Joe Mcelderry @ Reading Hexagon on 25 November 2011
You all remember the controversy when Geordie kid Joe Mcelderry won X-Factor in 2009 only for his chance of nabbing the obligatory Chistmas Number One slot dashed by a bunch of Facebook kids and a little known combo by the name of Rage Against The Machine. Well, since those days, Mcelderry has had a rollercoaster of a career but, as this packed theatre shows, even two years after his X-Factor appearance, the kid is still in demand.
Taking his ‘Classics’ tour out on the road for a month long run of dates, the two years that have passed since X-Factor have seen Mcelderry change from that shy kid on X-Factor into a confident, mildly camp popstar. Clearly at home on stage and enjoying every minute of his journey, Mcelderry splits his set into two halves, the pop/X-factor stuff and the classical side to his persona. Like this set though, the audience is also split in two, those who want to get up and dance to his rendition of Journey classic Don’t Stop Believin’ and those who are finding it all a little bit loud and can’t wait for something a bit more serene. Taking time out to recall his X-Factor days, Mcelderry introduces Open Arms as ‘the song I was asked to sing in the semi-final but really hated’ while his cover of Taylor Swift’s Love Story is another taken from his X-Factor days of 2009.
Midway through the set, following a quick costume change, you can hear a sense of relief from the older attendees in the audience as Mcelderry announces ‘that was the last of the uptempo stuff, it’s time for some of the classical stuff.’ Now, whether or not you like Mcelderry, how he got to this point in his career or even classical music, there is no denying that when he belts out the likes of Dance With My Father, he lifts the roof off the venue and there isn’t a person in the sold-out room who hasn't been mesmerized by the young kid from Newcastle.