Christmas with Steps, just in case anyone is curious, turns out to be a somewhat muted, middle-aged affair and not the holly jolly re-enactment of Wham’s Last Christmas video that it might have been.
Venue: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow
Rating: * *
Review: Fiona Shepherd
The pop quintet, who re-formed last year, were all dressed up in their sparkly finery and the stage was draped in white curtains, but someone had forgotten to sprinkle on the seasonal magic or even bring the straight-up party spirit.
Bare-faced Abba and Chic ripoffs such as Baby Don’t Dance and Stomp and sundry other fluffy old favourites were supplemented by a handful of sterile versions of easy listening Christmas standards from their new album Light Up The World.
But although Claire Richards and Faye Tozer remain in technically good voice and the overall vocal blend was slick, there was a lack of joy in their collective performance – even from the camp, crowd-pleasing H – and a stiffness in their interaction with the up-for-it fans, who came wielding Santa hats, illuminated devil horns, Christmas jumpers and fairy lights, and appeared more enthusiastic about performing the cheesy handjive routines than the group did.
The best Christmas song of the night was Wombling Merry Christmas, played over the PA during the interval, but at least they went out on a spirited note with their Eurovision-style romp through the Bee Gees’ Tragedy, ensuring that Christmas With Steps was not an outright turkey, more a serving of reheated leftovers.