On Friday, 14th June 2024, Nocturne Live at Blenheim Palace continued its streak of memorable nights with a stellar lineup featuring Soft Cell, Heather Small, and Heaven 17. This evening promised a nostalgic journey through the best of new wave, synth-pop, and soul, set within the historic grandeur of Blenheim Palace.

Blenheim Palace, renowned for its stunning baroque architecture and extensive landscaped gardens, served once again as the breathtaking backdrop for Nocturne Live. The grandeur of the palace, combined with its expansive outdoor setting, provided an ideal venue for live music, creating an ambiance of elegance and timeless beauty. The open-air setup allowed concertgoers to enjoy the performances in a relaxed, scenic environment, enhancing the overall experience.

Again, another slightly wet evening didn’t dampen spirits, with waterproof ponchos coming to the rescue.

The food and drink offerings added another layer of enjoyment to the event. With delightful Lebanese and Indian street food stalls, providing a rich array of flavours to satisfy the diverse tastes of the audience, it’s hard to know what to choose. From succulent shawarmas and falafel wraps to spicy samosas and flavourful curries, there was a feast for the senses. The bars, strategically placed around the venue, had plenty of capacity.

The evening kicked off with Heaven 17, who brought their unique blend of synth-pop and new wave to the stage. Known for their hit singles like "Temptation" and "Come Live With Me," the band delivered a dynamic and engaging performance. Their synth-driven sounds and charismatic stage presence set the perfect tone for the night, captivating the audience and building excitement for the acts to follow. Their set was a nostalgic trip back to the 80s, and the crowd responded enthusiastically, dancing and singing along.

Heather Small, the powerful voice behind M People, took the stage next and immediately had the audience in the palm of her hand. Dressed in a stunning outfit that matched her vibrant energy, she delivered a performance filled with passion and soul. Her set included iconic hits such as "Moving on Up," "One Night in Heaven," and the inspirational "Proud," which had the entire audience singing along. Heather's powerful vocals and engaging presence made her performance a standout, leaving the crowd energized and uplifted. At 59 Heather looked great, and had the dance moves to match. Telling the crowd if she can do it at her age she expected the audience to be up and moving on up as well – to which they followed.

The headliner for the evening was the legendary Soft Cell, who did not disappoint. Celebrating their illustrious career, Marc Almond and David Ball took the stage with a sense of nostalgia and excitement. Their set was a perfect mix of their greatest hits and fan favourites, including "Tainted Love," "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye," and "Bedsitter." Marc Almond's distinctive voice was in top form, and the duo's chemistry was evident throughout the performance. The crowd was transported back to the heyday of synth-pop, with many dancing and singing along to every song. The visuals and light show added an extra layer of magic to their performance, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

This night of new wave, synth-pop, and soul will surely be remembered by all who attended

Photo Credit: Russell Fujak