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Guillotines, straight jackets and demonic babies: Alice Cooper, Birmingham - review with pictures

Halloween came early to Birmingham last night as Alice Cooper brought a brand new stage show to the city complete with a guillotine, straight jacket, huge babies and a Frankenstein.

It’s been 50 years since the Alice Cooper band released their first album - yet half a century on, the icon and his music are still going strong.

Thousands of rock fans young and old turned out to see the icon’s Midland date of his Ol’ Black Eyes is Back tour - and were treated to hit after beloved hit in a set which saw no pause for chat, but song after song in rapid succession.

You always know what you’re getting with Alice Cooper. And he never disappoints.

Diving straight into the action, the 71-year-old shock rock idol and his highly talented band kicked off their 90-minute set with a superb, lively performance of Feed My Frankenstein.

Fans instantly leapt into action, singing and moving along to every word, as a humongous monster in chains wandered around the stage which was kitted out to look like a stone castle, complete with candlelit lanterns and skeletons.

Alice Cooper in Birmingham. Pictures by: Andy Shaw

Much to fans’ delight, an excellent rendition of No More Mr Nice Guy came next, followed by Bed of Nails which saw guitarist Nita Strauss impress with a superb solo. She was in fact tremendous throughout; astounding with unbelievably fast-paced fingerwork and incredible skill.

With each song, Alice brought something different to the stage - from hellish characters, to harmonicas and maracas, and an array of costume changes. Even for those who didn’t know all the songs, there was never an opportunity to be bored.

He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask) saw a Jason-like character kill a young girl on stage, Billion Dollar Babies saw confetti fired into the crowd using a huge medieval-looking cannon bearing a skull, and I’m Eighteen saw Alice begin the song by pretending to hobble around on a crutch.

Alice Cooper in Birmingham. Pictures by: Andy Shaw

Steven, meanwhile, brought the iconic routine of Alice singing in a straightjacket, before he was dragged to the guillotine - this time by demonic-looking babies.

Outstanding performances of Poison and Under My Wheels also featured, before the star drew the show to a close with huge hit School’s Out as bubbles floated over the stage and massive balloons were thrown out on to the crowd.

A superb show from one of rock’s finest - my only complaint was that it seemed to go by in no time at all.

Alice Cooper in Birmingham. Pictures by: Andy Shaw

Ol’ Black Eyes is showing no signs of slowing. And long may it continue.

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