Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Thu 20 & Fri 21 Nov
It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly seven years since Will Young shot to fame as the first winner of ratings-grabbing TV talent search Pop Idol. What’s perhaps more surprising is that he still enjoys a healthy degree of public interest. With the notable exception of Girls Aloud it’s unusual for graduates of the reality TV school of pop stardom to survive beyond the first album before spiralling southwards into well-deserved obscurity. Since his debut release, From Now On, Young has scored ten top ten singles and four top five albums, with two of those hitting the top spot.
Young has always stood out from the legions of identikit teeny pop singers to have cluttered up the charts over the past decade. Refusing to meekly fall in with the rude insults levelled at him in early auditions for Pop Idol, the singer stood up to über Svengali Simon Cowell, eloquently berating him for his negative comments. It was this incident that arguably put him on the path to victory. His unconventional looks also mark him out from the shiny, cookie cutter appearance of most boy bands, while his pre-empting of the tabloids by coming out shortly after winning the talent search also appears not to have harmed his appeal to gay and straight audiences.
It’s not just the music that has kept Young in the headlines, though. In 2005 he played a major role in the Judi Dench-starring Mrs Henderson Presents and has also appeared onstage in a well-received revival of Noel Coward’s The Vortex. Like many a performer before him, it may be that regular reinvention will be the key to Young’s longevity.