HAVING a flutter on the races before transporting yourself back to the decade that fashion would like to forget – is there any better way to spend an evening?
Haydock Park is certainly backing a winning formula with its ever popular 80s nights, which offer audiences a slice of nostalgia in the open air setting of the famous racecourse.
Six different acts from the 80s took to the stage in turn, each belting out three hits apiece – apart from headliner Rick Astley who was allowed a bit longer to entertain the crowds.
Former Eurovision winner Katrina of the Waves kicked off proceedings and even though she was minus the Waves, she played to appreciative fans and the hit single Walking On Sunshine was particularly apt on the glorious sunny evening.
Fellow female artist Carol Decker from T’Pau famed for her big voice and even bigger mane of red hair was bouncing with energy and infectious charm as she took people back in time with songs including Heart and Soul and China In Your Hand.
Curiosity Killed the Cat brought their own brand of cool funk to the late 80s and fans enjoyed singing along to songs such as Name And Number and Hang On In There Baby.
Socially-aware soul group The Christians were also in fine fettle and seemed reluctant to leave the stage after delivering rousing performances of Ideal World and Harvest For The World.
Liverpool band The Real Thing put on a dynamic performance and seemed to have the energy of men half their age as they danced and sang away.
Crowd pleasers Can You Feel The Force and You To Me Are Everything went down particularly well with fans.
And then it was time for local lad Rick Astley who hails from Newton-le-Willows, just down the road from Haydock Park.
The charismatic singer has managed to retain his boyish looks at the age of 48 and his soulful voice remains just as strong.
As well as singing his own cheesy yet undeniably infectious hits Hold Me In Your Arms, She Wants To Dance With Me and of course, Never Gonna Give You Up, Rick did a great cover of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky.
Rick even welcomed Haydock Park’s groundsman of 25 years Maurice, who admitted to being a big Rick Astley fan on to the stage with his wife Pam.
Haydock Park has future music nights planned including Wet Wet Wet, Jessie J and Tom Jones.
Whether you lap up the music to commiserate your losses or celebrate your winnings, the odds are on for you to have a great night.