BLONDIE have drunk long and deep from the elixir of rock’n’roll. Age did not appear to have withered these veteran New York new wavers, as they tore hell-for-leather into set-opener One Way Or Another, propelled along by Clem Burke’s ferocious drumming.
Rating: * * * *
Debbie Harry, dressed like no other 69-year-old that I’ve ever seen, is still a force of nature, albeit one with ever more eccentric dance moves. In addition to her remarkable presence, her voice is still in great shape – although she wisely doesn’t attempt the high notes anymore, her fabulous silky tone is entirely wrinkle-free.
For this 40th anniversary tour, they have cherrypicked the obvious favourites (and their regrettable cover of The Tide Is High) from their formidable pop catalogue but left some gems off the setlist in favour of a liberal sprinkling of new songs from their latest album Ghosts Of Download, itself a sleek collection of disco-infused new wave which acknowledges their roots while staking a place in the present pop landscape.
Of these sympathetic newbies, Euphoria led appropriately to Rapture, still an extraordinary foray for a rock band to make into New York dancefloor and hip-hop culture. There was a fond nod to another groundbreaking New York group via a curt cover of The Beastie Boys’ You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Party, with Harry in riot granny mode, before Europe’s largest mirrorball was spun to glittery effect during Heart of Glass, another timeless example of the art of partying.