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“I have fans in several different countries!” – Luke Friend talks about life on the road, as What’s On London reviews The X Factor Live Tour 2014

| Kids, Music, Things to do | 10/03/2014

Luke Friend performs Kiss From A Rose
Luke Friend performs Kiss From A Rose

The X Factor Live Tour hit Wembley Arena last weekend, and What’s On London were there to see how the acts reacted to going back to where it all started…

Tamera Foster opened the show with We Found Love, a sound song choice, as majority of the audience knew it. She can dance, she can sing, but unfortunately there’s still something missing from her performances. As Louis Walsh would say, she doesn’t have the ‘likeability factor’. When she returned for ballads I Have Nothing and Listen, she appeared much more confident than on the live shows, didn’t forget the lyrics and showcased a great talent for such a young age. There’s a presence about Tamera that says superstar, but only time will tell if she can learn to connect with her fans to gain such a status.

Nicholas McDonald performed Robbie Williams’ Candy next, with a stage full of colourful dancers and props. There’s no doubt the boy has a great voice, but at times, it did feel like I was on a cruise ship, only I was sober which made it worse than it seemed. He returned frequently throughout the rest of the show, at which times the audience seemed to lose interest. When he performed his rendition of Adele’s Someone Like You, Julia Roberts’ voice ran through my head, shouting “Big mistake, huge.”

The girls in the crowd lost their minds as Sam Callahan took to the stage to perform Summer of 69’. Halfway through the song, Sam began to shout over the music as he realised it was louder than him. It’s a shame that the backing track couldn’t drown him out completely, but the crowd loved him nonetheless.

Hannah Barratt sat centre-stage to belt out Read All About It next. The simple stage setting showcased her beautiful, strip-backed voice. This girl has a raw talent, but again, as she moved on to a confident performance of the disco classic Someone Else’s Guy, there’s something missing from her performances.

Abi Alton up next, (remember her?) wearing the most ridiculous dress I’ve ever seen (an attempt to be noticed, I can only presume). Giving the audience an acoustic performance of I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the piano playing was lovely, her voice is good, but nowhere near strong enough to compete with anyone in the charts. When she returned later on in the show to sing Livin’ On A Prayer I couldn’t help but feel like she was trying too hard.

Luke Friend was the standout performer of the night, entering the arena through the crowd singing Play That Funky Music. The crowd went wild, spurring Luke on to act up even more. He was very comfortable on the stage, and his acoustic performance of Kiss From A Rose was one of the best of the concert, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd. Luke and his guitar also chose a (lucky I guess?) girl from the audience to serenade with One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful, which had a slight awkwardness about it but was sweet at the same time.

Rough Copy (minus one member, which was disappointing) covered the classic In The Air Tonight, but the audience didn’t seem too engaged with the duo to noticed their combination of singing and dancing (all at the same time, clever boys). One of the boys flayed around the stage like a cartoon character, at one point I thought I was watching a live version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Sam Bailey, absent from the group performances throughout, finally took to the stage to grace the audience. Opening with The Power of Love, I can honestly say I have never heard a voice like hers, at least not live anyway. She’s effortless and rises well above the overly loud music. She appeared professional and confident, just as she did on the show. Finishing up a six song set with Skyscraper, here’s hoping the worthy winner will go far. Even if she did manage to get pregnant at the worse time possible. Congratulations Sam by the way.

Overall, audiences should be aware that The X Factor tour is designed to be a family concert. Unless you are a massive fan of the show, it’s all a bit karaoke, but as long as the British public continue to buy into it, the tours will go on and on. Personally, I think it’s best to stay at home and stick to the Saturday night performances. At least then there are the ad breaks and Dermot to keep you company.

What’s On London caught up with X Factor runner up Luke Friend, to find out what life on tour is really like;

How is the tour going so far?

The tour is absolutely crazy, loving the travelling round and playing in different arenas every night, it’s so exciting.

What does it mean to you to be part of The X Factor Tour?

It’s such a huge tour so to be a part of it is amazing and it’s a massive life experience, learning how to deal with tour life and working within different arenas. Playing to the lovely fans is also a massive plus.

 Why did you apply for The X Factor, as oppose to other talent shows such as The Voice or Britain’s Got Talent?

Because the main focus is singing, that instantly made it more appealing to me, the other shows are great but I applied for The X Factor in the end because I’ve wanted to do it ever since I was 7 years old when it first hit the screens.

How has your life changed since The X Factor?

Dramatically I’m on tour, I have fans in several different amazing lovely countries (who I love very much) and I am currently writing an album.

Do you have any plans following the tour?

Of course there’s loads! But the main focus is going to be the album, so lots of writing for that and I am now currently signing to a label within Sony.

The X Factor Live Tour 2014 is currently touring around the UK. Tickets are available here;

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/X-Factor-Live-tickets/artist/27410

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