Music review: Belinda Carlisle

CREAM'S retro rock anthem I Feel Free initially seemed like a very odd choice of curtain-raiser for a Belinda Carlisle show, completely failing to show off her characteristically warbly tone to any advantage or achieve any kind of lift-off from her ruthlessly efficient band.

Belinda Carlisles biggest hits were welcomed by the fans
Belinda Carlisles biggest hits were welcomed by the fans

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow ***

But its inclusion on her 1987 breakthrough Heaven on Earth album earned it a slot on this 30th anniversary tour and its freewheeling sentiments resonated through the rest of the set even if it had little else in common with her late 80s bubblegum pop/rock time capsule.

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Its spirit was there in the unfettered outlook of Nobody Owns Me and the sunny, upbeat Fool For Love, during which Carlisle broke her own doctor’s orders “no dancing” rule to twirl around the stage.

Continuing her penchant for airy romantic sentiment, the hit singles I Get Weak and Circle In The Sand were duly ticked off but ironically the highlights of the show, including the quasi-Stevie Nicks strains of Summer Rain, were drawn from the follow-up album, Runaway Horses.

It was impossible not to smile at the delighted reaction of the fans clustered at the front of the stage for the fist-pumping (We Want) The Same Thing which formed a euphoric one-two with Leave A Light On, and prepared the celebratory ground for her biggest number, Heaven is a Place on Earth which was teased as a slow singalong before the full FM pop/rock sound kicked in. Carlisle returned for a couple of encores, but by this point her work here was done.