FROM the shop window of Snappy Snaps and prison to the Palladian-fronted, opulently decorated fin de siècle
opera house in Prague in one nifty career move.
Never let it be said George Michael isn't nimble on his feet.
From the moment he steps out in front of an audience dressed up to the nines (tens in some cases) he has total
control not only of the room but of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
While some pop stars who think they are all that and a bag of posh kettle chips come a cropper when faced
with an orchestra of this calibre, George is authoritative, masterful and actually not half presentable now he's slim
and all done out in black Armani. Opening quietly against a beautiful video wall that morphs from baroque
to A Space Odyssey to footage of ladies of the night for Roxanne, he unpacks a selection of hits.
Some are his, some not, some performed for the first time tonight, but all are pulled off with the sort of
power we haven't had from him for years. He's in great voice and perhaps the best of his entire career.
The mood is sombre, thoughtful, mature, confessional.
He talks of his split from longtime lover Kenny Goss due to alcohol and in a lovely tribute to the late Amy Winehouse -
"the only artist I've been in awe of in the last 30 years" - reminds us how close he came to an untimely finish
at the sticky end of drugs. His rendition of Winehouse's Love Is A Losing Game is one of the highlights of the evening.