Olly Murs, Leeds Arena
Graham Clark, Features Writer
Whatever you feel about the X Factor, it has brought to the pop music scene some artists that have made it far more colourful than it might have been.
With One Direction taking a break, JLS being no more, it is pleasing to see Olly Murs playing a sold out UK arena tour. By rights the length of a pop artists career can be fickle but with talent, luck and good songs it looks like Murs could be the exception to the rule.
It is a big stage set. The show starts with a countdown and then there he is stood centre stage at the rear. His trademark hat may have gone but the cheeky charisma is still there.
"Yorkshire folk can be blunt, someone today told me I look rough" he says. The observation is way off the mark as he looks in fine form as he performs You Don't Know Love, the opening track of the gig.
With a 12 piece band and some huge video screens (that get stuck halfway through the show) a lot has been put into the production of the show, though he makes it look spontaneous. It is a carefully rehearsed show right down to him kneeling down and striking a pose at the end of most songs.
Wisely he wears some stretchable trousers as in the past they have usually ended up splitting or getting torn with him running and dancing around the stage.
He plays the eligible bachelor card during the evening many times, which predictably goes down well with the female members of the audience, especially when he dedicates I Need You Now to his "future wife".
He has some cracking tracks too such as My Heart Skips A Beat and Troublemaker, that have ensured he has stayed at the top for the past eight years.
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"Thanks for picking up the phone and voting for me, I would still be working in that call centre in Essex selling kitchens" he thanks the fans.
The remark seemed genuine and with his friendly banter it was hard not to be moved. A natural on stage, the 90 minute show rarely missed a beat.
For a night of pure entertainment and showmanship it ticked all the boxes.
As Kiss Me and Years and Years closed the show it could not have been a more apt song to conclude the evening: Murs looks like he will still be successful and playing arenas for years and years to come.
Olly Murs, Leeds Arena, 12th March 2017, 19:48 PM