IT’S been 893 days since ABC last graced the stage of the Pavilion, (not that I was counting!), but on Monday night they were back and, wow, it was worth the wait, writes AMANDA LANGTON.

It’s always a treat to hear the iconic Lexicon of Love performed in full and, once again, the unwavering vocals of frontman Martin Fry, ably assisted by the Southbank Sinfonia, conducted by Anne Dudley, did not disappoint.

The first half was comprised of what Fry described as the ABC songbook, opening with When Smokey Sings, running into Viva Love and Flames of Desire, both from the 2016 album Lexicon of Love 2. The hits came fast and furious, One Better World showcasing the individual talents of the band members and the mellow Ocean Blue and contrasting The Night You Murdered Love closing the set.

What the fans were really waiting for was the performance in its entirety of The Lexicon of Love, the album which propelled the band to fame in 1982. Firm favourites Poison Arrow, Tears are not Enough, All of my Heart and The Look of Love sent the audience soaring into a glorious 80’s time warp and by its conclusion, everyone was up and dancing, joining in with the familiar lyrics.

Whilst the gold lamé suit may now have retreated to the back of the wardrobe, Fry remains a compelling front man, impeccably dressed in a shimmering floral jacket and commanding the stage with amiable ease.

Judging from the tumultuous applause afforded for the show’s encore, I hope there’s a big Bournemouth message going out that we need Mr Fry and his ensemble back again a little sooner than the last . . . what was it? . . . oh, yes 893 days.