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Music review

Blondie

EXTRAORDINARY PRESENCE: The much imitated but never bettered Debbie Harry displayed superior technique.
EXTRAORDINARY PRESENCE: The much imitated but never bettered Debbie Harry displayed superior technique.

Blondie

O2 ABC, Glasgow

Lorraine Wilson

Announced just weeks ago, tickets to see a Blondie gig in this smaller venue didn't hang around, despite the fact that they have toured pretty regularly since 1999. This makes this part of their career significantly longer than the first, but it's hard to shake the word "comeback" when that first part has been so extraordinary.

The material recorded since the true comeback record, No Exit, has reflected their maturity while still embracing the bright, sparky pop that made them break-out superstars of CBGBs. This year's album, Ghosts of Download, was released with an album of re-recorded greatest hits, which gives a better reflection of the live performance now. Debbie Harry might not have the vocal might that was once there on Atomic, and Picture This is absent from the set, but what she lacks in power she makes up in superior technique developed throughout her solo years.

She is an extraordinary presence on stage, the definition of charisma, with a style that is truly unique and much imitated, but never bettered. Glasgow has always been a Blondie town, with the 1979 Hogmanay show at the Apollo broadcast live on the Old Grey Whistle Test, and the outpouring of love for the surprisingly diminutive blonde is remarkable. She responds to every wave and displays spectacular bouquets that had been delivered to her, reading cards to thank individuals.

Clem Burke said recently that this tour might be their last, with Debbie fast approaching 70. If it is the last time we'll see them, it was a glorious goodbye. There weren't too many teenagers in the audience, but it was clear that watching Debbie, Chris, and Clem makes them feel that way.

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