Dua Lipa, Hydro, Glasgow ****
Pop fans of a certain vintage may recall with guilty pleasure the video for Olivia Newton-John’s hit single Physical, a gleeful, camp celebration of 80s aerobic fitness culture with a far longer shelf life than could reasonably have been predicted. Forty years on, Dua Lipa, the party pop star du jour, appeared to be channelling her Aussie forebear with the hot pink leotard, lycra-clad chorus line of dancers and retro-cool dayglo visuals which opened her Future Nostalgia tour.
Almost certainly, she is familiar with Madonna’s Confessions on a Dancefloor album, as it is an obvious benchmark for Lipa’s upbeat disco-influenced collection with its smart use of samples and cheeky reference points. None of this will have mattered to the pre-teen contingent of her audience, many of whom will have been attending their first ever pop concert, and were transfixed by the statuesque Lipa, whipping her hair back and forth alongside her precision-drilled dancers, including a rollerskating duo who enhanced the fun factor.
Lipa is a hard-working performer who makes it look easy enough, even if she lacks the supernova star quality or idiosyncratic character which can elevate a handsomely appointed pop extravaganza into a classic spectacular. Instead, she stuck to the pop theatre playbook with bright visuals, a bassy dance party on a podium, some fidgety funk pop (Break My Heart) and coquettish 90s-style R&B (Good In Bed), manicured attitude and, in a welcome burst of eccentricity, her own giant inflatable rock lobster to illustrate a seafood-themed interlude.
The most impressive set piece transformed the Hydro into a colourful solar system with Lipa floating above the crowd in a wire basket for – say what you see – Levitating. However, her fans were just as delighted by the simpler carefree camaraderie of the dance routine which accompanied closing number Don’t Start Now.