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Billy Idol's The Cage is compact, catchy, precision-tooled pop-rock

Stanmore’s finest Billy Idol gets his motor running on his second EP in a year, The Cage

Billy Idol: The Cage cover art
(Image: © BMG)

Groovy grandad Billy Idol hasn’t burst out of his straitjacket too often since 2014’s comeback album and autobiography, but this four-track EP, following last year’s one The Roadside, is well-judged fun. It’s precision-tooled pop-rock, just slightly heavier than it needs to be. 

Each compact, catchy track bursts with energy and a disarming awareness of exactly what a Billy Idol number should be – part cartoon, part rip-roaring raunch. With Steve Stevens co-writing and chugging out the dynamics, we get a thoroughly jumping jailbreak.

There’s solid songcraft too, as the titular fizzer makes every transition count, and Running From The Ghost discusses Idol’s demons with a wink rather than a wallow. 

Rebel Like You is self-referential but witty and spry, while Miss Nobody has the singer deploying a distant cousin of rapping and even swaggers towards the disco like Kiss’s I Was Made For Lovin’ You is its wingman. More more more!

Chris Roberts has written about music, films, and art for innumerable outlets. His new book The Velvet Underground is out April 4. He has also published books on Lou Reed, Elton John, the Gothic arts, Talk Talk, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson, Abba, Tom Jones and others. Among his interviewees over the years have been David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Bryan Ferry, Al Green, Tom Waits & Lou Reed. Born in North Wales, he lives in London.