Walking through the gates of the County Cricket Ground, you could easily have mistaken the sight before you for a summer playscheme-cum-crèche, but no. The screaming hordes of children and their equally excitable mothers were all here to see JLS – one of the biggest success stories of the infamous TV talent show that is the X Factor.
Featuring a whole bill of X Factor stars, this gig was a TV talent show fan’s dream. Unfortunately, Alexandra Burke couldn’t make it, but the crowd didn’t seem too disappointed since there were more than enough support acts. JLS clearly have a lot of friends. Cover Drive made an appearance, as did Little Mix who shared their brand new single with the crowd, as well as performing a few covers of other recent chart hits.
Despite the typical miserable Bank Holiday weather, JLS are welcomed by an enthusiastic and dedicated following. They reciprocate the enthusiasm by giving the crowd the lively and engaging performance they desire. They also throw in the odd bit of flattery – “Brighton has the best looking women!” – to keep the young (and not so young) girls’ dreams alive.
Due to the sound being unusually quiet it was difficult to really judge the group’s vocal performance, but any blips went unnoticed thanks to all the high-pitched girly screaming. Crowd pleasers included their debut single ‘Beat Again’, which the fans clearly hadn’t forgotten the lyrics to over the past three years, as well as the more recent ‘She Makes Me Wanna’ which highlighted the band’s dancing skills. ‘Everybody In Love’ of course got an airing, the lyric “Everybody in love, go on put your hands up” seeming quite apt given the response it got. This crowd was clearly all loved up – most probably with the JLS boys.
There may be a lot of pessimists out there when it comes to the ‘talent’ emerging from shows like the X Factor, but by the size and eagerness of this crowd, the regular spots in the Top 40 and the fact that this performance was at the same venue that Elton John has graced, they’re clearly doing something right.
County Cricket Ground, Monday 27th August 2012
Words by Amy Bellchambers