Princess and I enjoyed a girly afternoon together, doing our hair, painting our
nails and choosing our outfits (after she had ruled out my jeans and hoody by
saying “Mummy you cannot wear THAT to see Olly Murs!”) before heading to
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.
at the arena and easily found our way to the correct entrance. The queue was long but went down relatively
quickly. Once inside, the arena staff
were very helpful and were showing everyone to their seats. I was worried at 29 I’d be the oldest person
in the audience, amongst a sea of teenage girls (which there were plenty of –
most complete with their trilby hats), but I was relieved to find there were
also lots of young children with their parents and I was definitely not the
someone I was happy to take The Princess (6 years old) to see, as he knows he
has lots of young fans, is very clean cut and doesn’t swear on stage. The audience weren’t as crazy as I’d expected
and the whole experience was a lot calmer than the Take That concerts I am used
to! Even when Olly walked down the aisle
at one side of the arena, there was minimal pushing and people generally stayed
at their seats.
continue, I think the warm up acts deserve a mention. First to the stage were Lilygreen &
Maguire. They are a fairly unknown band
at the moment but have been signed to Warner Brothers Records UK and I’m sure
they will win people over with their music and also with their
personalities. They are a very likeable
duo who describe themselves as “an update on the classic
singer-songwriting partnerships of the early-mid 70s” and were a very welcome
start to the show. Starting with some of
their own material, then moving on to a mash up of well known artists, such as
Jessie J, The Killers, Bruno Mars and Bob Marley, before interacting with the
crowd and warming up our vocals with lines such as “When I say bibbity bobbity,
you say boo!” I just have one problem with these boys. They make me feel very old!
Boys Club were the second support act and were slightly rockier and much
louder. Their songs were catchy and they
got everyone jumping and cheering, but I thought there was a little too much
emphasis on volume and The Princess wasn’t impressed by them and found them a
bit overpowering. However, I very much
doubt 6 year olds are their target audience and I can definitely see their
appeal to the teens in the crowd. Their “new
wave of guitar led aural pleasure” is something I’d have happily listened to as
a student and since playing some of their tracks at home I’ve actually found
myself singing along. They entertained
and interacted well with the crowd, taking a photo for the audience to tag
themselves in on Facebook, which was a very clever bit of self promotion! They are signed to Gary Barlow’s label Future
Records and have a tour of their own coming up and an album planned for release
this summer. Under the wing of Mr Barlow
I’m sure they will do very well.
After a short interval, the lights went down and the
screaming commenced. A spotlight
illuminated a figure in a cool pose – you would expect nothing less from Olly
He progressed through various songs, some from his first
album and some from his second, accompanied by two backing singers / dancers, a
small brass section, drums, percussion, keyboard, guitar and bass. The brass section were a great addition to
the show, especially as the three of them were so in sync and their
personalities shone through in their performance. The backing singers also gave a great
performance and seemed very happy to be part of Olly’s show, smiling from start
But of course no one could steal the spotlight from Olly
himself, who was a true star. Even when
his trousers split (which, being in the front row, The Princess found very
funny indeed!) he carried on, holding his jacket in place until he had finished
his song, then mouthed a quick “sorry” to the audience before disappearing for
a costume change.
time, footage was shown of Olly in his dressing room getting ready for the
show, complete with Superman dressing gown and slippers – The Princess found
this bit hilarious and was giggling away to herself! He reappeared looking much more casual and
comfortable and carried on with the show, including a couple of Madness and
James Brown covers. This is obviously
the style of music Olly enjoys and is influenced by, but it was also a nice
touch to include these numbers to get all the parents in the audience dancing. Not that we weren’t dancing already!
later, a bridge descended from the ceiling (something I remember Take That
doing at Sheffield Arena back in the 90s) taking Olly out into the middle of
the arena to ensure all his fans had a good view, even the ones sitting at the
with The Princess’ favourite song, Please Don’t Let Me Go, along with
pyrotechnics on stage and silver streamers being fired into the audience. He thanked everyone for their support before
leaving the stage in darkness. The audience
chanted his name and Olly returned to do one last song (and his most popular to
date) Heart Skips A Beat. The front of
the arena ended up in a sea of gold confetti which The Princess loved! She stuffed her bag full of it and the next
morning decided she would make a gold tiara and bracelet with it – very
creative I thought!
looked very smart at the concert and sang very extremely well” – The Princess,
Part 2 – Bournemouth International Centre 16/2/12
I was also
lucky enough to win tickets to see Olly at Bournemouth International
Centre. I’d planned to take The Princess
along but thought twice in the same week would be a little too much excitement
for her! So, instead I let my hair down
and enjoyed a drink or two, while having a great view of the show from the
It had been
a few years since my last visit to the BIC (Russell Brand in 2009) and I’d
forgotten just how tiny it is, compared to other venues. Whether you’re in the stalls, terrace or
balcony you feel very close to the stage and concerts there always feel very
intimate, which helps create a great atmosphere.
both support acts at Sheffield I was surprised at how well I remembered some of
their songs – particularly Sista Shake by Lonsdale Boys Club (the chorus of
which is currently on repeat in my head as I write this) which makes me believe
in their potential as recording artists.
far more relaxed in Bournemouth. Maybe it was due to the small venue and the
closeness of the audience, or maybe his trousers weren’t quite as tight as in Sheffield, who knows?!
He interacted more with the audience (again, maybe because he was so
much closer to the crowd), joked and generally seemed to have a really good
time on stage. What shone through at the
BIC was just how genuine he is. While
his fans down at the front were throwing things to him left right and centre,
he was taking the time to pick up as many things as possible, putting
friendship bracelets on his wrists and moving fluffy toys to the side for safe keeping,
all while carrying on with his song.
had an amazing atmosphere with everyone chanting and stamping their feet until
Olly returned to the stage. The whole
arena was bouncing at his demand to the beat and the tiered seating quite
literally rocked and bounced with us until the very end!
had less gimmicks than in other venues, such as the bridge and pyrotechnics,
but let’s face it, if Olly had tried to fit his bridge in the BIC he’d have
ended up on the sea front!
you’re a fan of the X Factor and the kind of artists it produces or not, you
can’t deny Olly is very talented – he can sing, dance, entertain the audience
and is very likeable. He has an original
style and the evening was full of catchy feel-good songs. If I was cool enough to wear a trilby hat, I
would take it off to him!