Glasgow Barrowlands

...even half-forgotten pearls like [B]'Black Widow'[/B] deserve a place in Metal's mighty canon.

It starts with a torso. A talking, shackled torso. With large hair. “Leave now…!” warns our limb-free compere, portentously flapping his heavily-teased mane. “Before it’s too late!”

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? After all, [a]Alice Cooper[/a] – Prince Of Ridiculousness, God Of Glam and golf-playing Pariah Of The People – offers anything but a comfortable concert ‘happening’. Instead, Cooper‘s slide into middle-age has signalled an admirable refusal to mend his misanthropic ways, seeking out new methods of visual and aural mayhem.

Hence Mr Torso. Hence a two-headed baby, a guillotine and a veritable crypt-load of whip-cracking dominatrices. Hence, also the comeback album (and tonight’s [I]raison d’jtre[/I]), ‘Brutal Planet’ – a collection of riff-heavy mor(t)ality tales that combines heavy metal bravado with – and here’s the rub – indomitable wit.

Music may play second fiddle to the gaudy, hilarious pantomime that is the [a]Alice Cooper[/a] experience, but tonight, it’s clear there’s more to his oeuvre than outrage alone. There are the usual suspects, of course- the sing-a-long AOR genius of ‘Poison’, the tremendous glam racket of ‘School’s Out’ – but even half-forgotten pearls like ‘Black Widow’ deserve a place in Metal’s mighty canon.

Naturally, it’s all utterly preposterous. But if great pop music is delineated by its ability to simultaneously entertain and outrage, then [a]Alice Cooper[/a] – half-man, half-myth, all legend – is its rightful Godfather. Truly, we’re not worthy.