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The X Factor, Metro Arena, Newcastle
I HAVE never been much of an X Factor fan, but my 63- year-old mother is not much of a metal fan either and she has spent years ferrying me to gigs across the country.
Restoring the karmic balance, I took her to see the X Factor Live tour, which rolled into Newcastle on Sunday night.
Her favourite – this year’s novelty act Rylan Clark – opened proceedings with a flamboyant rendition of Gangnam Style, managing to mash up two of last year’s worst pop offences while setting the stage for an evening of frothy entertainment.
The show’s seven finalists – James Arthur, Jahmene Douglas, Chris Maloney, Rylan Clark, Union J, Ella Henderson and District 3 – vied for the crowd’s attention, some more successfully than others.
Chris Maloney’s cruise shipesque performance of Eric Carmen’s All By Myself prompted a mass toilet break and went some way to explaining why his photograph was sold for £1 in comparison to £5 for a picture of James Arthur.
Interchangeable acts Union J and District 3 relied heavily on boy-band schtick for well choreographed versions of pop classics, while Ella Clark and Jahmene managed to impress with bona-fide vocal talent – Jahmene’s version of The Beatles’ Let It Be being a genuine highlight. And what of this year’s winner?
I’d like to be kinder, what with James being a Boro lad and all, but his mumbled and shambling six-song finale sounded just like the last act at a particularly drunken openmic night.
Mother’s opinion of the show? “I felt like I was at a holiday camp.”
So, there we have it – X Factor Live, a Butlins cabaret with a better lights show.