Photo credit: Blue
Blue was definitely a boy band of the 2000s but they’ve made a comeback recently, with new album Colours, after splitting up in 2009. After a sold out one-time nostalgia concert in London, they made the decision to do a UK tour. They finished their tour just last week but I managed to catch them a couple weeks back at Bristol’s Colston Hall.
Roughly the size of our Great Hall, I’m sure it must be fairly small for them comparing to their heydays but they seemed to take it well nevertheless. I’d never watched a boy band live before and to be honest, wasn’t expecting all that much. I was simply fairly amenable to their songs and had been persuaded by my friend.
They definitely took me by surprise, opening with well-choreographed moves singing King of the World, a catchy new song from their album. Astonishingly, all four of them seemed to look much the same as ten years ago. As is often the case for singers around for a long time, the audience tends to be more familiar, and more a fan of well-known classics. Blue managed fairly well with songs from their new album however. Simon proudly announced that they wrote several of the songs this time round, marking their maturation as artists.
All of the Blue lads were talented, with Duncan’s rich earthy voice, Simon’s versatile dance moves, Lee crooning out the high notes. In between songs as the rest caught a break they took turns speaking to the audience, sharing anecdotes such as Anthony asking Stevie Wonder whether he’d watched any good movies recently in an embarrassing move, and the band being wrongly hired by Donatella Versace.
One unfortunate theme however seemed to be the lack of stamina from the group. Perhaps it was because Bristol was their fourth show in their thirties, after surely not having done any kind of extensive touring for at least five years. Lee Ryan undeniably had a good voice that certainly wowed me as he drew out long notes over the rest of the band singing but his spirits seemed to be flagging shortly before their took a short break. He did manage to croon out Rod Stewart’s I Don’t Wanna Talk About It beautifully, encouraging the audience to “karaoke” along.
After ten minutes or so of being entertained by their back up band – including antics from their baritone saxophonist & trumpeter – Blue came back with clear crowd favourite All Rise that had all of us rising and grooving along.
Blue ended with One Love, thanking everyone thereafter and leaving the stage. After a few minutes, they returned to emphatic shouts of “encore”, presenting their heartfelt hit Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word and ending for good with another new song, Baby Hang On Me.
It was definitely a good night had all round.