fri 19/04/2024

'Weird Al' Yankovic, London Palladium review - deep dive into his original songs | reviews, news & interviews

'Weird Al' Yankovic, London Palladium review - deep dive into his original songs

'Weird Al' Yankovic, London Palladium review - deep dive into his original songs

US parodist belts them out, showing an impressive vocal range

'Weird Al' Jankovic showed a wide vocal and musical range on his original songs

The most striking thing at the London Palladium for the last night of “Weird Al” Yankovic's mini-tour of the UK was the number of youngsters in the audience. I don't mean young adults, but children, who were there with their parents and even grandparents. 

Surely they would be far too young to appreciate the American parodist's material? They wouldn't have been born when he came to fame in the 1980s with his parodies of pop hits such as “Eat It” (instead of Michael Jackson's “Beat It”), or “Like a Surgeon” for Madonna's “Like a Virgin”. Maybe their parents or grandparents had introduced them to him via the recent biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (in which he is played by Daniel Radcliffe). Either way, I had the pleasure of sitting behind a lad no older than, I estimate, 10 years old, who rocked out to Yankovic's full-on, ear-blasting music; it was a joy to witness.

Yankovic told us at the start of the show that “we’re going to be playing a bunch of deeply unpopular songs” in The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, focusing mainly on his original songs rather than parodies. There were no theatrics as he and his tight four-piece band performed sitting down, but Yankovic introduced many of the songs with his trademark irony, about what may have inspired them (or so he said).

Yankovic showed an impressive vocal range – from the White Stripes-esque banger "CNR" and the Doors'-like "Craigslist", to the ballad “You Don't Love Me Anymore” – the last, despite its comic lyric “I guess I lost a little bit of self-esteem/That time that you made it with the whole hockey team” was actually quite touching.

He also did a spot-on impression of Bob Dylan in the palindromic nonsense song “Bob”, and there was an extended version of his shaggy dog story “Albuquerque”, made even shaggier in this live context.

Yankovic spans stand-up and live music, which doesn't always do full justice to both, but on this outing he hit the spot – and the evening's entertainment value was much helped by Yankovic's support, his old friend Emo Philips, who was on cracking form.

Yankovic spans stand-up and live music, which doesn't always do full justice to both

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters