Robbie Williams & Olly Murs – Hampden Park, Glasgow – 26/06/13
A last-minute road trip for Still Burning and a long time planned trip for Pierced Princess took them both to Hampden Park, the home of Scottish Football to see Robbie Williams and support Olly Murs play to two long sold out capacity crowds. The touts and merch sellers were out in force but would the performance match the ego? Read on to get the PP verdict.
Having foregone the usual spiked heels for a gig, going for comfortable hiking boots (not glam but necessary!) knowing that we were in for a fairly long wait getting to Hampden just after 5pm, still early enough to get into the “we were here first” section, secured a great viewing spot for what no doubt would be a spectacular… but the show went even beyond my expectations! During the wait we were warmed up with a dj playing some old and new dance tunes to get the crowd buzzing.
Then the new cheeky chappie on the block, Mr Olly Murs followed his musicians onto the stage to start the proceedings for the evening. I have to admit, I wasn’t much of an Olly Murs fan, only really thinking I’d know a few songs… but perhaps the amount of airplay disposable pop gets, some of it has sunk in… Arriving on stage with his usual, bright and bubbly exuberance, Olly was warm and friendly towards the crowd and very entertaining, dancing and singing with way more talent and style than I expected of a runner-up on x-factor (the kind of television which I detest for killing music!)
His songs were polished and good fun, with the hits you’d expect mingled in there with his new tracks “Dear Darlin’”, “Army of Two”, “Troublemaker” and the older ones like “Heart Skips a Beat”. He was lively, and confident chatting to the audience, and his performance has maybe not gained him an extra fan, but has gained him some respect for effort and hard work to pull off such a good warm up for the man himself….
In typical Robbie style, the stage looked stunning, and not one for modesty, a 15 metre high Robbie face was overlooking the crowd! The man himself arrived on a zip line winging down, trailing smoke from the top of the large face to the right hand side runway for the stage to “Hey Wow Yeah Yeah”. “Let Me Entertain You” was the obvious first choice that grabbed the crowd’s attention and made us very aware we were there for Robbie F*****’ Williams.
Wearing a very glitzy black-tailed jacket, Robbie Williams grabbed the eye of everyone in the stadium, looking his usual polished, well presented self, with a muted black arm band in memory of Mark Fisher who had died the day before (25th June 2013) which was a nice touch to show Robbie has matured and has some empathy for the world around him now.
Onward from “Let Me Entertain You”, we had a cover of “Minnie the Moocher”, and then the two cheeky chappies performed together – giving us a great version of “Kids” There is obviously some bromance happening there as the chemistry and humour between the two singers was fun to watch. The set was fantastic with large phrenology style Robbie head statues – one released balloons, another sprayed water and flame bursts, and a disco ball style one.
A powerful rendition of “Come Undone” really got the voices going at Hampden and the crowd participating. Then it was night of the life time for one very lucky fan who got chosen to go up on stage with Robbie. A young 17 year old lass, Keira from Oban – which Mr Williams admitted to never having heard of, and relocated to Eastern Europe, was treated to “Everything Changes”, and “Strong” in a Take That duvet covered bed on the stage – which was used as a stage for a puppet show as well! Robbie was full of humour and really poking fun at himself for having such a young lady on stage. I am sure there were loads of very envious women in the stadium!
There was a great mix of old and new songs, with “Gospel” and “Be a Boy” and “Candy” being mixed in with “Millennium” done with Robbie playing guitar, and “Better Man” and a much welcomed repeat of “Me and My Monkey” along with jokes linking the Gorbals to Las Vegas! Robbie was very chatty with the audience and really interacted well, laughing and joking between songs, asking his fans to continue the journey of getting old with him, and to check he hasn’t lost his magic – which he most certainly still has in abundance! He was very lively, dancing around the stage and the 2 runways from it a lot. He sang all the crowd favourites getting a lot joining in with songs like “Hot Fudge” and “Rock DJ” which drew the set to a close.
But, there was no way Hampden was allowing Robbie to leave without an encore… one of the loudest shouts for encore that I have heard in a long time had the man return to the stage in a red sparkly jacket, still with the black armband on, to treat us to “Feel”, a lovely version of “She’s the One” and then of course the ultimate ending song for a Robbie gig, where he asked everyone to have a thought for anyone who might need it, whether they were with us still or not… launching into “Angels” which had Hampden in very fine voice singing along and the expected stunning pyrotechnic fireworks display. Robbie left the stage as the crowd were finishing the song… but came back on again for a very emotional second encore, which clearly had the man himself close to tears, to lead some more verses of “Angels” before the show closed at just a few minutes to 11pm!
All in all, probably the best Robbie gig I’ve seen and would rate pretty highly out of all the gigs I’ve been to for pure showmanship and style.
Hey Wow Yeah Yeah
Let Me Entertain You
Not Like the Others
Minnie the Moocher (Cab Calloway cover)
Kids (with Olly Murs)
Sin Sin Sin
Everything Changes (Take That song)
Be a Boy
Me and My Monkey
She’s the One
Encore 2: Angels
Words by Pierced Princess, pics by Still Burning.