London Wembley Stadium

This is killer stuff, the big night out for Straight Dad and Wife. It is big. It is expensive. Ergo, it must be classy...

She doesn’t waste time, Celine. One song in and that time-honoured showbiz trump card, the freckly, gap-toothed smorgasbord of schoolchildren, has already been flipped from beneath El [a]Dion[/a]’s voluptuous sleeves. There they stand, star-kissed and shiny-eyed, while She flaps over them, half ice maiden, half surprisingly large swan. It’s the classic showstopper. And this show has hardly even started.

It would appear that time is not something Celine possesses in abundance. There are shows to play, records to make, units to shift (the last album sold 26 million, the previous one a trifling 25 million). There is also convalescing husband Rene to care for (his life was recently threatened by cancer), a roadcrew numbering 105 to pay for (Celine‘s eldest sister curiously – and not a little handily – doubles as her subservient personal assistant) and the known world to thank.

Because Celine is nice. You can tell she’s nice because she keeps thanking us. For being here. For being from London. For being a part of the huge mean Celine machine. She tells us how she loves buying shoes. A sad-faced Celine widower stares ever-gloomier at his Hush Puppies. He could have bought a really smart new pair of Clarks for the #60 he paid for his ticket.

Sixty quid?!! Bloody bargain, mate. This is killer stuff, the big night out for Straight Dad and Wife. It is big. It is expensive. Ergo, it must be classy. Look at the bits of the stage (heart-shaped, natch) moving up and down (perturbingly, Celine‘s pirouetting arrival atop one such rising part is strangely reminiscent of the start of Trumpton). Look at the way Celine prowls to all four sides of the stage.

And check out Celine‘s band, an orange-faced collection of highlighted flicks, ponytails and furiously concentrated expressions.

Which thoroughly befits Celine‘s rapturous, Titanic muse: there are stroppy, wobble-along ‘up-tempo’ numbers; there are epic wail-along ‘ballads’; there are special guest appearances (Yes! The Bee Gees and Babsy Streisand are here with us tonight! On that big video screen over there!); there is beauty everywhere; and lots of lovin’ everywhere; and there is the enduring image of this sincere, sin-free Celine sailing over ‘The Power Of Love’, hair streaming and cheekbones slicing through the northwest London breeze like Boadicea. With a microphone.

She thanks us. She loves us. She loves buying shoes. She plays the one about the boat. Crisis? What crisis?

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