MICHAEL BUBLÉ, Apple Music Festival, Roundhouse – Evening Standard, 29 Sept 2016

After selling over 30 million albums, Michael Bublé seems pretty confident that his audience loves him no matter what. At the Canadian singer’s first concert in nine months he accused his fans of being drunk and said that, “When I think of Britain, I think tramps,” before an unscheduled cover of Charlie Chaplin’s Smile.

One fan got the deluxe treatment, however: an absent man who was watching the show on someone’s phone by video call. During a thunderous Cry Me a River, Bublé borrowed the phone and performed the whole song into the camera just for him.

No one goes to the 41-year-old’s shows expecting to hear anything groundbreaking. He’s still peppering other people’s classics such as My Baby Just Cares For Me and God Only Knows (both from Nobody But Me, out next month) with a handful of originals that maintain the familiar feel. I Believe in You was a foray into unthreatening acoustic pop. The new album’s title track channelled Louis Prima with its bouncing horns and shouted backing vocals.

But as entertainers go, he’s hard to beat. Inferior vocalist Robbie Williams is probably the closest comparison, as someone who can sing family favourites, then switch to a cheeky, spiky cockiness between songs. He described his new album as “a must have”, insisted that he wouldn’t do an encore because “it’s cheesy” and revealed that he has been away having surgery. “It’s huge, by the way,” he said, with impeccable timing. “My voice is huge.”

He wasn’t wrong. Me and Mrs Jones had all of the necessary power and soul. His big band, including an eight-piece horn section, often downed tools to allow him to drape his smooth tones over just the piano. Even though it was too early to sing anything from his collossal Christmas album, it’s definitely the season for Bublé again.

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