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Manchester Evening News - 19th July 2007

Live reviews

Blondie @ Apollo
Neal Snowdon 

ARRIVING a little late at the Apollo, I missed the bulk of the majestic 'Union City Blue' and made it just in time for 'Hanging on the Telephone'. 

But it helped remind me just how brilliant Blondie were at their late-seventies peak. How few bands can knock out such mighty songs so early in a set?

Thankfully, this was no lame cash-in as the divine Ms Debbie Harry was out to give full value for money. She is no longer the lip-glossed, pouting perfection that she was in the formative minds of young men like myself all those years ago. 

But she has kept her enigmatic beauty, trading the mini-skirted minx image for the look of a slightly batty, although still fanciable, grandma.

And as one of the few 20th century icons who did not sell her soul to a caffeine-filled fizzy drink she still deserves our respect. Even before we get on to the songs.


And what songs they were. 'The Tide is High’, a powerful 'Rapture' complete with original rap, 'Picture This'’and, of course, 'Heart of Glass' were paraded in front of us by the veteran Ms Harry and faithful sidekick Chris Stein as a reminder of how great pure pop can be.

Most of the muddy, mum-friendly acts that polluted the stages of Glastonbury would give their right arms for such tunes. But they can only hope to aspire to such killer choruses and timeless appeal.

Yes, there were stodgy moments when less-loved material was aired. But this was a minor moan. 

In a world where the word legend is used too often - and incorrectly - and “great’’ describes any fair-to-middling reformed outfit, Blondie showed what real class was.

For a band that used to hang out with Andy Warhol they have had more than their 15 minutes of fame. And still deserve a few years more.

Link: Manchester Evening News - 19th July 2007

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