Review: Olly Murs, Edinburgh Castle

It’s lucky it didn’t rain on the Esplanade last night. Not just for the many fans of Olly Murs, but for the man himself.

A few days ago, at GuilFest, he slipped on a soaked stage, making a right fool of himself. Fortunately, the Capital was dry yesterday, the 28-year-old choosing to play the fool instead.

“Thanks, bye,” he joked, pretending to walk offstage early on. “I’m just kidding – Scotland, you’re the best.”

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Like Plan B, Murs seems to view himself as something of a soul man these days. Backed up by a big and beefy, horn-led band, the first few numbers had more in common with Showaddywaddy than Otis Redding.

Strangely, such a massive pop show was absent of any frills, pyrotechnics, or lasers. The Essex lad always ensures he’s the focus of everyone’s attention. Twisting, twirling, charismatic and showing off his behind; when he wasn’t treating the stage like a gym, he was giving a running commentary on what he’s been up to.

In amongst the ballads and well-known numbers (I’m OK, Busy etc.), there was a spate of covers that ranged from the unexpected – Should I Stay Or Should I Go to the plain mad(ness) – It Must Be Love.

From a distance, Murs’ singing and dancing ability makes him something of Britain’s answer to Justin Timberlake. He’s the kind of guy girls could take home to meet their mothers.

As the natural light dimmed and the Castle’s large flamed torches shone, things heated up an extra notch, as Murs put the strut out on Stevie Wonder’s Superstition and Sir Duke, before signing off with Heart Skips A Beat.

Despite being closely associated with X Factor, surely even Murs’ edgier contemporaries would have to admit he can put on an impressive, if not the coolest, show.

Rating: ****