Alvin Stardust - Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 9 Nov 2012
A polished and engaging, but somehow lacking, show from the 70s rock'n'roll megastar
For those not entirely certain, Alvin Stardust was a kind of evil Shakin’ Stevens. Or a less sinister Alice Cooper. He was a pantomime bad boy rocker, essentially, whose trademark was a single black leather glove and a John Craven’s Newsround sneer. Ladyfolk of the early 1970s went a bundle on his thumb-in-the-car-door moodiness. But more compellingly, Alvin, now 70, had been in at the birth of British rock and roll, rubbing spangly shoulders with Joe Meek, the Shadows, Billy Fury and the like, in a lost, gorgeously seedy world of ashtrays and négligés. A whole show of this stuff, with appropriate anecdotage, would have done very nicely.
Alvin, however, remains firmly at the K-Tel end of the nostalgia racket, offering an opening set of kit-pub classics - Queen, Buddy Holly, Free - before moving on to his handful of hits, interspersed with tales involving a brotherhood of Thames Valley rock gentry ('I mean, you know what Eric Clapton’s like, right...?'). It was all very polished and engaging, barring a certain porn-star numbness in the eyes of the three guys backing him. One couldn’t help feel, however, that better music and a more important tale was lying abandoned backstage, next to a wilting black leather glove.