Home Gigs Gig Review: Billy Idol @ OVO Hydro, Glasgow

Gig Review: Billy Idol @ OVO Hydro, Glasgow

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Review & Photography by Ritchie Birnie for MPM

The Atomic punk is back in Glasgow and he is determined to finish the run of this tour in style as he takes us all back to the 80s with his huge hits.

Support bands have changed numerous times before we even got to this point but opener Toyah did not let us down. Toyah, aaaaaah Toyah. Her and Miss Debbie Harry had a lot to answer for in the hormones levels of myself as a 13 year old back in 1980.

I still have my original vinyl copy of Anthem which I played this week and to be fair it has aged as well as I have(not at all) but Toyah looks great, adorned in her multi coloured dress, cheeky smile and happy attitude we are taken back over four decades as we blast through her hits the likes of opener “Thunder in the Mountains”, cover “Echo Beach” and “Neon Womb”.

It is amazing how music can hit you at times and as “It’s a Mystery” comes on I am taken back to sitting in front of a TV for Top of the Pops and staring at the pale face, bizarre make up and huge, bouncy ginger hair. Tonight was all about revisiting the past for me and the version tonight was spot on.

It is great to see the Toyah resurgence and I will be front and centre for her Sunday lunch tour next year.

For me Killing Joke were the weakness in the line up tonight. Although I had been a punk prior to my Rock and Metal pathway but even then Killing Joke did not do it for me.

Opener “Unspeakable” said it all for me I am afraid. Having front man Jaz coleman robotically shuffling around a stage in a jump suit with an angry look did not hold enough for me…sorry.

Now it was time for the Showman. The huge set is seen in its full spectacle and it was impressive. The rooftop like setting with Bladerunner billboards lighting the stage as the band came on.

Then we see the man that is as much Billy Idol as Billy is in guitarist Steve Stevens plug in his guitar and the night begins(and I am in awe being so close to this guitar hero of mine).

As “Dancing with Myself” kicks off Billy appears at the back of the stage on the roof setting and proceeds to gee up the crowd screaming Glasgow, Scotland c’mon so many times and so loud I am sure neighboring houses were shouting back shut up!!! we know where we are.

Jokes aside we are taken on a journey of Billy’s hit and he was on point. Vocals were perfect, the sneer was ever present and the guy looks far to good for his age.

I have seen Billy many times over the years, in recent times mostly at festivals but you still forget how immense the songs are and how huge he was in the 80s but looking at the stadium tours he still does and with everyone singing their hearts out here you know this will go down as a very memorable show.

On “Flesh for Fantasy” Billy gets the kit off(well his shirt and vest) and not only do I have hair envy…now I feel body shamed as well…thanks Billy.

It is not only about the hits though as we get recent song “Cage”, “Runnin’ From the Ghost” and “Speed” from the movie thrown in which was excellent as I do like my deep cuts.

Rarities aside the big moments are of course “Mony, Mony”, “Rebel Yell”, “Eyes without a Face” and of course the mega hit “White wedding” which sounds just as good today as it did then.

As much as this is about Billy’s legacy it is great to see him interact with the whole band and show such affection for his musical partner these last 40 years in Steve. I bet a huge portion of this crowd have no idea Steve has been there since the beginning of Billy going solo.

They probably do not know Steve won a Grammy for his work on the Top Gun theme (hence, why that was played) and if you were at the show and liked the flamenco guitar parts go check out his solo albums as well as Atomic Playboys as it is one hell of an underrated album.

Billy is now the Grandfather of punk but he still has the attitude, the talent and boy has he got the look. Billy has and is the real deal.

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