WHAT has Altrincham Ice Rink and a celebrated number one 80s album got in common?

It was here that Martin Fry, the Stretford born lead singer of ABC, the band who produced it, fell in love with music for the first time.

Now 55, Martin looks back on those days with more than a certain fondness.

He said: “It was a Mungo Jerry song - it had an effect on me for the rest of my life. I’m a lousy skater though.”

He remembers “great” times at the now gone rink.

Martin said: “It was great - it was kind of like a hoe down. Country dancing but with blades.”

Fans of ABC who bought the album, which included the hit singles All Of My Heart and Look Of Love and was released 30 years ago, can hear the record performed by Martin - “the last man standing” of the group’s original line-up - and a full orchestra at The Lowry. What’s the secret of its enduring appeal?

Martin said: “There are a lot of strong, universal themes on there with songs like The Look Of Love and All Of My Heart. A lot of people have had their hearts broken over the years and I think they can identify with the stories that unfold on The Lexicon Of Love.”

He said the first half of the concert will consist of what he describes as “the ABC songbook” and after the interval the audience will hear The Lexicon Of Love performed in its entireity by Martin and The South Bank Sinfonia. Rick Bowen * The Lowry presents ABC on March 29 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 0843 208 6000 or thelowry.com.