For Culture Club drummer Jon Moss, the appeal of another 80s timewarp tour – even one peppered with decent tracks from the band’s first album in almost 20 years – comes second to taking time off to be with his family and, without their usual trusty engine, there was a sense of disconnect between the three remaining founding members of the band, with bassist Mikey Craig and guitarist Roy Hay blending into the background of the Boy George Show.
Culture Club, Belinda Carlisle & Tom Bailey, Glasgow Hydro ***
George was in simultaneously twinkly and prickly form, while never quite committing to getting the audience onside. His voice has noticeably weathered and he struggled with the phrasing on Time (Clock of the Heart) but maintained a husky soul tone, all the better to deliver primo torch song Victims with mild outbreaks of bombast.
Their northern soul stomper Church of the Poison Mind was teamed seamlessly with a burst of Wham!’s I’m Your Man and George paid his usual Bowie homage, this time with a faithful version of Let’s Dance, before their own perennially cheesy Karma Chameleon was trotted out as required.
Support acts Belinda Carlisle and Thompson Twins frontman Tom Bailey were worth a shake of the tambourine in their own right. Carlisle’s solo catalogue is strong enough to furnish a set of wall-to-wall hits with uplifting pop hooks and a dash of AOR guitar histrionics while Bailey ventured gingerly into new album territory before reverting to the safe waters of Thompson Twins favourites, from synth pop earworm Love on Your Side to lighter-waving ballad Hold Me Now. - Fiona Shepherd