Andy Williams, Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow

Andy Williams owes his UK revival to the Med-set Punto ad that featured his swinging rendition of Music to Watch Girls By. Tonight he repays the favour, playing the clip twice while the audience stare, rapt. The second time, the girl tired of her boyfriend's wandering eyes kisses not a passing stud, but a beaming Andy Williams.

It's a typical moment: neatly judged, self-aware and utterly pre-rehearsed. Indeed, much of this gig seems like it could have been planned several decades ago, from Williams' horrific blazer to his finely honed patter. "I love it here," he declares after a dignified stroll through Never Can Say Goodbye, a twinkle in his eye. "My favourite three places to play are the Coliseum in Rome, the Acropolis in Greece, and this intimate little dive."

You would expect Williams to have his moves down pat. The golf-obsessed easy listening veteran has been recording since 1936, sung at Bobby Kennedy's funeral and helmed his own TV show in the 1960s. He spends four months a year playing to fans at the purpose built Moon River Theater in Missouri, where Moon River is a koi-stocked ornamental pond.

The 77-year-old remains sprightly enough, his voice impressive despite the occasional tremor. During moments of excitement, he breaks in to a rather cheering, crablike slow dance. His 15-strong band prove exceptionally skilful, when they get the chance, touching on bossa, soft rock and soul. But they are here to burnish a legend, not reinvent him, and the languid pace - relaxing at first - soon becomes a little soporific.

None of this matters to the punters, who eschew singing along in favour of occasionally speaking the lyrics along with Andy, their eyes far away, their hands clasped around the hands of their partners. By Danny Boy, as Williams' voice rises to the rafters and his backing singers do their best celestial choir impression, you feel pleasantly anaesthetised, and touched by the hand of showbusiness.

· At Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (0161 907 9000), tonight and the Brighton Centre (0870 900 9100) on Saturday. Then touring.


James Smart

The GuardianTramp

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