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Live Review: Robbie Williams – 6th July 2024 – BST Hyde Park, London, UK

7 min read
Pop royalty @robbiewilliams brought the metaphorical house down last night as he delivered a stellar @BSTHydePark performance to a sold out 65,000 fans with a set of career gold...

Robbie Williams | Photo by Dave Hogan

It’s been a pretty wet 2024 for BST Hyde Park with the summer rain lashing down on fans attending this year’s concert series over the last few days. But the sun was out and the clouds were dispersing just in time for one of the biggest headliners to take the BST stage over its several years serving up icon after icon.

As we ended our run of coverage last year, we wondered how the team behind BST would ever be able to top the star-studded roster that made up the 2032 series which included Lana Del Rey, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Pink among others. But, after already catching Kings of Leon, Morgan Wallen and Andrea Bocelli this past week, and with a string of other icons including Stevie Nicks and Kylie still yet to dominate the Great Oak Stage, it’s safe to say they have truly outdone themselves this year. And with the king of entertainment bringing his charismatic ego to Hyde Park last night, we have well and truly been spoiled.

When the announcement of the return of Robbie Williams to BST Hyde Park was made last year, it was quick to see that the demand for the performer was as high as it was back in his 90’s heyday. Tickets quickly sold out for last nights show, and understandably so – he has a hits-filled career that has been very hard to match over the course of a turbulent four decades. When it comes to showmanship, Williams is the tour de force and it was London’s turn once again to witness the return of the King of UK pop.

Robbie Williams | Photo by Dave Hogan

At a little after 8.20pm the crowd started chanting the singers name between waves of cheers in celebration of the news of an England win in the football. The screens lit up to show a camera making its way to Robbie’s dressing room backstage in the media area of the BST lot. Sat at a chair and reading a paper with the headlines announcing Robbie as the greatest entertainer, he turned to the camera with his trademark cheeky grin and through a series of interactions with security, his backing band and actor Danny Dyer, the Angels hitmaker started his journey to the stage, bursting out from below to a thunderous crowd applause to perform the opening and appropriately titled, Let Me Entertain You.

Dressed in a white vest and bellowing white pants, the singer asked the crowd, “How are you feeling everybody? Are you excited to see me?” which was returned with an excited crowd cheer before performing a cover of Chris Kenner‘s Land of 1000 Dances. Explaining to the audience that “We are going on a journey. A 34-year musical odyssey” he then dished up a stellar performance of Sing When You’re Winning hit, Strong which ended with a perfectly weaved in closing chorus of Oasis’ hit, All Around The World and allowed the crowd to belt back the shit thanks to karaoke style lyrics that flashed up on the screens behind the star.

Robbie Williams | Photo by Dave Hogan

After a dance through Come Undone, Williams’ interaction with the crowd continued on an almost song-by-song basis, asking the crowd if he could be vulnerable and taking us on a walk through his early boy band life with Take That; picking out a man named Danny in the front rows of the audience to engage with and bounce off of in humorous Robbie style. After a quick reel of his first Take That promotional video for Do What U Like, he had the reel stop on a picture of his bare behind and confessed to needing to do gay porn back in the day to get by, “£50 if £50”, he chuckled, before a brief verse and chorus of Take That hit, Could It Be Magic which he described as being the first chance for him to do lead in Take That instead of Gary Barlow.

We were then offered a medley of Brit Pop era covers as the singer detailed being asked to leave the band by former Take That band mate, Jason Orange and then meeting a number of people at Glastonbury festival which would help change his direction in music. With a dancer approaching Williams and dressing him in a crystal emblazoned red jacket, the megastar performed a brilliant cover of Oasis hit, Don’t Look Back In Anger and had the sold out 65,0000 member Hyde Park crowd belting back the chorus to the headliner.

Robbie Williams | Photo by Dave Hogan

He then invited Supergrass front man and one of the days earlier support acts, Gaz Coombes out to perform a colourful cover of It’s Alright as seaside imagery flashed over the enormous Great Oak Stage screens and William’s troupe of 10 identically dressed female dancers gyrated around the stage with beach balls. Then was a quirky cover of Blur’s Parklife which saw friend and Eastenders actor Danny Dyer join Williams on stage and take the role of Phil Daniels and his famous spoken word verses while a 40–50-member matching band took position and filled the park with a rich, big band backing to the hit.

The usual Robbie Williams cheekiness was still ever present throughout last nights show. He has not lost any of the juvenile shine and egocentricities that have made him such a stage icon for over 34 years. Calling out fans who flashed their breasts or pushed out their chests when talking to the star, Williams did not hold back when it came to talking to members of the audience, but he always did it in a friendly way, making him even more lovable and down-to-earth to watch.

After a stripped down version of Take That hit, Back For Good, Robbie turned his attention to the elevated VIP stage that was perched a few meters away from the extended walking platform and gave a touching tribute to his wife and four children, particularly eldest daughter Teddy who signaled with heart shaped hand gestures and mouthed “I love you” to her proud father before Williams dedicated to them a swaying performance of I Love My Life; a burst of rainbow colours from hand drawn cartoon characters cast on the screens and an explosion of streamer erupting into the crowd as the song came to an end.

Robbie Williams | Photo by Dave Hogan

Once again interacting with his fans, a performance of latter hit Candy saw Williams throwing tour t-shirts out to the crowd while further career highlights Supreme, a laser heavy Feel, a golden Millennium and a powerful offering of Kids –  where he allowed his trio of backing singers to rip through the songs Kylie verses with effortless precision that even Williams appeared taken aback – were all met with a deafening crowd applause of approval.

A beautiful dedication to the great legends of music that have passed away over the last couple of decades including George Michael, Amy Winehouse, Freddie Mercury and Elvis provided a colourful backdrop on the giant Hyde Park screens as Williams performed Advertising Space, ending with an image of himself and the singer declaring “and here’s the best”.

With Rock DJ being given a slightly more Disco spin for the set, the singer then delivered a 3 song encore starting with early hit, No Regrets before he took to the front rows of the audience to single out two woman, Laura and Julie, who had travelled from Rome for the event; dedicating a performance of She’s the One to the weeping woman as he sat on a chair facing them from the stage platform that extended out to the audience.

Robbie Williams | Photo by Dave Hogan

As the night drew to a close and William’s told a lengthy final story of his decades long battle with mental health and addiction to a very silent and still crowd, he also confessed “Tonight I was the happiest and most chilled I have ever been coming on stage”, showing his fans just how far the superstar has come with that fight and feeling more at peace with himself before a mammoth display of fireworks exploded over Hyde Park and the star ushered us into a perfect performance of signature hit, Angels, carrying the night toward a dramatic and stadium-esque close for one of the greatest entertainers of our lifetime.

We have seen Robbie perform half a dozen times over the last 25 years and last nights Hyde Park spectacle was without doubt the best William’s show we have seen to date. The star was on top form from start to end and while we were missing our personal favourites from the set (Lazy Days and Let Love Be Your Energy), it was a stellar step through the career of one of music’s most successful and celebrated artists.

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