Review by Jasmine Storm with Photography by Michael Sibbons

Brixton Academy rocked last night like never before as Billy Idol took to the stage to a sold-out crowd. Fans waited patiently in line to fill the venue and see this rock legend do a range of tracks including some real rare gems. We were first treated to support provided by The Professionals which gave a good warm up to the main event with their punk style and cool personas. But all too soon it was time for the main event.

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The Professionals

Billy entered the stage to a rapturous applause and opened with Shock To The System and it certainly was! Billy was only two numbers in when the shirt came off and he shared his bare chest inside a cool punk jacket that wouldn’t be out of place in a Westwood collection. Screams of delights came from the audience and it was obvious that Billy keeps in shape. He looked good. Men wished they looked like him and women… well let’s just say they still would! But it wasn’t just Billy’s look that had the crowd going. He sung with charm and charisma, working the stage from side to side and not forgetting those in the circle either.

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His performance felt personal. Everyone wanted a piece of him and he delivered in abundance. Speaking to a fan before the show, she had paid for a meet and greet. It was her dream to meet Billy and even though she wasn’t allowed to take her own photos (A professional one gets taken instead) she gushed about the experience saying it was absolutely worth the £175 to get some time alone with Billy. This gives you a glimpse into the audience’s mindset. He is loved deeply by his fans and even I found my teenage self was out in force singing and dancing around the crowded floor. Everyone there felt we had just turned back the years and the energy of the audience pumped up Billy with him telling us that this was his favourite venue to play. In between songs, he went off stage to change his outfit and while he was off his lead guitarist gave us a solo that was worthy of the top levels of guitar hero. A truly amazing solo that had the audience going. He also played behind his head – such an impressive sight.

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Billy did a range of numbers including all the hits, telling us that Rebel Yell was his favourite. Mony Mony, White Wedding, Cradle Of Love and Eyes Without A Face as well as some Generation X stuff including Dancing with Myself and King Rocker. Later tracks such as Shock To The System and the recent Can’t Break Me Down also got an outing. I was disappointed that To Be A Lover was not performed as it’s a personal favourite but it was still an awesome set. Although it was hot in the venue there was no Hot In The City either.

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Billy Idol is a rock god and thanked us for his “fucking excellent life” said with genuine affection for his fans. He is loved. Of that there is no doubt. The best measure of a show is would I go and see it again. And the answer is abso-fuckin-lutely!

Set List:
Shock To The System
Dancing With Myself
Pumping On Steel
Can’t Break Me Down
Cradle Of Love
Scream
Prodigal Blues
Eyes Without A Face
Guitar Solo
Don’t Need A Gun
King Rocker
Blue Highway
Rebel Yell
Encore:
White Wedding
Mony Mony

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Jasmine Storm is a blogger and reviewer sharing her views covering a range of theatre and gigs. She has also contributed to several books and collaborated on the play ‘Can You Hear Me, Major Tom?’ She was a finalist in the Milton Keynes Digital Awards in 2015 and 2016.

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