Olly Murs at The O2, Dublin on April 1st 2013
The right place was The O2, Dublin, the right time was 8.45 of a Monday evening. This was no April fools but another of X Factor’s army of popstars visiting the country. Having just seen Frankie Cocozza and former judge Cheryl out of the country, and a couple of dates from those little known One Direction lads and the actual X Factor tour itself, one of the more successful runner up acts was in Dublin for his biggest show in Ireland to date.
It’s hard to believe that it was just three years ago that a relatively unsure of himself Olly Mursstarted a musical journey. As he takes to the stage opening with Army of Two and Dance With Mehe exudes the swagger of an accomplished stage performer. Dapper from head to toe, the cheeky Essex chap leads his suited and booted backing band through some of his best known pop tracks. Moving around the stage like a greased up potbellied pig, Murs wriggles through his stage set-up as his classy backing band emit a hurricane of pop vibes and sexual innuendo.
The all singing, all dancing star runs out a hectic opening volley including Thinking Of Me and I’ve Tried Everything which saw him orchestrate a chorus of “Hey! Hey!’s” towards the end of the song. Murs’ energy is as infectious as polio without the adverse limb paralysis. Things slow down as we reach the halfway point. Murs performs acoustically with some support from his band, playingBusy and Heart On My Sleeve as a pair, stating that he has learned guitar and this is the first tour he has had the courage to play on. It’s the slow parts in the middle where the gig slacks a bit as attentions waver, and Olly tries some sing and responses with “Olly Olly Olly, Oi Oi Oi” and “Ole Ole Ole Ole… MURS” reeling the crowd back into the show. With a few songs to go, Olly introduces each of the brass band to give them a moment to shine, each sharing a moment in the spotlight for segments of Careless Whisper / Reet Petite / Cest La Vie (where Olly does an Irish jig) and Crazy in Love which leads him carefully into the cover aspects of the show. The Clash’sShould I Stay Or Should I Go and The Jam’s Town Called Malice are belted out to what looked like confused kids and sing along moms. A musical education for the kids perhaps.
The trilby terror has raised the tempo again, racing around the stage for his cover cases before bringing the tempo back down one more time to play One Of These Days on piano before a high-octane ending to the show. Oh My Goodness gets the crowd in full voice again before Heart Skips A Beat sends the Dublin crowd nuts, finishing with Olly ripping his shirt open as he exits on a hydraulic panel. The sexual innuendo an overbearing aspect of the entire show.
Olly returns to the stage amid the screams of ten thousand banshees in The O2 as he finishes off the show with a bang, hitting current album’s title track Right Place, Right Time and finishing amid a flurry of dancing in the crowd for Troublemaker. Olly Murs landed a knockout blow sending all the fans home happy. For this reviewer it was a fantastic start and finish, but somewhere in the middle the show lost something. Murs has the showman gene in him, and is at his best when he is conducting the show limb by limb. The middle waned ever so slightly and leaning on cover material when you are three albums deep doesn’t show great confidence in his own material.
This was a good show that can and probably will get better as Murs’ material grows and improves. The slower, more intimate parts could probably be grouped together, and shorter in length, but overall this was a well put together pop show, orchestrated by a singer who is improving with every performance. At three albums in the material might not all be there just yet, but when it is, Olly Murs could well be a mainstay on the pop scene for years and years to come.
Army of two
Dance With Me
Thinking Of Me
I’ve Tried Everything
I Need You Now
Hey You Beautiful
Hand On Heart
Loud And Clear
Heart On My Sleeve (Acoustic)
Careless whisper / Reet Petite / Cest la Vie / Crazy In Love (30 sec clips)
Should I Stay Or Should I Go (Cover)
Town called malice (Cover)
Please Don’t Let Me Go
One Of These Days
Oh My Goodness
Heart skip a beat
Right Place Right Time