Will Young, Pop Idol’s greatest success story, has come a long way, 14 years and six albums later, Will is on the road for the first time in four years, with his ‘Love Revolution’ tour.
Warming up Manchester’s Apollo, nicely, is Lamar, promoting his new album ‘The Letter’. His 30min set, a mix of stripped down versions of his older songs and a look at his new soul tracks with a deliberate vintage feel.
Opening the show with ‘Brave Man’ 36 year old Will Young appears, dressed in a sleeveless tailored jump suite and a top knot. Alone on stage he is situated behind a transparent screen with a wind machine that gusted newspaper pages at him. A grand theatrical opening that caught the full attention of the jam packed Manchester Apollo. The stage is set with industrial looking, movable screens back-lit with colour changing lights. As the stage set reforms to reveal the five piece band and three backing singers, all making up ‘85% Love!’ on their t-shirts.
As Will dances around the stage, happy, swinging his hips from side to side to ‘You think I’m sexy’ he shakes his rear, full circle and finishes the song on his knees. After ‘Runaway’ Will requests for the lights to be turned up, he jokes “Let’s see the victims of tonight’s musical! Manchester, my second home” he chats to the audience about his time living in ‘Rany’ referring to Ransbottom. Moving into hit single ‘Light My Fire’ a throwback to his Pop Idol days, the audience are singing along with every word.
Half way through the show Will performs a track from his 2002 album ‘you and I’ a powerful track, for this one Will joins his backing singers for a sing off. Singer Michelle has a solo moment that has the Apollo audience roaring.
He embraces the audience once again, as he asks “this is the part of the show where you shout out what you want to hear” everyone is shouting out their favourites “only joking” he giggles his way into the next track. A change of mood for ‘Like a River’’ the lights are dimmed and the spotlight is on Will, Gold confetti rains down on him, the show is looking magical, tonight he proves he is ‘a born entertainer’.
Will continues to surprise tonight’s audience, by showing off his piano skills “I have been learning the piano for 8 days….would you likely hear” The strangest moment of the musical, begins as the stage set team (dressed in boiler suites!) bring to the stage a conveyer belt to display Will’s merchandise, which includes keyrings, pens, t-shirts and a large cuddly toy which he throws out into the audience, it’s all a little Saturday night television, tongue in cheek, 70’s game show style, the crowd love it!
Another interlude as Will reads out a birthday card for a very excited fan, Charlotte, excitedly makes her way forward for a birthday kiss from the entertainer. Will continues the musical with ‘Jealousy’ then leaves the stage for the encore.
Returning to the stage, Will takes centre place, now wearing a t-shirt ‘85% Love’ he takes the opportunity to thank the band and singers. Three large portraits of himself drop from the ceiling and clouds of confetti are projected out onto the audience as his striking voice sings through ‘Joy’ followed by his signature song ‘Leave Right Now’ which is a perfect finally. Will, his band and backing singers end the show by stepping through a plastic screen, taking a bow as they receive a continuous cheer from the happy audience.
Will Young impressed tonight not only with his new image but with his incredible talents; his vocals and ability to perform some dramatic pop music. ‘A night with Will Young’ captured Manchester Apollos hearts tonight, it was an entertaining evening which felt personal along with a little humour.
U Think I’m Sexy
Light My Fire
You and I
Like a River
Switch It On
Who Am I
Leave Right Now