Gig review: Ronnie Spector, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

Ronnie Spector. Picture: TSPL
Ronnie Spector. Picture: TSPL
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The disappointingly slim turnout at this show did not put the high-kicking, back-combing Ronnie Spector off her stride for a second.

Ronnie Spector

Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

****

The Ronettes legend simply launched straight into the deathless Baby I Love You, backed by a top drawer suited and booted band and trio of beehived soul sisters, and succeeded in warming up an atmosphere which could otherwise have been as desolate as the love affairs she sings of.

There was not a bum note in this lovingly conceived and executed show, weaving the story of The Ronettes through the set, accompanied by some ace archive footage and photos and, occasionally, Spector’s devilish throaty laugh.

She was in fine raspy voice on the doo-wop dream of So Young, the cutesy Chapel Of Love and evergreen Walking In The Rain, even better when mining the heartache of Is This What I Get For Loving You Baby? and the exquisite pop melodrama of I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine, dedicated to her late sister and fellow Ronette Estelle, and particularly potent on covers of Johnny Thunders’ You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory and Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, both explicit iterations of the timeless Phil Spector pop template.

But when Brian Wilson is paying tribute, that’s when you know you’re in untouchable classic territory. Spector closed the main set with Wilson’s all-time favourite song, Be My Baby, and encored with I Can Hear Music, covered so memorably by The Beach Boys, and delivered here with lump-in-the-throat conviction.