RECENT X Factor tours have felt like flat, perfunctory affairs, especially compared with the hysteria which fuels the television show.
X Factor Tour | Rating: *** | SSE Hydro, Glasgow
With no live band to drive up the energy levels, the onus to electrify large arenas has been placed disproportionately on contestants with no previous experience of performance at this level.
At least most of this year’s crop have the vocal chops, if not the showman skills – or vice versa, in the case of likeable Jamaican dancehall duo Reggie & Bollie and would-be bad boy Mason Noise – and all were on their game during a collective rendition of Pharrell’s Happy.
Individual turns felt a tad disjointed, though that was no reflection on Lauren Murray’s old school power singing or Che Chesterman’s sweet soul tone and effortless falsetto.
Filipino sister act 4th Impact were ruthlessly drilled and professional to a fault, while Anton Stephans’s greater level of experience showed on a rendition of the Dreamgirls number I Am Changing which gave him something to get his teeth into.
Reigning champ Louisa Johnson is a teenage belter, technically accomplished beyond her years, though she has regrettably caught the over-emoting bug which frequently does the rounds of the televisual singing contests.
Best of all, drama queen Seann Miley Moore was always ready for his close-up and deserves credit for having the balls to tackle David Bowie’s Life On Mars – even if he did sacrifice emotion for a musical theatre display.