Fireworks

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Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 13, 2014    
 
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Blondie - O2 Academy, Newcastle (UK) - 4th July 2013

The O2 Academy was sold out well in advance of the show as Newcastle turned out in force to see the Pop/rock legends in the flesh. Sure Debbie Harry is pushing 70 but she still looked and sounded great, although she struggled at times on the higher notes during the likes of 'Maria'. When she, along with guitarist Chris Stein and the irrepressible Clem Burke on drums from the classic line-up, unleash hit after hit, it's as if time has stood still. Close your eyes and it's 1978 again.

'Heart Of Glass', 'Atomic', 'Call Me' and 'Hanging On The Telephone', all gold plated classics, were welcomed with a roar of approval, while songs from the forthcoming 'Ghosts Of Download' album, 'Rave' and 'Take Me In The Night' being unfamiliar to most were greeted with polite applause. There was no doubting the songs that people wanted to hear and the new songs struggled to compete, but to be fair the quality of the new material was uniformly high and emphasised that Blondie are not just a nostalgia act trading of past glories but a band still moving forward.

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While to main focus was, as always, on the delectable Debbie Harry, special mention goes to Clem Burke, caged in a Perspex case and as animated as Keith Moon with the driving groove of Zeppelin's John Bonham, a true legend on the drums. With surprise covers of 'Relax' (Frankie Goes To Hollywood) and 'Lights' (Ellie Goulding) while well delivered one couldn't help but wish for an 'X-Offender', 'Rip Her To Shreds' or 'Denis Denis' instead. Great covers yes, but when you have the catalogue of songs as Blondie have, not really necessary.

Closing an excellent show with 'Dreaming', Blondie ended on a high and left the crowd begging for more. With a new album due out soon it looks as though Blondie will be with us for more time to come.

Mick Burgess

Blondie-2013-Live-Review-Rocktopia

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