If there’s one thing I cannot resist, it’s a cheesy pop-fest from songs of my youth, so when Blue announced a UK tour I got my hands on a couple of tickets quicker than you can say “All Rise”. Last night, Anthony, Duncan, Lee and Simon took to the stage at Camden’s Roundhouse and proved that 15 years on they’re still as good – if not better – as when they were topping the charts in the early 2000’s.
Support come from 2014 X Factor Contestant Monica Michael, who went viral after her emotional audition singing own track, Pretty Little Sister. Personally introduced by Simon Webbe as a ‘diamond in the rough’ – fitting to the title of her opening track – the vocals on this girl were absolutely outstanding. Definitely one to look out for.
Opening their 90 minute set with latest single King of the World, the English crooners were sure to express their vocal ability from start to end. Simple clicking dance moves were accompanied by the guys suited and booted alongside a full band, and it wasn’t long before the first trip down memory lane. A jazzed up almost swing version of 2002 top 5 single U Make Me Wanna kicked things off, and as well as performing most – if not all – of the tracks from their latest album Colours, Blue were still sure to please all the vintage fans in the 1,700 capacity venue with all the old classics like Too Close, Breathe Easy, All Rise, If You Come Back, and One Love.
Colours includes some wonderfully put together Motown and Soul covers of tracks like Johnny Bristol’s Hang On In There Baby and Rod Stewart’s I Don’t Wanna Talk About It, and these go down almost as well as Blue’s own material. If there’s one thing these guys are good at, it’s harmonising so beautifully together that it puts some of the modern day boybands to shame.
After a lively performance of Signed Sealed Delivered, Lee Ryan takes a moment to thank us for “making his dreams come true” getting to sing with Stevie Wonder all them years ago. Later on, we’re also treated to the incredible vocals of Lee’s during Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (below), the collaboration with none other than Sir Elton John that got them to number 1 in 2002.
The reaction I got from most people when I said I was seeing Blue was “are they still going?!” and now, in response to them people – yes, they are, and they’re better than ever before.
Blue’s UK headline tour continues through until April 9th, visiting Glasgow, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Oxford, Ipswich and Leicester. Any last remaining tickets can be found here, and the new album Colours is out now.
Review by Jayde Engledew