Gig review: Lionel Richie, Glasgow

“WHEN you were in love, I was in love,” proclaimed master of tongue-in-cheek cheese Richie, reminiscing about all the experiences he and his legions have fans have shared over the decades through his music. “When you were young, I was young,” the former Commodore continued. “And when you got old, I stayed young!”

The experience showman kept the audience smiling throughout. Picture: AP
The experience showman kept the audience smiling throughout. Picture: AP

Lionel Richie

The Hydro, Glasgow

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Undoubtedly the years, and dare I venture his plastic surgeon, have been kind to the now 65-year-old singer – one of the biggest selling artists of all time, with over 100 million units shifted (the vast majority of them in the 1980s). He’d be within his rights to be easing off on the live touring by now, much less putting on shows with all the boundless energy and relentless fun-factor this one possessed.

As you’d expect, there were plenty of mums-charming chocolate-box ballads deployed – Ballerina Girl, Truly and Three Times A Lady in the first half alone, later a version of Endless Love during which the audience were invited to sing Diana Ross’s part. But Richie has a proper showman’s way of keeping things breezy and cheerful even amid all the tearjerkers, between his hammy wisecracking and wiry, camp dancing with his expertly-drilled and similarly highly-strung five-piece backing band.

It helped too that a good party pop banger was never far away, from Brick House to My Destiny. And then finally – straddled either side of his gargantuan signature hit Hello – two of the greatest party pop bangers of them all in Dancing on the Ceiling and All Night Long (All Night), each stretched out to marathon-length and performed with aerobics class intensity.