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October 21, 2009

BBC Electric Proms: In The News

The newspaper reviews of Robbie's incredible return to the stage at the BBC Electric Proms are as glowing as his tremendous performance was! Here's a round-up from the press coverage of the event...

Did you see last night's performance? Remember to let us know what you thought of the show by leaving a comment at the bottom of the page.

The Times
"A multi-platinum stadium star, giving a small venue in north London the surprise of its life.

Williams’ core appeal is a finely-calibrated balancing act between supreme self-confidence and teenage vulnerability, and as he introduced Feel — “I’m sure my aunt’s looking down on me now. She’s not dead; she’s just really condescending” — he not only aced his core appeal, but introduced about as fine a piece of pop as has been in the Top Ten in the last ten years."

Read the full review here

The Guardian
"For a man who now apparently suffers from stage fright so acute that he has no plans to tour for the foreseeable future, he seemed entirely confident and in control.

The songs from his forthcoming album Reality Killed The Video Star slotted perfectly alongside No Regrets and the grand finale of Angels – Morning Sun, an elegiac post-Oasis ballad designed to get stadiums full of arms waving in unison – seemed a pretty representative example.

It all went according to plan but equally, it was not too slick to be genuinely enjoyable. 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."

Read the full review here

The Independent
"As the show progressed, his [Robbie's] more chummy, blokeish side prevailed in self-deprecating chat about his greying hair and his rapprochement with Take That, a sly impression of The George Michael Dance, and his perfectly-timed delivery of an actually quite decent joke: introducing "Feel", he remarks with sombre sincerity about how it was his gran's favourite song. "I'm sure she's looking down on us now," he said, pausing briefly to gaze heavenwards before adding, "She's not dead – just really condescending!"

Musically, the new material ranges from the terse, twitchy "Bodies" to the chamber-pop of "Blasphemy"" . The obvious "I Am The Walrus" influence on the string arrangement of "Morning Sun" is further accentuated by a bout of brazen "goo-goo-g'joob"ing, immediately followed by quotes from "A Walk On The Wild Side" in a crowd-pleasing singalong of "Come Undone".

But predictably it's the set-closing "Angels" and an encore of "Millennium" which secure the most enthusiastic responses, after which a cute run through his producer's lone hit, "Video Killed The Radio Star", sends everyone home with a hum in their heart."

Read the full review here

The Telegraph
"Looking trim and fit, Williams told stories, cracked jokes (usually with himself as the butt), led the crowd in comedy dance routines and belted his way through a set of songs, old and new, so catchy and clever and full of personality they reminded everyone precisely why he has been champion of the British pop scene for so long.

A singalong Come Undone, on which he leaves all the rude words to the crowd, demonstrates the strange appeal of Williams, a family favourite who can lead an audience in a chorus of self-loathing, singing: “I am scum but I’m you son.”

Williams is critically underrated as a songwriter. He has a real affinity for melody and a sharp, lyrical edge with a penchant for puns and catchy phrases... tonight Williams seized his chance to remind pop exactly what it’s been missing."

Read the full review here

The Mirror
"Robbie Williams overcame his nervous X Factor comeback with a spine-tingling opening performance of the BBC Proms last night.

It was his first full live gig in three years showcasing his new album, Reality Killed The Radio Star.

But with a 38-man orchestra, two drummers and opera singer Olivia Safe – and knowing he was about to break a record for the most screened live performance worldwide – he got his mojo back.

He ended with rousing classics Angels, Millennium and... Radio Killed the Video Star. The real Robbie’s back at last."

Read the full review here

The Daily Express
"Commanding the stage with a superstar's swagger, a confident and at times emotional Williams proved he is a slick a showman as he ever was.

At last night's one-off gig... Williams kicked off with his latest track Bodies - number two in the charts - and proved his return to form as a worthy hit-maker.

During a controlled and near seamless performance there was little hint that this 35-year-old former member of Take That had ever belted out a boy band's ballad.

Instead he treated the rapturous crowd at London's Roundhouse to plenty of vintage Robbie anthems, and some hot new material from his soon-to-be released album Reality Killed The Video Star."

Read the full review here

The Daily Star

"Comebacks have been 10 a penny this year in pop but Robbie Williams never shies away from making sure he's centre stage.

Announcing he was pleased new album Reality Killed The Video Star hadn't leaked, Bob trundled through a bunch of newies and classical lass Olivia Safe in a spangly silver frock backed up on Starstruck.

But truth is, classic Bob is what we wanted and that came in the form of Feel, his best song ever - yes, including ruddy Angels."

Read the full review here

If you were at last night's show, remember to head over to the BBC Electric Proms one-off show page and select 'Were You There?' button, and add your photos , videos and comments.