CLIFF RICHARD Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Rating: ****
When will Cliff Richard get his pop at the prestigious Glastonbury festival “oldies slot”? Based on this 75th birthday tour set, he still has the goods – a barely weathered voice, sveltish moves and a pretty formidable back catalogue which he treated with respect while not taking himself too seriously.
After opening with new song Golden, a forgiveably soppy love token to his fans, he plunged straight back to his bobbysoxer roots. With his breathy tone, Britain’s answer to Elvis Presley was always really more of a teen idol crooner than rock’n’roll performer though that did not deter him from delivering well-behaved renditions of some Chuck Berry standards.
The show really started to take off when he was joined by his two dapper backing singers/guitarists for a box step routine on the antique pop curiosity Living Doll, while the peachy keen innocence of Summer Holiday and The Young Ones provided true nostalgic escapism.
Richard’s other purple patch was the late 70s and early 80s, represented in the first half by the tremulous mirrorball fantasia of Miss You Nights and on the home straight by the mighty triumvirate of Devil Woman, We Don’t Talk Anymore and the glorious Wired for Sound, each as well preserved as their performer and generating enough momentum to sustain the euphoria through dinky Eurovision ditty Congratulations and a closing medley of his early 60s bubblegum hits, Gee Whiz It’s You, Please Don’t Tease and On The Beach.