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Review: Blondie is a class act opening Live at the Piece Hall 2024


By Emma Clayton – 8th June 2024

THERE is no-one quite like Debbie Harry. Strutting onto the stage at a packed-out Piece Hall, she was every inch the original rock chick.

Halifax is a long way from CBGC, but the Blondie icon is still as cool as when the band burst through the US New Wave scene – back in the days when hanging on a telephone involved calling a landline.

Blondie delivered a storming set last night – the first of their two gigs in Halifax – opening Live at the Piece Hall 2024; a record-breaking summer line-up of outdoor concerts at the historic West Yorkshire venue.

“I can’t believe we haven’t played this place before – it’s quite beautiful,” beamed Debbie, gazing out at the magnificent courtyard.

Blondie were the pop-punk pioneers who took on various music genres, weaving strands of disco, reggae, funk and hip hop through their chart hits. From the menacing One Way or Another to the dreamy, slow-dancey In the Flesh, this Piece Hall set showcased the versatility of their mighty back catalogue.

Class act: Debbie Harry on stage at the Piece Hall (Image: Live at The Piece Hall)

Debbie, rocking a chic monochrome suit and peeling off her shades a few numbers in, was clearly enjoying herself. She chatted to the crowd, grinning and waving, and delivered a powerhouse performance of crowd-pleasers – including Call Me, Hanging on the Telephone, Sunday Girl, Atomic, The Tide is High, Maria and more recent track, the excellent Long Time.

Highlights for me were Rapture (super cool), Heart of Glass (mesmerising) and Dreaming (sublime).

As a band playing live, Blondie were always a tight unit and, although Debbie and drummer Clem Burke are the only remaining original members, the slick current line-up did the songs proud. What a treat to see the world-class Clem Burke in action on the drums. And former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock rocked the bass.

Drummer Clem Burke, bassist Glen Matlock and guitarist Tommy Kessler (Image: Live at The Piece Hall)

The rain came down half-way through the show, but we didn’t care. “It’s refreshing – right?” yelled Debbie.

This was an electrifying performance from a class act – a glorious reminder of the floor-filling bangers these New York trailblazers have delivered over four decades.

Getting into the groove…fans enjoying the show (Image: Live at The Piece Hall)

There was excellent support from Starsailor, whose strong set brought some quality British alt-rock and wry northern humour to the night.

Starsailor opened the night for Blondie (Image: Live at The Piece Hall)

TK Maxx presents Live at The Piece Hall, has already broken records for ticket sales, with more than 170,000 tickets sold across the series. Outside of events in London and the south coast, only Glastonbury and Liverpool’s Anfield stadium will welcome more gig goers to outdoor shows in England between June and August – confirming The Piece Hall as one of the nation’s leading live music venues.

The series continues on Sunday with Blondie with support from The K’s, followed on Thursday by Sheryl Crow, then Annie Mac and Nile Rodgers & Chic next weekend.

* Final tickets are on sale now via ticketmaster.co.uk


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