Sunday, May 20, 2007

Girls Aloud LIVE

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I could go on and on about the long search for a restaurant that had a spare table and I could go on and on about the rather mardy girl on the table next to us who wanted a free meal for 8 people because they'd brought out one wrong main course but there is so much music to get through that I won't. That is because lured by the charms of Rogue Traders, we got there in time to see ALL the support acts.

NATALIA - You have to give this girl credit for being so relentlessly cheerful as she went from one disaster of a pop song to another. And three dancers? That's blown her entire profit for the tour methinks.

MISHA WILLIAMS - Well she obviously caught the "arms" portion of her stage school course; the woman never stopped pointing, waving, swaying etc. her arms. Like a reject from High School Musical she peddled her sub-Lavigne pop rock to little effect.

ROGUE TRADERS - I still maintain that Voodoo Child is one of the worst fucking hit singles so far this century but they weren't too bad at all. Ok, so the "weren't too bad" bit probably is completely down to the fact that Natalie Bassingthwaighte is a bit fit, but after the first two disasters, Rogue Traders seemed like manna from heaven.

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So onto the main event. It was clear that the crowd was significantly older (there wasn't a kid under 12 on our row) than last year; hell we weren't even anywhere near the oldest in our section at all. I don't suppose I'll ever really know if I did actually recognise the woman next to us from a tv programme or not though.

Anyways, thankfully the nonsense that preceded last years tour was missing and as the band came on we looked to the skies to see the Girls entering from the ceiling, dressed in some kind of police/army hybrid "GA" uniform (which two ladies in front of us had mimicked). Section 1 of the show was most certainly upbeat. Something Kinda Ooooh kicked things off, although it didn't really have the dirty drive of the recorded version. It was followed by an excellent Wake Me Up, a pretty pitiful Walk This Way and an enjoyable Jump.

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A change of costume later and it was straight into No Good Advice, still one of their finest moments, followed by Long Hot Summer. Then they strapped themselves into some kind of swing thing to sing Whole Lotta History before hitting into the Dirty Dancing medley (which Cheryl laughably introduced as their chance to sing some of their favourite moments) which included Do You Love Me, She's Like The Wind and Time Of My Life. Painful isn't quite the word, but it's not far off.

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Another costume change followed, into what I would probably describe as "gangster" style outfits (as in 1930's gangsters that is, not 50 Cent or something like that). They kicked off this portion of the show with Sound Of The Underground, following it up with a reggae version of Life Got Cold (which, according to Nicola at least, the girls got together with the band to rework...yeah right) before a great version of Graffiti My Soul. The section ended up with Real Life, which is apparently a favourite of the girls, but not exactly a favourite of mine.

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Thanks to the bloke in front of me by the way...

There was more prancing from the male dancers as the Girls did another costume change. They then killed the momentum with a ludicrously slow version of I Think We're Alone Now before bringing things back to life, for me anyway, with Money (although this did seem like the one part of the evening where they were miming). I'll Stand By You remains a better proposition, GA style, live than on the record. It was also memorable for Nadine's "if you've got your girlfriend with you, give her a hug. Or your boyfriend. Boy on boy, girl on girl, I don't mind as long as you're happy." They finished up with Love Machine, which had everyone rocking.

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There was time for one more costume change for the encore, which saw the girls writhing around in beds for The Show before tossing aside those silk dressing gowns for a riotous version of Biology to finally end the show.

That's the run-down, but was it any good? Well as ever there were some minor complaints. For what was billed as a "Greatest Hits" tour, they didn't half do some faffing about with some of the tunes. Call me old-fashioned, but surely a Greatest Hits tour should be about hearing the hits as they should be? Plus why, and I'm talking to you Nadine, would you say "we're doing ALL the hits tonight" and then not do See The Day?

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Still, despite the occasional lull in proceedings, it was an entertaining night indeed. It's also refreshing to see that they look like they're having fun, the hilariously detached Nicola aside. There could quite literally be World War III going on around her and I doubt she'd notice. That said, she is definitely now my second favourite of the girls.

It's doubtful that anyone left the arena unhappy, indeed there was definitely a buzz about what people had just seen, but I can't help but have a tinge of regret that it wasn't even better than it was. A little tweaking here and there could have resulted in a much tighter show.

In other salient points;

* I still get annoyed by Sarah shouting random things in the middle of songs. And she still has stupid hair.

* My digital camera is rubbish. A fact you will be well aware of having got this far in the review.

* Nadine's put some weight on. And I don't mean that in a negative way; I mean she's accenuated her curves. A move of which I approve.

* Kimberley seemed to deliver the most duff notes.

* Getting the crowd to do a mexican wave is no longer funny. If it ever was funny.

* That bloke who "slagged" the concert off in The Times (?) had a certain point in that I too found it mildly depressing that everyone went mad for the cover versions in comparison to the genuine pop classics like Biology.

* They must have done the programme (£10!!!) months ago as not only does Sarah send out her love to "Joe" but it also clearly mentions that they will be doing a medley of "girl group" classics. Which of course they didn't.

As a final aside, my new "ranking" for the girls is as follows;

1) Nadine
2) Nicola
3) Cheryl
4) Kimberley
5) Sarah.

There you go; that will have managed to annoy 3/4 of my readership at least. ;-D

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great review and an intelligent read, salient points and all.

Glad you enjoyed yourself!