Blondie and Chrissie Hynde, iTunes Festival, review: A night of killer hooks from pop royalty

The two singers are so special and they still warrant your attention

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The Independent Culture

“There's one of my exes... I hate that guy,” Chrissie Hynde quips after a stirring “Back on the Chain Gang”. The former Pretender, aged 63, still has sass. Blondie's Debbie Harry, 69, doubly so.

A raised eyebrow from either of these two pioneering singers is filthier than any of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball antics. And, crucially, their anthems endure. “Heart of Glass”, from 1978's Parallel Lines, is one of the finest pop songs ever recorded and it sounds as fresh as ever here.

Hynde, dressed in strategically ripped jeans, tears through gems “Don't Get Me Wrong”, “Talk of the Town” and the delicious “Brass in Pocket”, where she even sashays. It's a vital 14-song set.

Harry, sporting stripes like a character from The Prisoner, lets rip on an extended “Rapture”, an unwieldy (Blondie throw in some B52s) “The Tide Is High” and a dazzling “Atomic”. The only distraction being her mismatched shoes.

Both singers are reliably off message, sidestepping thanking their sponsors and both valiantly perform material from their most recent projects, Stockholm (Hynde) and Ghosts of Download (Blondie).

Overall, a night of killer hooks, attitude and vocals from pop royalty. They're special - so special - and they still warrant your attention.

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