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Review: Will Young at the Eventim Apollo

By Nick Bond

Fourteen years into his career, six albums deep, Will Young has earned the right to do exactly as he pleases. That he can do so while also filling a venue like London’s imposing Eventim Apollo is surely a bonus.

His latest album 85% Proof is something of a challenging listen to the casual fan, coming without the handful of obvious, radio-ready singles usually frontloads onto his albums. Instead, its treasures take time to reveal themselves. Thankfully, in a live setting the highlights from 85% Proof shine – even THAT marmite lead single Love Revolution (we always loved it, FYI, and after bringing the house down at the Apollo as a proper Northern Soul stomper, we’d imagine a few more people do today too).CVC_JNAXIAA2EPR
This being the closing night of the tour, Will filled us in on the high and low lights of his cross-country journey to date, including the heckler one night who just repeatedly yelled ‘MUSTARD!’ at him – and the night he wet the bed on the tour bus (seriously). It made for welcome light relief between some bold, dramatic set pieces: opener Brave Man saw Will facing toward the wings, battered during each chorus with a mixture of dry ice and confetti like he was trapped in the world’s gayest hurricane. Likewise, on new album highlight Gold – a stark, simple ballad to rival All Time Love (one of the few hits not performed last night) – was one of the most beautiful moments of the night, accompanied as it was by a shower of softly falling golden glitter. He peppered these new songs with crowd-pleasing highlights from his back catalogue – perhaps the nicest surprise came when 2006 single Who Am I, not one of his biggest hits, emerged as the night’s loudest singalong.

Props, too, for Will’s unusual get-up: an all-black one-piece with huge, flared pants. “I look like an overexcited vicar in a cassock. With a bloody topknot!”

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