Music review: Billy Idol, Hydro, Glasgow

Billy Idol remains fully committed to the Sunset Strip rocktail of velvet, leather and hairspray, and his Glasgow show was a career-spanning hoot, writes Fiona Shepherd

Billy Idol, Hydro, Glasgow ****

With a curled lip and a leather-clad fist pump, Billy Idol has seen off the MRSA superbug which forced the postponement of this Idol Live! Tour and appeared to be born ready to rock as he took the stage in Glasgow.

He was supported by motley special guests in the form of an enthusiastic Toyah, who summoned enough gusto with her melodramatic new wave pop to over-compensate for the relatively small number of eager early birds, and peerless post-punks Killing Joke, whose industrial-strength power and prescient apocalyptic chants were on another level entirely – one that went over much of the audience’s heads.

Billy Idol PIC: Buda Mendes/Getty ImagesBilly Idol PIC: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
Billy Idol PIC: Buda Mendes/Getty Images
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As one of the self-styled Bromley contingent, Billy Idol manifested at the dawn of punk but has evolved over the years into a ripped ringmaster who takes the business of rock’n’roll far more seriously than he takes himself.

He was joined, as always, by trusty sideman Steve Stevens, an old school riffmeister as committed to the Sunset Strip rocktail of velvet, leather and hairspray as Idol.

The set was a straight-shooting career-spanning hoot, opening with durable Generation X favourite Dancing With Myself, followed by the chugging Hollywood rocker Cradle of Love and the epic pomp of Flesh for Fantasy, which clearly gave Simple Minds some mid-Eighties ideas.

A handful of new songs were scattered through the set and stood up well in the company, including the pandemic frustration of Cage, open road ode Bitter Taste and Running from the Ghost, about past addictions.

The latter was accompanied by gleeful guitar arpeggios from Stevens, who supplied a lovely Spanish guitar intro to punk crooner Eyes Without A Face and some Zeppelin touches in his dexterous acoustic guitar solo while Idol readied himself for the big guns of Rebel Yell and White Wedding.

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