London Earl’s Court

Grin bigger than [b]Jack Nicholson[/b]'s, [b]Marti Pellow[/b] on 18 Mitsubishis and a South American peninsula put together...

A colossal “granite” plinth, an open-topped silver convertible perv-mobile, a gigantic really-real band in white tux splendour emerging from the circular stage floor (trumpets askew), 10,000 hundred-weight of confetti raining upon the up-turned heads of London Earl’s Court massive in mid-‘Come Dancing’ calypso manoeuvre and the insanely grinsome Ricky Martin stands, stock still, arms aloft in matadorial triumph.

Without a word – grin bigger than Jack Nicholson‘s Joker, Marti Pellow on 18 Mitsubishis and a South American peninsula put together – we are invited to gaze, awe-bestruck, upon his chisel-chinned magnificence. Several thousand 40-year-old housewives in annual-girls-night-out elation keel over with “love”. Several hundred 12-year-old girls in ‘I-heart-Ricky-Martin‘ deely-boppers look, quite frankly, bemused to the point of terror. And a selection of middle-aged gay couples in Hawaiian shirts are nigh hospitalised with mirth as Ricky Martin proves himself the most unique and idiotic pop sensation of the modern age and, no question, The maddest man in pop.

The hit comes first, indisputable camp-pop classic ‘Livin’ La Vida Loca’, all the quicker to get on with the serious business of “bringing cultures together” about which he makes several smarm-bestrewn Julio Iglesias-“styled” speeches before ‘Shake Your Bon-Bon’ and (“onz, dooz, trez…” parp!). ‘The Cup Of Life’, while perfecting the spot-lit “pervy” bum-quake at which he is king. Or, at least, Liberace.

Far less a vacuous, conveyor-belt 21st Century “nu-pop” gonk, Ricky Martin is an old-skool ennertainer princeling, a libertine lothario freak-fest, Shirley Valentine‘s Puerto Rican dream-boy who’d much rather have sex with the moustachioed waiter, allegedly, and expert locator of “the Latin spirit in every one”. The return, no less, of the alien pop star (they call him Ricky Martian, you know).