|Local tour by Wham!|
Tour programme cover
|Start date||October 9, 1983|
|End date||November 30, 1983|
|No. of shows||29 (30 scheduled)|
Club Fantastic Tour (also advertised as Club Fantastic '83 Tour) was the debut concert tour by English musical duo Wham!, launched in support of their first studio album Fantastic (1983). It was sponsored by Fila sportswear and spanned two months from October to late November, comprising 30 sold out shows across England, Scotland and Wales.
Wham! announced a tour in August. Their co-manager Simon Napier-Bell had a plan to raise some revenue; if little money was to be made from records, then it was time for the duo to begin performing with a 30-date tour of the UK. Napier-Bell secured a £50,000 sponsorship deal with the sportswear manufacturer Fila, with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley wearing the company's clothing on stage throughout the tour.
Halfway through the tour Michael lost his voice and had to cancel ten consecutive shows with concerts pushed back and rescheduled.
The show started with Michael entering the stage right-side in yellow Fila sports gear, and Ridgeley entering the stage left-side in red Fila sports gear while the band played "Bad Boys". Pepsi and Shirlie, backing singers and dancers, ran on stage for "Club Tropicana".
Ridgeley then announced the next song, "Blue", a slow love ballad. He held a plectrum in his mouth and shook hands. They then sang "Wham Rap!", dancing as a foursome. They continued with "A Ray Of Sunshine", which ended the first part of the set.
During the break a screen appeared and the crowd were shown family photos such as Ridgeley in pyjamas, and a young Michael in glasses. A mixed compilation of the group's music videos was played.
Then Michael sang "Careless Whisper" to a backing track on his own. He and Ridgeley changed into white Wham! singlet T-shirts and sang "Bad Boys". "Love Machine" followed, then "Nothing Looks The Same In The Light". "Come On" ended the set, with the two playing a mock game of badminton, occasionally whacking a shuttlecock out to the crowd.
The encore was "Young Guns" with the duo wearing camp cowboy outfits, "Wham Rap!" with them wearing white, and finally Chic's 1979 disco hit "Good Times".
The group decided to go back to their clubbing roots and had Gary Crowley (of Capital Radio) as the opening DJ act. Also included were some body poppers called Eklypse who did dance routines for over an hour before the show.
The first set saw the band play most of the hits from the Fantastic album before George Michael was on stage alone singing tracks like "Careless Whisper", an unreleased track.
The average set list was as follows:
Tour dates as printed in the official Club Fantastic 1983 tour programme.
|Sun 9 October 1983||Aberdeen||Scotland||Capitol Theatre|
|Mon 10 October 1983||Capitol Theatre|
|Tue 11 October 1983||Edinburgh||Playhouse Theatre|
|Thu 13 October 1983||Glasgow||Apollo Theatre|
|Fri 14 October 1983||Blackpool||England||Opera House|
|Sat 15 October 1983||Newcastle||City Hall|
|Sun 16 October 1983||Manchester||Apollo Theatre|
|Tue 18 October 1983||Liverpool||Royal Court Theatre|
|Wed 19 October 1983||Sheffield||City Hall|
|Fri 21 October 1983||Leicester||De Montfort Hall|
|Sat 22 October 1983||St Austell||Coliseum|
|Sun 23 October 1983||Bristol||Studio|
|Mon 24 October 1983||Swansea||Wales||Top Rank|
|Thu 27 October 1983||London||England||Hammersmith Odeon|
|Fri 28 October 1983|
|Sun 13 November 1983||London||Lyceum|
|Mon 14 November 1983|
|Tue 15 November 1983|
|Wed 16 November 1983|
|Thu 17 November 1983|
|Sat 19 November 1983||Whitley Bay||Ice Rink|
|Sun 20 November 1983||Swansea||Wales||Top Rank|
|Mon 21 November 1983||Poole||England||Arts Centre|
|Thu 24 November 1983||Birmingham||Odeon Theatre|
|Fri 25 November 1983||Leeds||University|
|Sat 26 November 1983||London||Hammersmith Odeon|
|Mon 28 November 1983||Nottingham||Royal Centre|
|Tue 29 November 1983||Brighton||Centre|
|Wed 30 November 1983|
|Denotes cancelled concert dates that were rescheduled|
Gary Crowley - "Some of my bestest bestest memories will always include my stint as Wham!'s warm-up man on their debut Club Fantastic UK tour, 1983. The nearest I'll ever get to being in the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night." - December 26, 2016