LIVE REVIEW: Blondie, Sherwood Pines

Blondie's Chris Stein, Debbie Harry and Clem Burke
Blondie's Chris Stein, Debbie Harry and Clem Burke
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Debbie Harry’s got the equation worked out. At almost 68 she’s had to endure endless comparisons with her younger self - so to avoid such remarks entirely, why not up the bizarreness quota?

Hence the Blondie singer’s decision to grace the stage wearing a pink cotton track suit with matching trainers, a platinum blonde wig and a coat-like garment fashioned from dead leaves.

Yes, it may appear she’s strayed into a copse while nipping out for milk, but there’s a reason for the outlandish outfit - it’s the band’s first night of their latest trek round the UK, touring the nation’s woodlands as part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live series of outdoor concerts.

And musically as well as sartorially, there are a few eyebrow-raising moves.

Blondie reunited 16 years ago, meaning their second life as a group has far outlasted their initial time spent together. But despite their post-reunion album sales falling dramatically, Harry and fellow original members, guitarist Chris Stein and drummer Clem Burke, remain determined to be viewed as a going concern.

So while the audience are more than satisfied with the hits such as Heart Of Glass, Hanging On The Telephone and Union City Blue, they get them peppered among half a dozen new songs of varying quality, some flaunting dubious Latin and dub reggae influences. Disco anthem Atomic is also derailed with a heavy metal solo by a hired-hand guitarist.

There’s enough classic Blondie to make the night a success, though, and it’s all good fun. One of the detours - a cover of Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood - is even an unexpected highlight.

Call Me and Dreaming send everyone home singing, but you can’t say Blondie aren’t afraid to take risks, whatever the results.