Support: Olly Murs
The last time I was at Wembley Stadium the crowd wore denim jackets, denim jeans, denim headbands and probably denim underpants. That was for ACDC in 2009. To say the clothing of choice was a little different today is an understatement. Short shorts and glittery tops abound. Ok so the two sets of fans were a little different. The ACDC fan profile was male, over 40 beer bellies and proud. Today it was female, over 30, bingo wings* and horny as hell. Yes the majority of the crowd seemed to be horny for one man and one man only. Sir Robert Williams.
Before I go any further I must admit that I am sat in a London pub, alone, on my fourth pint of Guinness, wearing a t shirt and a waistcoat having only a few hours earlier had afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel. If you didn’t know me you may think me verging on the homosexual but I hate to stereotype…anyway, I digress.
For the first time in seven years Robbie is undertaking a solo stadium tour. Tonight was the first of four shows at London’s most famous venue; Wembley Stadium. You may love Robbie, you may hate him (stand up Liam Gallagher) but whatever you think, four shows in London’s premier stadium is nothing to be sniffed at. Add to that stadium gigs over four nights in Manchester plus a couple in Scotland not to mention one in Dublin and you begin to see the popularity of the singer. Not bad for the bloke from Stoke who the lads want to be and the women want to shag.
Olly Murs was supporting tonight. I realise my music taste has no credibility at all but even I have little time for X-Factor contestants. Olly seems like a good guy and he was entertaining in a harmless way but he really isn’t my cup of tea. ‘Hang on a minute’ says you. ‘You are at a Robbie Williams gig….you must love Olly Murs’? Well no I can honestly say that’s not the case, but I must admit he was enjoyable and there were certainly some in the crowd (younger girls…the daughters of the Robbie fans I think) who loved him. A likeable guy it must be said…and yes even I danced to Heart Skips A Beat.
What’s so different about Mr Williams then? In 1985 Queen played this famous stadium as part of Live Aid and Freddie Mercury showed a global audience what a true showman is. Nearly thirty years later I think Robbie shows that he has similar attributes. He really can have a stadium in his control. Of course he is no match to Freddie in the vocal stakes but he belts out a good tune none the less…a great cabaret singer as he has described himself on a few occasions. I think he is far better than that but one thing he has that many don’t and that is a self-depreciating sense of humour. Many call him a big headed idiot. That is only a persona though and the real man has been full of self-doubt over the years…much like Freddie. One thing we never saw Freddie do though was come on stage via a zip line from the very top of the stage (he did sit on top of Darth Vader’s shoulders though…Google it). Robbie likes a good entrance and he show balls of steel to do it night after night. There is of course only one way to start and Let Me Entertain You has the crowd in his hands from the start and he knows it…as the man said himself ‘for the next two hours your ass is mine’.
Monsoon has the hands in the air and before long Olly comes on to duet for Kids and does ok but he hasn’t got Robbie’s stage presence. He may gain that in time of course but he has yet to master the big stage. Robbie grabs a girl from the audience to help him sing Everything Changes which is a nice nod to Take That (who my mother pointed out Robbie couldn’t do without. She hates Robbie by the way. She also reads the Daily Mail). One of the best songs from new album Take The Crown is Be A Boy and should have been a massive hit, tonight it leads into a bit of a surprise - seeing a Stoke lad with guitar in his hand. The last time this happened was in March. That was Slash though and I’m well used to seeing him with a guitar in hand. Not so much Robbie. He used the two chords well for Millennium and Better Man. Me and My Monkey took an age to get going and was probably the low point for me but it finished well and the stage graphics were fantastic. In fact for the whole evening the stage design was quality. My one gripe is that I wish there had been a walk way further into the crowd so that the singer could get closer to those at the back. That really is a small complaint however as the stage set up was great all night.
Candy, Hot Fudge (a song that gets me moving like no other, yes I danced my pants off to it tonight), and Rock DJ finish the main set and the stadium is truly buzzing. The encore slows it all down but in Feel, his cover of She’s The One and Angels there is no better way to send the crowd home happy.
I had a great time. So did the Mrs. Yes she fancies the pants off Rob but then again so did most of the women in the audience. Hell, a fair few of the men did too I reckon. I had a middle aged bloke singing every word near my left ear and a woman on my right elbowing me accidentally in the face to every song (at least she said it was accidentally). Even so I loved every minute. Rob you are a true showman and long may you continue.
Can he do this at 50? Maybe he can. By then his fans will have grown older with him and unless he starts doing jazz records they will love him for as long as he wants them to.
* Disclaimer: The wife wants me to point out that she may be over thirty but shouldn't be included in the bingo wing brigade.
Ticket: June 29th 2013
Ticket Price: £82.50