Billy Idol. Punk Idol.
This evening a lifelong ambition of mine was fulfilled. I saw Billy Idol! The man responsible for my very first crush at the age of 5/6, I'd decided he was the most beautiful thing in the world and in doing so, I cemented my sexuality. I like boys. No, I like pretty boys who sing punk songs and snarl frequently. It's been 12 years since he last played in the UK. Billy's back, but it was 26 years ago that Generation X started, so will he still be the same?
Surprisingly, Billy Idol wasn't put on the main stage. Consequently, I spent the evening crammed into the Snickers tent between a combination of punks, cyber-punks, indie kids, metal heads... you name the genre and there was a fan there. The reason is because regardless of the music, Billy Idol was always more than just a singer. This larger than life character has always attracted a lot of attention and so his first appearance in 12 years was not going to be any different.
So then he rocks onto stage, all tight leather pants and white t-shirt. He looks exactly the same- great! As he asks the audience "Do you wanna scream? This'll make you scream!" before taking his top off, I feel like I'm six again!
As for his set, this is a come back and you'd have expected new material by the dozen, but Billy didn't dissapoint older fans and played enough older material to keep the older fans happy; plenty of Generation X tunes were performed. With Steve Stevens back on guitar, amplified by a wall of Marshalls, Billy and him put on an amazing show between them. With guitar solos aplomb and playing behind his head or with his teeth, Steve entertained right through to the live rendition of 'White Wedding', by which time, the crowd was totally lost in Billy's presence. A truly entertaining night, even without the guitar solo from Billy!
The outfits kept changing, the hits kept coming and in the end, no one would let Billy off the stage resulting in 20 minutes of extra playing time. Topped off with a cover of The Who, this was far and away the most entertaining set of the day. He looked great, he sounded fab and he made this little girl very, very happy.