Belfast Telegraph

Cher's Northern Ireland fans in for a treat judging by Glasgow showpiece

Cher delights fans on her latest tour
Cher delights fans on her latest tour
Ivan Little

By Ivan Little

With tickets costing £170 a head she could easily be called 'tres Cher' (very dear), but the everlasting pensioner of pop will prove to thousands of her fans in Belfast next month that she can still give divas half her age a run for their money.

In Scotland this week Glasgow really did belong to Cher, who turned back time to put on a breathtaking, bravura spectacular that took her devotees on a breakneck journey through her greatest hits stretching back six decades

And her greatest bits looked pretty amazing too as the 73-year-old American icon showed off her stunningly well preserved body in a range of dazzling outfits from her past that still fitted just as well as they ever did - including THAT one with the leather jacket and thigh-high boots that left nothing to the imagination.

For reasons too complicated to rehearse here I found myself making up the numbers in a group of Cher fans from Belfast at the SSE Hydro - a reluctant recruit who wasn't expecting to be impressed.

But how wrong I was, though I wasn't an instant convert.

After a video recap of her glitzy career and eye-catching openers Woman's World and Strong Enough, Cher had a less than enthralling go at stand-up comedy with an overlong monologue of anecdotes about getting older, though she did redeem herself by asking: "What's your granny doing tonight?"

But nobody's grandma was doing anything remotely like Cher after that blip as she thundered through a 90-minute powerhouse gig that was straight out of Vegas.

There were mechanical elephants, trapeze artists, energetic dancers and over a dozen costume switches for Cher, and even more set changes.

It was no wonder it took 15 trucks to lug all the equipment from city to city.

At one point Cher even managed to duet on I Got You Babe and The Beat Goes On with videos of her late husband Sonny Bono. There wasn't a dry eye in the packed house that included fans of all ages and sexual orientations.

Many of the audience were dressed to kill in outfits that were homages to Cher, who has reinvented herself countless times down the years as a singer and Oscar-winning actress.

Quite rightly she gave a thankful nod in her set to Abba and the part they and her role in the Mamma Mia 2 movie have played in making her latest tour a multi-million-dollar earner.

Three of her 17 songs were from her new album of Abba tunes including Fernando from the film that has brought her to a whole new audience, many of whose parents weren't even born when Cher had her first hit with Sonny in the Sixties.

Just how long Cher can keep going is anyone's guess, but in Glasgow she was talking about what she might do on her next farewell tour.

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