IT’S hard to warm to any act whose route to fame involves a television talent contest, except perhaps if they assail us with so many stone cold classic pop songs that their existence becomes entirely justifiable.
Little Mix - Usher Hall, Edinburgh
It happened to Girls Aloud, and judging by the sea of young teens and their parents clapping eagerly along here, it seems to be happening to 2011’s X-Factor winners Little Mix.
Not that this show was entirely outré, and a lot of it conformed to precisely the stereotypes we might expect of a modern, unit-shifting pop extravaganza. There were half a dozen male dancers grinding away in the background, chirpy, vanilla sloganeering about how best friends are important (not a bad message, of course) and some aspirational, decidedly tepid balladeering, not least on the sickly likes of Towers and Little Me.
Amidst it all, though, there was a hint at what a contrived female pop group should be. None of the cheery quartet (Jade Thirlwall, Jasy Nelson, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Ann Pinnock) are airbrushed caricatures. They’re sexy while by and large wearing costumes which cover their skin, and what makes them compulsive comes from the best of their music: the hyperactive grind of Talk Dirty; the excellent Move, accompanied by a mighty dance sequence; and the closing Wings’ genuinely positive choral holler of “mama told me not to waste my life.” Good fun, and also a good example.
Seen on 19.05.14