ABC The Lexicon of Love Orchestral tour at The Bridgewater Hall Manchester. 16th February 2024 







It was a night of nostalgia and romance as ABC performed their classic debut album The Lexicon of Love in its entirety, accompanied by the Southbank Sinfonia and conducted by Anne Dudley, who also arranged the original strings on the album. The band, led by the charismatic Martin Fry, delivered a flawless performance that showcased their timeless pop songs and their sophisticated orchestral arrangements.

The concert began with the orchestra assembling on stage and opening with an overture, As the band came onto stage they launched into “When Smokey sings”, which quite simply set a perfect tone for the evening.

Fry gave a brief introduction; he then thanked the audience for their support and dedication over the past 40 years. He then sang, “Viva love”, along with “The night you murdered love”. The crowd, mostly composed of fans who grew up with the band in the 80s, sang along to every word and cheered every note. “Ten below zero”, followed by “One better world”, kept the momentum moving forward. Fry was in fine form throughout the night, displaying his trademark wit and charm, as well as his impressive vocal range. He interacted with the audience frequently, telling stories and anecdotes about the making of the album.

Finishing off the first half of the show was “Ocean Blue”, then finally a song dedicated to his wife, who was in the audience tonight, “Be near to me”, The orchestra added a rich and lush layer of sound to the songs, enhancing their emotional impact and their musical complexity, a fitting end to a wonderful first set.



The Audience were back in there seats as the orchestra took there places for the second half, Conductor Anne Dudley gets the show underway, Fry emerges wearing a candy pink suit and immediately goes into, “Show me”, The band, consisting of Pete Rinaldi on guitar, Andy Carr on bass, Richard Brook on drums, Steve Turner on piano, Fergus Gerrand on percussion, Ryan Farmery on keys, Bob Hughes on saxophone, and Tracy Graham on backing vocals, were tight and energetic, playing with passion and precision. The band played the album in its original sequence, from the upbeat “Poison Arrow” and “The Look of Love”, and “4 Ever 2 Gether”. to the melancholic “All of My Heart” bringing the set to a close.

The concert ended with a standing ovation from the audience, who demanded an encore. The band obliged and played two more songs: another song from “The Lexicon of Love”, and The “Look of Love” (Part 4), “Look of love” (Part 1). A reprise of their biggest hit. The crowd joined Fry in singing the chorus, creating a memorable finale. As the band and the orchestra took their final bows, Fry thanked the audience once more, and said: “We are ABC, and this is The Lexicon of Love. Good night, Manchester!”

The concert was a testament to the enduring appeal and quality of ABC’s music, and to the talent and vision of Fry, Dudley, and the Southbank Sinfonia. It was a rare and special opportunity to hear one of the best pop albums of all time performed live with a full orchestra.

Set List.


When Smokey Sings

Viva Love

The Night You Murdered Love

(How to Be a) Millionaire

The Flames of Desire

The Love Inside the Love

Ten Below Zero

Be Near Me

Set 2: The Lexicon of Love

Show Me

Poison Arrow

Many Happy Returns

Tears Are Not Enough

Valentine’s Day

The Look of Love (Part One)

Date Stamp

4 Ever 2 Gether

All of My Heart


The Look of Love (Part Four)

The Look of Love (Part One)