Verdict: four stars

Apparently, it is not enough to just swing when you're winning any more.

So says Robbie Williams. Remember him?

Loading article content

Of course, he never really went away despite the brief hiatuses that punctuate his career.

It's a career which began as the least popular one in Take That, continuing through his show tonight and shooting out of the other side with quite astonishing momentum to some far-off point in the future.

Williams' tour title, Swing both Ways, is both a hat doffed in the direction of the rumours that surrounded his sexuality in the beginning of his career and a reference to the content of the gig - old and contemporary songs re-imagined under the watchful eyes from the skies of Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington et al.

And his covers are good: Ain't That a Kick in the Head; Reet Petit; That's Amore, all as big and bounding as a trio of St Bernard puppies.

The set design is even better: at the start like the sweeping lobby of James Cameron's Titanic brought back to life in Finnieston - resplendent and unashamedly exclusive looking.

Except anyone can board Williams' boat. We're all invited.

But the true stars are the newer songs, dressed up in top hats and tails, made as bold and brassy as a Boardwalk actor after a ninth old fashioned.

His own Love Supreme becomes a flash of deco dresses and soaring piano.

R. Kelly's Remix to Ignition is given an a cappella makeover. It is about as magical as it's possible to be without having Paul Daniels on speed dial.

Williams is older, apparently. It's shown physically in a sliver of silver through his quiff in promotional images.

In the flesh, who would know? The face that furnished a million teenage bedrooms is still the same.

This is what 24 years in the industry looks like. Just dandy.