A Druggy Night With Robbie Williams
By Jackie Little
It was with a strange sense of irony that I approached the Basin Reserve on Saturday night for the long anticipated
Wellington leg of Robbie Willliams’ Let Me Entertain You tour.
The last time I saw him many moons ago, he was no doubt going through one of his “troubled” periods. This time the boy
was as sober as a judge while I was the one doped up to the eyeballs (I had the worst cold in the history of the world
and approached even the train journey in with dread but I was NOT going to miss the event.)
Artificial stimulants superfluous to requirements, Robbie brought his usual manic energy from the get go as he bounded
on stage for his perennial starter, Let Me Entertain You. A rather chilled (in the old fashioned sense of the word) and
fidgety crowd leapt up as one, a smile on every face from the giggling teenagers behind me to the more, ahem, mature
fans such as myself.
I was surprised and gratified at the song set. Having been (just) too old for the Take That days, I became an
embarrassingly doting fan of Rob’s solo career though I confess I have not kept up with his later stuff, so it was great
that I knew the words to the entire repertoire apart from the one throwback to the boyband days (the giggling teenagers
who could not have been so much as embryonic at the time knew it) And the dancing just didn’t stop.
I’ve since read scurrilous allegations that old Rob wasn’t hitting the notes. As far as I – and all my fellow travellers
on the way home – were concerned he was in absolutely fine voice. Looking good too.
As of old we got the expected hamming up and daft banter – though somewhat toned down as befits his respectable status
as a devoted husband and father – no reference to the average standard of shagging in New Zealand, or pulling girls out
of the crowd for the erstwhile traditional prolonged snog.
He even brought his dear old dad on stage for a duet of Better Man – now if anyone wants to complain about the quality
of HIS singing, I’ll have no argument. But the thing is they looked as if they were having the time of their lives – as
was the audience which seems to my simple outlook to be the main objective of the evening.
The laser light show added to the energy and enchantment – at one point it seemed we were witnessing the eerie Green
glow of the Northern Lights right here in the opposite hemisphere.
Ah yes, it was an all round splendid evening’s pure entertainment from my point of view. Don’t know what the residents
around the Basin Reserve (an inspired choice of venue) thought but I bet a good few of them were glad of the free treat.
It certainly looked a very happy crowd who filed out to Robbie’s corny crooning of “My Way”
I managed to get home before coming undone and completely collapsing for the entire weekend. Was it worth it? You Bet!
(hmm, good name for a boy band?)