Robbie Williams at BST Hyde Park, London, 6th July 2024

Some people just ooze star power and when one of those people is a home grown Englishman, we’ve all basically grown up with, then you can guarantee BST Hyde Park is going to be shoulder to shoulder of people from all walks of life and musical tastes to watch one put on a show.

Opening up before tonight’s main act of Robbie Williams, Seal pulled a marginally bigger crowd than turned out for Gaz Coombes (of Supergrass fame), but the bars were still empty as England’s European Cup Quarter Final was seemingly a bigger draw for many until the last possible minute, but Gaz’s Britrock, indie put everyone in a good enough mood to sing along to the silk like voice of Seal, as he churned out hits and performed his entire set from the end of the ego ramp, far from his actual band (and apparently to the annoyance of many Gold Circle attendees who were on the front barrier and thus couldn’t actually see him).

Eventually though, as the clouds finally buggered off to allow some sunshine through, and the pockets of groups of people all over the field stopped huddling around their phones to watch penalties, the screens burst into life to show a short pre-show movie of the man of the hour making his way to the stage. After what seemed an eternity and those piano chords of Let Me Entertain You had gone round several times, everyone finally caught a glimpse of a man rising from below the stage. That’s right, the ego has landed, here’s Robbie Williams.

If you think opening every gig with the same song for nearly 30 years may be starting to wear a little thin, you wouldn’t know it from the way Robbie sings the lines, struts his stuff and works the crowd. In fact, he has the entire audience in the palm of his hand by the second verse and to go from that, to a version of Land of 1000 Dances, is actually a pretty good move to keep the vibes going and the bodies moving.

Bringing the mood down ever so slightly, Robbie tells the crowd he has two types of songs – “the look at me I’m fucking amazing songs and the I’m so lonely nobody loves me songs” before introducing Strong, complete with karaoke style bouncing ball on screen and then into Come Undone, a great song, but not much of a party song. The next portion of the gig was somewhat of a mixed bag. On the one hand, Mr Williams is affable and took the audience through a tongue in cheek journey through his career, complete with a video clip of Do What You Like the first video Take That ever shot, but it just seemed to lead to an over abundance of covers. There’s no issue here with a retrospective look back at your career a la The Eras Tour, but by the time Danny Dyer joins him on stage for Park Life we’re up to five covers – albeit not all are performed in their entirety and you can maybe excuse the Take That snippets – and with today’s ticket prices it’s hard not to grab Robbie by the shoulders and scream “PLAY YOUR OWN SONGS NOW!” Fortunately, after Back For Good, Robbie does just that and bangs out Love My Life and Candy back to back and once again everything is great again.

The mood, once again, is brought down ever so slightly as it seems tonight Robbie is in somewhat of a reflective mood, making many references to the 90’s; his troubles, his fixing of his troubles and how happy he is now, seemingly conscious of how much he could have really fallen into a dark place and ended up no longer with us. Advertising Space is accompanied by images of many artists and entertainers who are no longer with us such as Elvis, Amy Winehouse and even Heath Ledger.

After the energy of Kids and Rock DJ, it’s perhaps an odd choice to end the show on literally all his ballad hits with No Regrets and She’s The One, before possibly the longest monologue ever given by a singer on stage. Not really wanting to take anything from the man, who beat his own addictions and became a huge global success, it didn’t seem like the right place or time to talk at that sort of length and to then finish the night on Angels, just to really make sure everyone’s heart strings were well and truly tugged. Robbie Williams has always been a born entertainer and he will forever be the hottest ticket when he tours, but hopefully next time we’ll have a little less talking and a couple more classic Robbie bangers for our money.


For more information about BST Hyde Park and tickets for the remaining shows, visit the official website.

Photos by Dave Hogan/Hogan Media Shutterstock

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