Rock and rolling back the years, Rod is still hot stuff at 74

Scottish Daily Mail - - Life - By Alan Chad­wick

Re­view

Sir Rod Ste­wart (SSE Hy­dro, Glas­gow)

Barn­storm­ing bril­liance ★★★★✩

FOR Sir rod Ste­wart fans in Scot­land, news that a throat in­fec­tion had put the ki­bosh on the 74year old su­per­star per­form­ing at the royal Va­ri­ety per­for­mance in Lon­don ear­lier this month, ahead of a string of dates in his adopted home­land, was cause for grave con­cern.

As it was, he did not have to can­cel and the buzz at Glas­gow’s SSE Hy­dro on Tues­day was at fever pitch for the first of three nights Sir rod­er­ick will be play­ing in the city, ahead of ap­pear­ing in Aberdeen.

With the packed arena awash with more tar­tan trews, bun­nets, and scarves than a Bay City rollers re­union – and more Celtic colours than you’d find in The Hoops Bar – the scene was set for a blis­ter­ing night. And so it proved.

Ar­riv­ing on stage to the skirl of the pipes, dressed in a yel­low tar­tan jacket and gold hi-tops, sup­ported by a slew of fe­male back­ing singers/mu­si­cians in eye-popping frilly mini-dresses, it was straight into a lively ren­di­tion of 80s hit Some Guys Have All The Luck, quickly fol­lowed by a cover of Mo­town clas­sic It Takes Two. Ev­ery­one was on their feet from the get-go.

The barn­storm­ing, age-de­fy­ing, two-hour sin­ga­long took in hits from a song­book stretch­ing over 31 al­bums – from Dirty old Town taken from 1969’s An old rain­coat Won’t Ever Let You Down, to the beau­ti­ful Ir­ish folk song Grace from last year’s Blood red roses.

The iconic rocker (whose cos­tume changes in­cor­po­rated a sar­to­rial timeline tak­ing in leop­ard print, a shiny sil­ver suit, and rod the Mod boat­ing blazer elan), has lost none of his en­ergy.

The hips might have creaked a bit as he swiv­elled them in a rau­cous and raspy You Wear It Well.

And he then crooned his way through mem­o­rable bal­lads such as a pitch-per­fect Sail­ing and a won­der­ful The Killing of Ge­orgie (Part I and II). Jok­ingly ac­knowl­edg­ing his sexy back­ing singers – ‘If they’d been with the band 30 years ago there would have been hell to pay!’– at one point he even sat on one of their laps for a rest.

Sir rod would be the first to ad­mit his voice was never the smoothest. But age has not with­ered it as much as some might have feared. And with the set stretch­ing to more than 20 show­stop­ping tunes, to pick out high­lights seems al­most churl­ish.

But a heart pump­ing D-Day com­mem­o­ra­tion ren­di­tion of rhythm of My Heart, set against a video back­drop of poppy fields, is a stir­ring, poignant touch.

Stay With Me was a punchy treat, while a pared-down and acous­tic The First Cut Is The Deep­est and I Don’t Wanna Talk About It hit the spot. Hell, even the disco pop-by-num­bers of Baby Jane had me singing along.

‘Youth’s a mask and it don’t last’? Don’t you be­lieve it. Sir rod’s still For­ever Young.

Wear­ing well: Sir Rod on stage at the SSE Hy­dro

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