LIVE REVIEW: Little Mix

WORTH A LOOK?: *****

WHERE: The O2

WHEN: 27/3 (matinee), UK tour runs to 23/4, international tour finishes 27/8

SETLIST: Grown; Hair; Change Your Life; A.D.I.D.A.S; Wings; Lightning; DNA; Secret Love Song (Part 2); OMG; Crazy In Love medley; Salute; Little Me; Move; How Ya Doin; I Won’t; Love Me Like You; Weird People; The End; Black Magic

Welcome to the UK’s longest-running arena tour of 2016, a phenomenal 37 dates.

  • Read on for exclusive pictures from this gig

Little Mix could well stake a claim to follow in the footsteps of Bananarama, the Spice Girls and Girls Aloud to be crowned the nation’s favourite girl band.

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We’re at the matinee show ahead of Little Mix’s main 02 performance tonight and we’re joined by many young mothers with their daughters, a smattering of dads and a swarm of gay men. The proliferation of TV talent shows means the quality of the singers in Britain’s most beloved girl bands has been raised many notches and this is in evidence here.

Listening to 4th song A.D.I.D.A.S with its coy: ‘All day I dream about shush’ chorus it’s interesting to compare the ‘Mix with the new album by Zayn Malik (former One Direction member and squeeze of Little Mix’s most talented vocalist Perrie Edwards) out Friday and likely to top next week’s chart.

Whereas Zayn is revelling in the new found freedom to sing about ‘f*cking and fighting’ on his chart topping debut single, Little Mix always duck out of the money shot at the last minute. A trick that means they can court a young audience for now but it is a feat they probably can’t get away with much longer if they want their audience to grow up with them.

Although Perrie’s singing is centre stage it is Jesy Nelson (third from the left in the main pic) whose banter and dancing dominates the attention. What’s impressive about their material is that when it is on the money it targets their teenage audience unashamedly. Particularly good are empowerment anthem Little Me and gay-friendly Secret Love Song (part 2).

Fantastic new album Get Weird is well represented in the setlist and where once they had a shortage of material, when we saw them on their first tour at the Eventim Apollo in 2013 for example, they’ve had more than their fair share of hits to make this 19-song set whizz by despite lasting over 100 minutes.

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A quick shout out to former The Wanted singer Nathan Sykes who was extremely impressive in a brief and largely unplugged support which also saw him playing piano.

Where next for Little Mix? Perhaps that’s a question best asked at a later date. At the moment they look like being Britain’s most popular arena act of 2016. Quite a feat for anyone, let alone former winners of TV’s X Factor. That they do it seemingly so effortlessly and with such great material means they could be filling arenas like this for years to come.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Little Mix. 02 tickets here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

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