Pro delivers nod-along nostalgia

SIMON SWEETMAN
Last updated 09:01 29/01/2013

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REVIEW: Cliff Richard

TSB Bank Arena, Monday, January 28

It was a night of nod-along nostalgia with the Peter Pan of pop and proud bachelor boy, a consummate professional serving up the hits.

This meant, of course, some slightly naff tunes and a fair bit of poorly judged audience-sourced percussion, but, hey, everyone was having fun.

Sir Cliff Richard did not stop moving, aiming for Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson in terms of dance moves, and just as happy when it ended up looking like slow-motion water-skiing.

There were hits from the rock'n'roll era, memories of The Shadows and plenty of great songs from Cliff's return to the charts across the 1970s and 1980s.

The first set saw the early inclusion of Dreamin', a gem of a song - and there was the requisite Living Doll and Summer Holiday.

But it was the second set where a roll of hits showed that Richard had plenty of clout back in the day.

In fine voice still he moved through debut 1958 single Move It and on to The Young Ones before firing on all cylinders for a run of brilliant songs, including Devil Woman, Some People, Suddenly (originally a duet with Olivia Newton-John), We Don't Talk Anymore and Wired For Sound.

These aren't just big hits, they're great songs (the two can be mutually exclusive). These are tight compositions, no flab and, silly dance moves and all, Richard lives inside each song, embraces them; he gets as close as he can to each song and offers his all by giving the audience exactly what it wants.

You could not have been disappointed by this - unless you didn't want to be there in the first place.

Cliff Richard knows his audience and knows what it wants - the banter was perfect, there were costume changes to evoke eras, there were daft dad/granddad jokes.

And it all went over splendidly. We were swept up, he held us for the length of the show even if the quality wavered slightly in the middle of each set.

As good as a Cliff Richard show in 2013 was ever going to be. And then some.

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- The Dominion Post

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