Me and Vanessa (old partner in crime from “77) never having seen a solo performance from Billy Idol decided to take the bull by the horns and get out there. It’s been 28 years since we last saw Billy perform with Gen X at ‘Brady’s in
PHOTO RIGHT: ME, VANESSA, BILLY IDOL, BOB DERWOOD 1977 'ERIC'S' LIVERPOOL
Then it was small intimate clubs and of course we did the usual meeting before and afterwards…having a beer with them and sitting on Billy’s lap and reminiscing about it for years after! We met Billy many times with the band and had photos taken quite often together. Tonight was going to be a bit of an emotional journey but whatever I was certain I was going to damn well enjoy myself. We headed out to the Apollo, nothing much changes there, apart from the tight security and the crowds of ‘older’ people, probably doing the same as ourselves. I was hoping to meet the man again after the show, but didn’t hold much hope, since him being given the Iconic crown by the Americans.
We headed for the front nothing like slipping back into old habits (we always did that). Billy came on singing ‘Cradle of Love’ at 8.30pm. Gone was the peroxide blonde and in its place was a spiky darker blonde haired guy but he looked amazing, fit, sexy, dressed in leather, big boots, the whole package for me. He still has tremendous charisma and stage presence. Considering the guy is 52 this year he is astounding in shape…he can certainly still do his ‘stuff’.
He still possesses his famous lip curl, air punches and engaging the crowd with such great showmanship. He threw several drumsticks into the crowd, and what looked like autographs on paper plates, no doubt they will find there way onto e bay in a few years time for silly amounts of money.
He shouted to the crowd it was good to be back in
Billy sang the ‘Doors’ L.A woman and changed the words to ‘Manchester Woman’. One highlight was Steve Stevens he is master of the guitar, and he showed this with his long guitar solos, presumably while Billy went for a breather.
The stage was filled with smoke whilst Steve demonstrated just what he was capable of, he offered us a kind of Spanish, flamenco style, but for me it was a bit too long and couldn’t wait for ‘William Broad’ to come back on stage. Steve posed for a cool photo for me anyhow, so thanks Steve.
Billy and his band did an acoustic set of ‘Sweet Sixteen’ which was mellow and chilled – I have a little video clip of this at the bottom.
I honestly don’t know how anyone managed to stand still, I was bopping away and thoroughly enjoying it, but I do draw the line at air punching.
‘Blue highway’ which appears to have been written after his ‘near miss’ accident on his motorbike this was a great number for me, Billy moved around the stage with ease, not as much posing/pouting as he used to do, instead just giving us some amazing vocals. Billy brought us an old Generation X classic ‘Ready Steady Go’ and it still holds up today as fresh as ever, I was a bit sad he didn’t do more old Generation X numbers such as ‘kiss me deadly’ or ‘King Rocker’. The tempo had changed somewhat from the original, not as raucous and rough but still rockin.
Billy changed a few times and came back with a red shirt on with a red tartan jacket, with a cool diamanté skull on the back, nice one! Always been a sucker for glam clothing. He took his jacket off and undid his shirt, now this is what us women like to see (sorry a pure sexist moment) he displayed a taut bronze chest devoid of any hair…sorry too much information…getting carried away lol
He bounded around the stage singing his heart out “With a rebel yell, she cried MORE! MORE! MORE!" the crowd loving it.
I’m sure I can speak for Vanessa and say we were both in nostalgia heaven….my feet were throbbing and aching but I still was still dancing when they played the last song ‘Mony, Mony’ but this time we took a back-seat and stood at the back of the theatre. More room to dance and swing around….we went outside before the end to see if we could meet the guy responsible for wrecking my bedroom wallpaper in 1977 with all his posters.
The set list was:
It was well worth the ticket price of £25 For a two hour packed show, full of dancing tunes.We made a quick march to the backstage door, like backstage groupies we asked the security if we could go and get some photos. How naive to think things were as it had been in 77- 79 when we got backstage with ease. No chance but we might catch a glimpse of him. We were told he wanted to get off as quick a possible so he might just dart out. I was a bit livid at the thought that he might want to bypass his fans but then after much argy bargy from security, some telling us he had already gone, “move back”, moving barriers in and making a kind of oval area, Billy came out to address his fans. It was all very ‘showbiz’ but at least he acknowledges the people who had been waiting for him.
Many of the fans I imagine were first timers and many were young women who were dying to get a photo taken with him or get an autograph (lucky me I already have them).
We chatted to a couple of women waiting and passed on the ‘mudkiss’ web site…hope your now reading this.
Here's me with Billy 1978 Eric's dressing room...eat your heart out girls !!
Finally he came around to Vanessa, who I glimpsed getting a kiss from him, I quickly snapped a photo, he edged nearer and the girl next to me grabbed at him for a photo, which security duly shot. Oh me next and I was the last in the line, stood by the wall, I grabbed his jacket like a crazed stalker, getting ready to make my killing with a ‘mudkiss’ photo shot….to my dismay his security guy caught his arm and dragged him off….grrrr, but did manage a quick close up shot as he stood in front of me. I missed my opportunity but hey I had it once, can’t be too greedy!
Vanessa did it this time on behalf on ‘Mudkiss’ – she’s not stopped smiling since!! So with ears ringing, feet and legs throbbing we departed from Manchester and heading out into the night and the safe journey home, reminiscing about the time Billy spoke to us at Tony Wilson's club 'The Factory' and said " Hey girls your from Liverpool arent;' ya". Now we were queing to speak to him! However thanks for a wonderful time billy!
MY OWN SHORT CLIP OF BILLY SINGING 'SWEET SIXTEEN'
VANESSA AND MEL (STAGE DOOR GROUPIES AGAIN)