Billy Idol review – old-school rock ‘n’ roll transcends nostalgic fun | pop and rock

Oilliam Broad was a bespectacled schoolboy teacher from Bromley nicknamed “Billy Idle” before punk and contact lenses sparked his transformation. He became a regular on Top of the Pops with Generation X and then a global superstar in the MTV era. Now 66, he remains as tireless as ever, shouting “Manchester, England: let’s dance!” four times in the opening number alone.

This song — Generation X’s Dancing With Myself, which he turned into a solo hit — sets the blueprint for what’s next: crisp riffs, a relentless rhythm section, and choruses built to scream with. Idol’s image — curled lips, leather jacket, rolled-up collar, spiky dish-blond hair — has barely changed in decades, but doesn’t need to change when he’s got such old-school rock ‘n’ roll charisma. school. His ’80s hits like Cradle of Love will probably be on the radio somewhere forever, but his two-hour show (well-supported by punk-era veterans Killing Joke and Toyah) isn’t just about nostalgic pleasure.

The pandemic has revived his muse. He introduces the new song Cage by speaking movingly about his mother’s death during the first lockdown and how restrictions prevented him from attending her funeral. Another new song, Bitter Taste, finds Idol reflecting on his horrific 1990 motorcycle accident and he sings it over a video of himself driving away from a wreck. In the blunt piano ballad turned brash rocker Runnin’ from the Ghost, the former drug addict frankly addresses his fears of falling back into bad habits. They’re all great vulnerable songs, and their warm reception puts Idol on a roll.

He sings Eyes Without a Face beautifully, remembers playing “The Electric Circus, down the road” introducing One Hundred Punks and had the crowd screaming “Maw! Gueule! Gueule!” during Rebel Yell. He teases them by mentioning “one more song we forgot to do”. Longtime guitarist Steve Stevens leads to an inevitable and triumphant white marriage, and it’s hard not to smile at the way the singer exits after introducing the band, then himself: “Billy fucking idol, yeah !

At the Cardiff International Arena on October 17. So tour.

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