Verdict: Five stars.

HE kept us entertained throughout lockdown with his crooner sessions but nothing quite beats seeing Gary Barlow live.

The Take That star, 50, arrived on Glasgow’s Hydro stage on Wednesday night for his All the Hits Live tour – and he even brought a little Christmas magic with him.

Opening his show in spectacular style with a bevy of showgirls, Barlow created a big band feel in the Finnieston venue with Incredible.

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Glasgow Times:

Wearing a stylish red suit, he then launched into the sultry Michael Buble and Sebastian Yatra collaboration Elita taken from Barlow’s 2020 album Music Played By Humans.

Paying homage to his boyband beginnings, a performance of Pray with dance moves of course followed before a humble Barlow beamed: “What a crowd we have in here. I love it.

“Hey listen, there was a moment about a year ago I wondered if we would ever do this again.”

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Glasgow Times:

That fear, however, quickly vanished as Former X Factor winner Leona Lewis appeared on stage for a rearranged duet of the Take That hit Could It Be Magic which saw the pair’s vocals flawlessly bounce off one another impressing the audience in equal measures.

Earlier, Leona stunned as the support act. The songstress, 36, kicked things off with the power hit Bleeding Love before launching into Better in Time. One More Sleep officially had the audience in the mood for Christmas before she showcased the prowess of her voice on the Snow Patrol cover Run.

Glasgow Times:

But it was Barlow who really amped up the Christmas spirit.

Playing covers from his new release The Dream of Christmas, the star showed off his love of a festive tune with Santa on stage to help him.

His reworked ballad of the Shakin’ Stevens hit Merry Christmas Everyone was particularly powerful and a real highlight.

Glasgow Times:

Throughout the more than 90 minutes set, Barlow proved to be the ultimate showman.

His concert drew inspiration from traditional variety shows but in the same breath cleverly reimagined them for a modern audience. 

Hit after hit was performed to perfection from Patience to A Million Love Songs - and Back for Good and Shine were just some of the many pop bangers delighting the crowd.

What comes from watching Barlow in action is his love of music. That energy is infectious. From the lyrics he writes to his appreciation for the musicians who stand next to him on stage, it’s hard not to buy into his act. He’s a true music man, a talent and a joy to watch.

An encore of Rule the World and Never Forget rounded the night off. But the best gift Barlow gave the fans was his true artistry which transpired not only at the Glasgow Hydro but in their homes when they tuned into his wonderful lockdown shows.