Another one of those gigs that we’ve had tickets to for a while, but that was re-arranged a couple of times for the usual reasons. Still, good things come to those who wait, and on Friday night we were off to the Hydro in Glasgow to see Blondie!
I have to admit to an amount of disappointment that the original support band, Garbage, had been replaced on this rearranged date. I do have a Smiths ‘best of’, but have never been a huge fan, and Johnny Marr’s solo career has somewhat passed me by. That said, he was excellent. An early start time meant that him and his band began performing to a half full arena, but the place soon filled up, and definitely enjoyed his set, a half and half mix of solo material and Smiths classics. After speaking with a big Johnny Marr fan I’ve been told which of his solo albums to look out for, and will be having more of a listen to his work.
Then came the headline act. In-between Blondie’s songs a group of Falkirk ‘fitba’ lads in their twenties who were next to us were punctuating the applause with shouts of ‘I love you Debbie’, ‘marry me Debbie’, ‘I don’t think she’s going to hear your marriage proposal from up here you fat idiot’, and my personal favourite ‘fuck Kilmarnock’! This group had been to the Hydro plenty of times before, and had the wisdom to bring at least six pints each with them to their seats rather than attempting the horrendous queues that occur as the place fills up. Tactical masterclass.
Blondie themselves were excellent, hit after hit, songs taken from pretty much all of their albums from 1976’s Blondie through to 2017’s Pollinator. Clem Burke’s drumming was absolutely thunderous, Glen Matlock (yes, that Glen Matlock) gave the bass a good punky rumble, and the rest of the band’s keyboards, synths and guitars lent more of a glam edge to the music, with some elongated virtuoso-style solos that aren’t heard on the records. Chris Stein is not playing on this tour due to health problems.
For all that it is worth mentioning the rest of the band, it was inevitably Debbie Harry who stole the limelight.
Dressed in an eye-catching orange and pink mix, with her iconic platinum bob (oh, your hair is beautiful!) she is the sort of lead singer who doesn’t have to do much in order do draw your attention. The vocals were excellent. The performance was excellent.
Good things come to those who wait indeed. Well worth it.
The Against the Odds tour continues on the 26th of April at London’s O2, followed by dates in Brighton (28th), Hull (29th), Manchester (May the 1st), Liverpool (2nd), Leeds (4th), Nottingham (5th) and Birmingham (7th) before moving on to the United States and Mexico, and comes highly recommended by these De-Clunkers.