After a 36-year hiatus, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, the legendary Brit synthpop band, made an explosive return to the stage in Liverpool on Sunday. The original lineup – Holly Johnson, Paul Rutherford, Mark O’Toole, Brian Nash, and Peter Gill – reunited for a one-song performance of “Welcome to the Pleasuredome,” igniting a wave of nostalgia.
The surprise reunion, which marked the kickoff of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, took place during the Big Eurovision Welcome show outside the majestic St George’s Hall. Sharing the stage with fellow Liverpudlian sensations Atomic Kitten, The Real Thing, and The Lightning Seeds, the band treated fans to a night they’ll never forget.
Hailing from the vibrant 1980s Liverpool music scene, Frankie Goes to Hollywood became a global phenomenon with hits like “Relax,” “Two Tribes,” and “The Power of Love.” Though they disbanded in 1987, a few partial reunions in the 2000s kept fans hopeful for a full-scale comeback.
The reunion announcement was initially made on the BBC One Twitter account and later confirmed by Holly Johnson via Instagram, although the brevity of the performance, which excluded their biggest hits “Relax” and “Two Tribes,” did prove somewhat disappointing. As the band left the stage, the audience responded with “muted cheers and disbelieving murmurs,” fueling speculation about whether the reunion will continue.
The road to this historic reunion has been a rollercoaster ride. In 2004, founding members Rutherford, Gill, and O’Toole staged a charity concert at Wembley Arena in support of The Prince’s Trust. Frontman Holly Johnson, however, declined to participate, leaving the band to hold open auditions in London and select Ryan Malloy as their new vocalist.
Now, with Johnson back in the fold, excitement builds for the Eurovision Song Contest taking place on Tuesday, May 9th, and Thursday, May 11th, and the grand finale airing live on Saturday, May 13th. Is it the beginning of a new chapter for Frankie?
While the future remains uncertain, their brief but powerful performance has reminded us all of the incredible impact and legacy they’ve left on the music scene.
Watch the performance of “Welcome to The Pleasuredome” below: