Fronted by frosted-tipped singer Limahl, Kajagoogoo had one of the biggest 1980s hits in the synth-heavy “Too Shy.”
Aided by heavy rotation on MTV, “Too Shy” peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and was the English band’s only significant U.S. hit. In Limahl’s home country, however, Kajagoogoo scored two more top 10 singles, 1983’s “Ooh to Be Ah” and “Big Apple.”
Because Kajagoogoo couldn’t match the success of “Too Shy” here, the band and Limahl were dubbed one-hit wonders. It wasn’t until this summer—nearly 35 years later—that Limahl is touring the United States.
“I’ve never performed in America,” Limahl says with a laugh via telephone from Hertfordshire, England.
“I’ve done promotion. I’ve been interviewed by MTV. I’ve done radio interviews promoting the music, but I’ve never performed live. This will be the first time in 35 years. The best things are worth waiting for.”
Retro Futura, a tour that celebrates 1980s music with Limahl, Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English, Tony Lewis of The Outfield and Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin, comes to Casino del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater on Sunday, July 29.
“What usually happens is, a promoter will contact the artist and say, ‘We want to book a tour with you,’” says Limahl, who also recorded the theme song for The Neverending Story. “That never happened until now. Paradise Artists approached me, and the tour works. It’s a great show, if you’re into ’80s music.”
Limahl is in demand, touring Australia and Japan to acclaim, thanks, in part, to a Kajagoogoo reunion on the VH1 show Bands Reunited and the subsequent concert at Scala in London.
Born Christopher Hamill, Limahl says he has what many 1980s artists do not.
“I can sing, unlike Milli Vanilli,” the 59-year-old starts with a laugh. “I still have hair, something that the singer from A Flock of Seagulls does not have. He’s now bald, so I’m grateful. I feel for the guy. He was famous for his haircut, right?
“Hopefully, you’ll see I’m young and sprightly. I still have some life left in me.”
Seriously, during his set, fans can expect to hear “Too Shy,” among other songs.
“In these shows, the worst thing you can say to an audience is, ‘Here’s one of my new songs,’” says Limahl, who is studying acting in England. “At our shows, the average age is over 40 and there will be a smattering of young folks who kind of like the ’80s.
“There is a value, emotionally, in the old catalog for people. It may remind them of their first date, their first holiday, their first kiss—whatever it is. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. I have no qualms in proudly saying it’s about the old catalog. ‘Old’ is sometimes construed as a negative word. I say it’s about the music people want to hear.”
Retro Futura w/Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English, Tony Lewis from The Outfield, Kajagoogoo’s Limahl and Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin, Casino del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W. Valencia Road, 7 p.m. Sunday, July 29, $25-$144.