I didn’t want this to end.
Debbie Harry began the Blondie set with, what has to be said, a fairly measured approach.
I didn’t expect much more from a performer who is now 67(!) years old.
The audience, mainly 50 and 60 somethings, were fairly mellow, anticipating an evening of moderate and easy going, though undoubtedly energetic hits of the 70s and 80s.
The house was almost full, a demonstration of the affection in which Blondie is held in the UK; the atmosphere gently sizzling in expectation.
Opening number One Way or Another saw a goodly number of us out of our seats and bopping, despite not being dressed to sweat, singing along with the confidence of the teens most of us were when this number was released in 1978. Debbie gradually loosened up, and kept the pace despite some initial feedback problems, drawing the audience in like a room full of personal friends.
Her personal charisma had every woman wanting to emulate her, and every man wishing he could buy her a drink.
This performance gave a whole new meaning to ‘life begins at 40’ and new hope to all us aging New Wavers.
The play list mixed old and new numbers, which was just as well as it gave the audience a reprieve from the constant bopping and singing which accompanied chart hits such as Hanging on the Telephone, Union City Blues, The Tide is High, Maria, Heart of Glass, Call Me, Relax, and Dreaming which concluded the set.
The highlight of the evening was without a doubt Atomic which had everyone on their feet and blasting out the song like an upmarket karaoke.
This incorporated a mega guitar riff, demonstrating the sheer skill and musicianship encompassing the performance.
No gimmicks were needed; the backdrop of film teasers was largely irrelevant, as no one took their eyes off the players Chris Stein, Clem Burke, newer band members Leigh Foxx, Tommy Kessler and Matt Katz-Bohen and of course Blondie herself, Debbie Harry.
Debbie and band have racked up over 40 million album sales worldwide and seeing them live brings an understanding of why.
There were no stunts involved in this show, just a bunch of people doing what they love best, to a standard which would be difficult to emulate.
There was an absolute respect for their audience throughout, no corners were cut to ensure everyone had a great time and got their moneys worth.
The only bitter sweet note is the sure and certain knowledge that this can’t last forever.
As Debbie Harry pointed out: ‘We can’t do every single song–I’d die!’
I need to know where I can buy a Blondie wig...