IN THESE days of high concept tribute shows and album anniversary celebrations, the notion of a good old-fashioned greatest hits tour is almost quaint – but then Shakin’ Stevens is a traditional kind of guy, a throwback anachronism even at the time of his utmost chart success in the 1980s.
Shakin’ Stevens, City Halls, Glasgow ***
Just as the far-from-shakey Shakey has defied the march of time, so his fans enthusiastically hold fast to that nostalgic legacy. As the beleaguered venue stewards found out soon enough, there ain’t no party like a Shakey party, especially when he and his eminently capable nine-piece band churned out the bubblegum rock’n’roll hits from You Drive Me Crazy to a pleasingly raucous Green Door.
He was more soulfully invested in the blues ballad Suffer Little Children, from Echoes of Our Times, his most recent album of original and highly personal material, than any of his Blackpool Elvis turns but the contrasting cheesy 50s nostalgia of A Love Worth Waiting For clearly meant a lot to the swaying couples in the room, and there was outright Shakeymania during his medley of Marie Marie and Oh Julie.
The band were able to change the script and show their roots rock mettle on the pacey likes of Turning Away and a faithful cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Have You Ever See The Rain but the emphasis always returned to the candyfloss escapism, rounding off with the rollicking pop rockabilly of This Old House. - FIONA SHEPHERD