Pop Special, Wham! From Wham Rap to Wembley 86, – Magazine published in summer 1986
  5. ^ Wham-bushed! – Record Mirror (review), by Jim Reid, October 22nd, 1983
  6. ^ "Wham-bushed!" – Record Mirror (review), by Jim Reid, October 22, 1983
  7. ^ The Beach Boys: Sea, sand, shorts, shuttlecocks and snogging: Yes, Wham! are back. Your travel guide in Miami. Wham! interview from the May 24 – June 6, 1984 issue of Smash Hits. By Neil Tennant
  8. ^ "Wham-bushed!" – Record Mirror (review), by Jim Reid, October 22, 1983
  9. ^ George Michael: The biography By Rob Jovanovic
  10. ^ George Michael: The biography By Rob Jovanovic
  11. ^ Average setlist for tour: – Club Fantastic Tour
  12. ^ Wham! Club Fantastic 1983 – Official programme dates.
  13. ^ Wham! CLUB FANTASTIC TOUR: – Tour Dates
  14. ^ Gary Crowley remembers being the warm up man for Wham in the 80's – BBC