The last Christmas

I know I’ve probably mentioned it once or twice already, but there’s nothing quite like that fresh blast of energy from a song you just know is going to change your world.

I’m not going to run through other examples here because there would be too many – and this is only about one performer.

I’d already got a seven-inch single by his band when the follow up came out, but on first hearing it was clearly the best straight up and down pop music of my young life so far.

I was so enthused by Wham! and Young Guns (Go For It!) that I took the newly-purchased 12-inch single to the pub to enthuse about it even more to people who were probably tired of my enthusing by this time.

But I knew this was different – and better than most of the other stuff I’d previously been championing loudly (sorry Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears et al).

.And so it was that George Michael earned a place at the Seeyoudownthefront top table.

Unfortunately I wasn’t to see Wham! at the time being much more likely to be wearing a long overcoat than a pair of Fila shorts

But years and years later I did get to see George play a remarkable show at the MEN Arena as part of his 25th anniversary tour when he demonstrated what a consummate showman he was by dominating a huge stage single-handed.

His band were almost hidden on platforms behind him so the focus was solely on George and he didn’t disappoint. It was very much an exhibition of this songwriting talent, his stage craft, his voice and his star quality.

We came away absolutely thrilled by the show and wholly convinced we had seen one of British pop music’s genuine all-time greats.

And what the coverage of his untimely death has proved is that he was great for other reasons besides his music career.

After also losing Bowie and Prince amongst others, losing George at Christmas made a bad year just that much worse.

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