Robbie lives

by Stephen Tall on October 21, 2009

Should owning all Robbie Williams’ albums (except the greatest hits*) be listed as a ‘guilty pleasure’? I don’t think so: the guy’s a post-ironic hero, as the Grauniad’s Alexis Petridis sums up neatly in his review of Robbie’s live show today:

… a peculiar combination of strutting and facial tics that imply his success is a joke in which his audience are complicit.

He has a neat line, too, in Peter Kay-esque deadpan self-deprecation, as this joke illustrates:

Williams pretended to choke up before performing his old hit Feel. It was, he said, his auntie’s favourite song, “and I’m sure she’s looking down on us now.” As the audience awwwed sympathetically, he added: “She’s not dead, she’s just really, really condescending,”, his defiant oddness rather pleasingly intact, even in a moment of triumph.

And, of course – as any fule kno – being condescending means talking down to people.

* perversely, as it’s the album which includes Radio, perhaps my favourite Robbie single – as a result I don’t own it, as it wasn’t available as an iTunes dowbnload when it was issued (is it now?)).