For casual Blondie fans, it might be easy to forget how many hits the genre defying band have had over the decades. However, 50 minutes with Night Owl Production’s The Blondie Story will fly by, reintroducing you to classic after classic.
The band have a blast on stage
Starting straight out of the gates with Atomic, Reine Beau stands in for the ever effervescent Debbie Harry. First up – this Blondie isn’t, well, blonde. So if you’re looking for Madame Tussaud’s, this might not be right the show for you. After all, The Blondie Story isn’t a straight up tribute act – they aren’t pretending to be carbon copies of the real deal. Instead, the band have a blast on stage, bringing new energy to old favourites.
Although not physically Debbie Harry’s double, Reine Beau brings much of Harry’s performance style to the stage – switching from languorous to lively as they shift through the decades and genres spanned throughout Blondie’s back catalogue. Charismatic, and clearly nostalgic for a time before she was even born, Beau has the strong vocals and punk energy necessary to pull off a convincing Debbie Harry. She’s joined by The Night Owls, a full band consisting of drums, guitar, keys, and bass. Excellent musicians in their own right, there isn’t a note out of place as they raise the roof off theSpaceUK’s Grand Theatre. The audience might not have been tempted to take up Beau’s offer of dancing by the stage, but their energy on stage stayed full of vitality throughout.
In between the songs, Beau talks through the key moments that made Blondie. These are full of well-researched trivia that even the most die hard fans might not already know – only one person in a sold out theatre knew about how a musical writer became inspiration for Harry, and discovering that she had trained in the Stanislavski method acting technique adds plenty of context to her distinctive performance style. There are also projected vintage clips of the band themselves, allowing Harry and Chris Stein to have the moments where they can shine in their own words.
The set list covers as much as possible in this tight 50 minute show, with everything from Call Me to One Way Or Another, via Picture This, The Tide Is High, Maria, and more. The evening closes with perhaps the most loved Blondie song of all: Heart of Glass. There’s no mucho mistrust here though, this is another guaranteed evening of quality music nostalgia from Night Owl Productions.