HIS music may have become progressively ropier over the years, but Robbie Williams’ stock as an entertainer appeared to be as high as ever as he reached the Glasgow leg of his first stadium tour since 2006, with a whopping 100,000 fans set to gather over two nights to witness this Take The Crown extravaganza.
Hampden Park, Glasgow
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A massive mask of Williams’ pensive face loomed over the stage, capturing his irritating mix of ego and insecurity in one huge statement piece. But all hubris was (almost) forgiven when he made his audacious and humorous entrance, abseiling from the top of his own big bonce to dispatch his traditional energetic curtain-raiser Let Me Entertain You with belligerent intent.
“Allow me to reintroduce myself – I’m Robbie F***ing Williams,” he brayed in the same bullish croak with which he delivered much of his two-hour set.
He hardly needed the sparkly ringmaster’s frock coat nor cover of Minnie the Moocher to underline his music hall credentials. But he had packed some gigantic fire-spewing Robbie busts as stagecraft collateral anyway.
In addition to his usual repertoire of mugging for the cameras, cheeky references to other (superior) songs and assurance-seeking adlibs, Williams duetted with support act (and artistic mini-me) Olly Murs, took a gallus fan to his stage bed and dialled it down sufficiently to deliver some of his strongest vocals in an acoustic medley.
The bigger the arena, the more Williams thrives, so this was a far more convincing all-guns-blazing display than last year’s intimate Barrowland gig.
However, the bravado was no substitute for the big-hearted encore singalong to Feel, a song strong enough to withstand the appearance of yet another big Robbie head, and Angels, which was touchingly dedicated to the show’s late designer.