Gig review: Little Mix

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 performing live. Picture: JP
Little Mix performing live. Picture: JP

Little Mix - Usher Hall, Edinburgh

****

Sign up to our daily newsletter

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