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Rod Stewart Plays Hull - Gig Review


Rod Stewart is stood a few feet away, that unmistakable shock of hair, a face that looks like it was carved out of granite, every line tells a story.

A wrinkle here for those early gigs, a line there for selling out countless stadia around the world.

Despite being in one of them with 2,400 other folks, there's the feeling you're the only one who matters.

Like all great musicians, that bond with the audience is one of the secrets of his success. And as he makes his debut in Hull, it's obvious he's loving every second.

The City of Culture has embraced him with open arms, and despite leaden skies, the rain stays away for the duration of the gig.

There's no surprise it's called Hits. There's 25 of them over two hours and 20 minutes. His support acts, a mariachi band and double act The Sisterhood (outstanding, not least thanks to Rod's daughter Ruby Stewart) get fans in the mood for what is to follow.

Rod belts out all the classics and has a twinkle in his eye like a naughty schoolboy caught round the back of the bike sheds with the prom queen.

Whether it's old school hits like You Wear It Well or recent smash Love Is, Stewart snr makes it look effortless.

Photos: Roger Crow

A dazzling display of video screens ensured those at the back got a good view, but as I was lucky enough to be on the second row, when Rod popped by to say hello, it was surreal seeing that face which looked like it belonged in some rock music version of Mount Rushmore.

He's not an elegant mover - the king of dad dancing - but it scarcely matters.

Surrounded by a bevy of gorgeous or seasoned musicians, Rod delivered hit after hit and a few surprises.

Needless to say old classics like Maggie May, Baby Jane, and Sailing received worthy support from the fans.

As for that much asked question Do ya think I'm sexy? Not really Rod, though the drunken 73 year old who gate crashed our row made her feelings known.

While picking firework detritus out of my hair, one thought kept coming back to me: I have no idea what Rod Stewart is on, but I want some.

It was an extraordinary evening, even for casual fans like my wife and I, so I doubt any hardcore punter left the stadium feeling short changed.

Though not a huge fan, it's hard not to marvel at a showbiz legend, an artist all the more precious given how many greats we've lost recently.

In short: that's one knight I'll never forget.

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