- October 12, 2019
There’s something disarmingly un-rock ‘n’ roll about Will Young. The swagger is charmingly innocent, rather like a shy teenager forced onto a school stage and there discovering that he can perform…
… and boy he can perform. Young has the easiest of voices, a beautifully controlled instrument in both pitch and tempo and there is what appears to be an instinctive musicality to the way he delivers a song. By this I mean that he truly delivers a song in a tuneful way rather than the current trend for singers to riff around the original, often to the point that there is nothing of that original left. He proves this not only with his own catalogue but also with the covers with which he peppers his well balanced set. And when he does shift around the core of a melody he does it in a way that is his own and not a pastiche of someone else’s style.
His band is equally well drilled and talented and the total sound is punchy but smooth, the use of that classic Hammond organ sound gives it an air of early Tamla Motown that is a real delight.
As for the set list Young gives the audience what it wants, a balance of favourites and new material and he keeps the banter to a minimum, making the most of an apparent shyness by taking the rise out of himself.
For some unexplained but fun reason the second half of the show he starts wearing a ship costume and naval gear. It sort of works but why I could not fathom, but there was something endearing about watching this pop prince bobbing along the stage in some kind of nautical pogo dance.
Top marks too for taking to the stage and delivering an evening of entertainment without resorting to lavish staging, video and pyrotechnics. This show is beautifully lit yes, but at its heart is the music and it is all the better for that.