Robbie Williams - Old Trafford Cricket Ground - 28.07.01

What more can you say about Robbie that hasn't been said before? Just about every conceivable fact about Robbie's life has been laid out for all to see in the tabloid papers for the past few years. But what do we really know about him. We may know about his drink and drugs hell but how much of it, just as Geri Halliwell did a few years later, can we really believe. Everyone loves a loser and in truth there's no bigger loser than Robbie - he lost it to drink and drugs, he can't hold on to a woman for longer than a week and most of his best mates are just hangers on. He's that guy in the pub that everyone's knows but no-one really likes that much - he's the village idiot!!!! Saying that though there's 50,000 people paying good money to see this village idiot and while the moneys rolling in he won't just walk away. Believe it or not there's talk of him killing of the old Robbie and transforming himself into a Frank Sinatra styled crooner but somehow you get the feeling that it won't be long before the record sales start to dwindle and everyone cries out for happy clappy Robbie.

Kicking off with long standing favourite "Let Me Entertain You" we happily oblige for an hour and a half an unadulterated fun. Throwing in that Ayia Napa song and Wyclef Jeans "Perfect Gentlemen" for good measure along the way its those cheesy moments that really touch you. The arm swaying to "Angels" or the 70s Bee Gees dancing to "Rock DJ". In fact its the perfect Wedding reception soundtrack. All in all which makes him just about the biggest star in the UK right now - Geri may get the column inches but would be lucky if she sold out a night a G.A.Y, Posh just can't sing for toffee and the Gallagher brothers are just a little tiresome now. Which is why I don't understand his constant slagging off of his former band mates in Take That. Gary Barlow maybe - he's always been the but of everyone's jokes - but the other 3 just don't deserve it. In a just world it very nearly could have been Mark Owen who was selling out tonight's venue. Lets face it - he was better looking, had a better voice and with the exception of Angels had the better tunes. If there's one thing Robbie needs to watch out for its this guys return with his long awaited album and if rumours are to be believed it really will blow away the competition.

All in all a great night of quality entertainment. It beats Cilla Black and Dale Winton for a Saturday night and must we not forget support act ABC who took us back to some classic 80s pop. The less we say about Toploader the better. Lets just hope this isn't the last we see of Robbie "Village Idiot" for the moment - we were just warming to him!!!!

Alex McCann