Olly Murs - V Festival Hylands Park review
'Will he ever shake off the show he sprang from?'
Chris Eustace - 19 August 2012
Essex is out in force, assembling for one of their own, in front of the big stage this afternoon - there's a Stone Roses-sized
crowd here to see the former X-Factor man, and he's sporting an even bigger grin than usual at the reception he receives.
Even the weather is on his side, with the sun coming back out for the reggae-lite of 'Thinking Of Me', the first
big singalong of the set. 'Please Don't Let Me Go' is a much less bumbling slice of ska-pop, which works well with
Murs' Will Young-esque voice. A strident, soulful 'Get On My Cloud' continues his good run, but segues into 'I
Need A Dollar' and 'A Message To You Rudy' serve as alarm bells for what's to come.
After 'Busy', a passable shuffle that may well have been found in Bruno Mars' sock drawer, Murs sails into Redcoat territory, with a "medley of tunes that were on my playlist when I travelled to the campsite when I used to come here." We get X-Factorised (i.e. they have all the life sucked out of them) covers of 'Should I Stay (Or Should I Go?)', 'A Town Called Malice' and the nadir, a lifeless tread through Supergrass' 'Alright'. Arguing that a festival audience wants songs they know is one thing, but Olly Murs has two million-selling albums, so you imagine many here would know his album tracks. Grafting on afterthoughts like the medley make you wonder if he'll ever shake off the show he sprang from.
It's unfortunate as the singer is obviously giddy at being able to perform so close to home, but with 'Oh My Goodness', a more-than-decent pop-soul song, and the streetwise modern ska and big hooks of career-best 'Heart Skips A Beat', he should have more faith in his own songs. A partisan crowd like today's might not care, but not every one will be as forgiving.
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