THE 1980s might have been the decade that fashion forgot but there was some great music around, so much so that some of the biggest names of that decade are back and visiting South Wales in the coming months. Andy Howells checks out five great shows any self-discerning 80s music fan won’t want to miss.

The early 80smusic scene featured much in the way of synthesiser orientated pop. Howard Jones burst upon the scene in 1983 laying out his manifesto with his debut single New Song calling upon the listener to challenge their preconceived ideas, to see both sides and ‘throw off your mental chains’. Howard plays Porthcawl’s Grand Pavillion on March 9 and will be supported by Rachael Sage. Call 01656 815995 or visit for details.

Undoubtedly one of the greatest female performers of the 1980s was Whitney Houston and fans can still enjoy Whitney’s lasting music legacy as a new show Queen of The Night visits Newport Riverfront on February 25. Rebecca Freckleton who has worked alongside high profile artistes including Macy Gray, Paloma Faith, The Noisettes and Jools Holland, will perform Whitney’s greatest hits including I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Greatest Love Of All. For ticket details visit

The Stranglers emerged in the punk/new wave scene of the late 1970s and defied genres further by producing accessible rock music as they left contemporaries behind and carried on into the 1980s with hits such as Strange Little Girl and Golden Brown. The Men In Black are back as they bring their Classic Collection tour to Cardiff University’s Y Plas on March 27. Tickets available from

Dave Mason’s career stretches right back to the 1960s when he was one of the founder members of Traffic. By the 1980s, he had gone solo and released several albums including Old Crest On A New Wave and Some Assembly Required. Dave plays St David’s Hall on March 7 performing both Traffic and solo material. To book seats, visit

St David’s Hall will also play host Scottish rockers Simple Minds on May 30 with a special unplugged show. Fans can expect to hear classics such as Promised You a Miracle, Glittering Prize, Waterfront, Chelsea Girl, Sanctify Yourself, Alive & Kicking and the US number one hit Don’t You (Forget About Me). To book seats, visit or call the Box Office on 029 2087 8444