Bryan Ellis review Rod Stewart

Rod Stewart concert at Blackpool FC's Bloomfield Road ground
Rod Stewart concert at Blackpool FC's Bloomfield Road ground

Rod the god rocks ’em with a hit-fest by the sea

Rod Stewart - Bloomfield Road, Blackpool

ROD the mod has become Rod the god in the 40 or so years since he last played Blackpool.

And when 25,000 people came to worship their rock idol at Bloomfield Road, the showman turned on the style like he’d never been away.

“You alright Blackpool?” he called as he sauntered on stage with his mic stand casually slung over his shoulder.

Yes, they were alright. And for the next two hours he wooed the resort’s biggest-ever concert audience with a hit-laden show spanning all five decades of his diamond-encrusted career.

Quite how he does it at the grand old age of 69 is one of rock music’s great mysteries.

But he does and, boy, does he look well off it.

“I hope I look that good when I’m 69,” I said to my wife when Rod’s close-up came on the giant screen.

“You don’t look that good now,” came the reply.

Most of the hits were in there – classic s like Maggie May, First Cut is the Deepest, I Don’t Want to Talk About It and my dear mum’s all-time favourite Sailing. Befitting a showman who has spent more than 40 years perfecting his craft, they were delivered to perfection.

The fans – especially the Rod lookalikes, the middle-aged women in Celtic shirts and the posse of beauties who have platinum membership of his fan club – lapped up every note.

This Old Heart of Mine kicked it off and Rod, dressed immaculately (as ever) in white and black, belted it out enthusiastically, even though he must have done it thousands of times over.

The song sheet from then on was hit after hit after hit.

It was shamelessly nostalgic, although he did include a handful of tracks from last year’s superb album ‘Time’ as a thank you to the legions of fans who made it No 1.

Every number was greeted with a roar of appreciation. But when he wrapped things up with Do You Think I’m Sexy? with a firework finale, the roof almost lifted off.

Rod the god? He certainly is.

Brian Ellis