BLONDIE Bristol, July 6th 2008
Though their roots lie firmly in the early NY punk scene, to many, Blondie remain a super-slick 80s pop act, fronted by one of most stunningly photogenic ladies of the era, and with a canny knack for knocking out great tunes, as well as an astute choice in covers that always eclipsed the originals. And that’s just what we got at the Academy, as the band toured to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their rather fabulous debut album Parallel Lines.
Debbie Harry was sprightly and in fine voice, guitarist Chris Stein was a shade static but note perfect, while drummer Clem Burke was as mesmerising as ever. Strange to see him apparently working to a click track, but thankfully it seemed to have little restraining effect on his naturally busy, exuberant style. A largely middle-aged, polite, but enthusiastic crowd were more than up for favourites like ‘Hanging On The Telephone’, ‘Sunday Girl’, and ‘Call Me’, though elongated versions of ‘Fade Away And Radiate’ and ‘Rapture’ did verge on the self indulgent. On the whole, though, Blondie can still hack it, and in case you were wondering, yes, she still looks pretty good.