FORMING in 1981 and embarking on a hit-filled decade of success before splitting in 1991, Tears For Fears could be said to epitomise the 80s both literally and metaphorically.

Part of the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US, their intelligent but melancholic synth pop struck a chord at home, before their move into mainstream rock saw them sell enough records to still fill arenas both here and stateside.

They were an unlikely success story too: Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith were teenagers from Bath when they formed the band, taking their name from a branch of primal therapy, developed by the American psychologist Arthur Janov and producing music so full of angst it seems strange to hear their sad lyrics bellowed drunkenly back to them in the verdant surroundings of Delamere Forest.

Unusually for a band trading on the audience's nostalgic memories, the duo show their cards early, starting with arguably their best known song in Everybody Wants To Rule The World and being rewarded with a mass singalong as a result. It paves the way for an unusually paced show which sees the band happy to retread their hits in startling accurate fashion down to every icy keyboard line and falsetto vocal from Orzabal and Smith who are in fine voice throughout despite the latter's protestations that he he has a terrible cold.

Sowing the Seeds of Love is an early highlight - its gloriously over the top attempt to recreate the sound of the psychedelic Beatles sounds superb in the late evening sunshine, bringing back many a memory of the Second Summer of Love with its anthemic fanfares.

Happy to go back to their 1983 debut album, The Hurting, Orzabal jokes that many of the audience look as if they remember its release before they play fantastic versions of Pale Shelter and Change. Even better is Mad World, a song whose classic status was sealed when Michael Andrews and Gary Jules recorded it for the film soundtrack Donnie Darko. Tonight its memorable chorus (“The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had”) sounds as beautiful as ever.

Talking of covers, Tears For Fears come up with one of their own when they play a version of Radiohead's Creep which draws a neat line between the self-hating sadness of much of their back catalogue and that of those who were influenced by them. On Woman In Chains, Carnia Round steps in for Oleta Adams to beautiful affect on one of the band's more moving songs while Head Over Heels sounds simply huge as its classic opening synth line reverberates around the natural woodland bowl at Delamere.

It all builds up to a rapturous encore version of Shout that caps the warm evening with just a hint of political rebellion and defiance and sees Tears For Fears ruling the stage once more as they head into the Cheshire night.

Forest Live is a major outdoor live music series held every summer by Forestry England in seven beautiful woodland arenas across the country. Over 1.75 million people have attended a forest gig in the last eighteen years. Income generated from ticket sales helps to look after the nation’s forests sustainably, for people to enjoy and wildlife to thrive.