13 Mar

I genuinely went to this!

It’s time!

To dredge up!


And the best part about this, is that we’re all so happy about it. Because this means for the next 2 hours or so, we don’t have to read books, or talk to anyone about ‘things’, or think about Jesus – or whatever the hell it is we all do when X Factor’s on. We’re free. The lineup for the evening, (More or less) IS:














And more!

Oh god, I can’t remember what order everyone went in. Not because I was engulfed in a sea of joy and happiness from all the glitter..and smoke..and..OKAY OKAY, THAT TOO. But mostly because the ordering was odd, some people sang more songs than others. Oh you know. I’m old, okay? And also, for some reason One Direction did 14 songs, which confused me a little – because I didn’t realise they were old enough to know what the word ‘song’ meant. Nonetheless, we must power through. If Dermot O Leary was here (Which he isn’t, because he’s clearly an idiot) – he would probably say something like this.

‘I must stress, buddy ol’ pals, that this gig review is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER.’

And it’s not. Because I’m senile. And it’s sad.


We were a little late because we’d been eating noodles – (Fair play to us, noodles are nice) so we missed a little of Paije’s rousing opening number for the show. I think he was doing the Hey Ya/I’m a Believer mash-up that Cowell HQ gave Paije as a present for singing the biggest pile of (Luther Van) DROSS that I have ever seen for 5 weeks on the live shows. This week was the week they let Paije be interesting for a couple of minutes. In honour of this, The X Factor tour set designers have given him what seems to be, quite a big deal. I don’t know, really. He was interrupting our ‘Walking around in the dark’ time. Essentially some sort of mock-up Austin Powers funky clip-art has been set about all over the place, reminding us that, Hey guys! It’s Paije! Remember him? What a guy! What a man! He wore pink sometimes! Mental! He just brought a smile on everyone’s face, never got in anyone’s way – or complained. CLASSIC Paije. Remember? Remember??

In fact, Paije was so terrific, me and my friend Tash decided to not bother with finding our seats, and sat cross legged-wide eyed, and hopeful on the floor of the MEN Arena in silence, whilst Paije sang his heart out.

Oh wait, sorry. I for some reason misspelt ‘felt incredibly indifferent about the whole thing’ then. Never mind.

Later on, Paije sings another song! Killing me Softly, to be specific. Why? Oh, I don’t know. Because they made him. Even though on the programme that this tour is apparently based on, his version of Let it Be was quite good. Alas, they’ve already given Katie the ‘song from Beatles week that signified an emotional moment for the singer’ thing. God..that was a terrible week, wasn’t it. This evening is going to dredge back all these repressed things I fear. I may need to be held.


Look, he’s attractive – alright? I’m sorry, but that is how I feel. What do you want me to do? Say he isn’t attractive, when he clearly is? That would be treason. Or blasphemy. Or fascism. Whichever fits better. And maybe a bit racist too. Yes. You massive racists.

Anyway. Aiden sings Diamonds are Forever. He has a big blue shiny stage. We’re still looking around for our seats at this point (Because we’re idiots) and so I’m not paying my full, undivided, sexy attention. But this is fine.  Because he is very nice. Eventually we sit down on our stupid idiot bottoms and enjoy him sing Shirley Bassey. He seems to be very confident. I can tell this because he walks around a lot. Heh. Yes, I suppose that was pretty clever of me to deduce wasn’t it.

Later on – Aiden comes back again. Always enjoyable. Firstly though, a quick aside. I know some people find X Factor cruel! And I have (for some aimless reason) devoted my soul into informing them, that The X Factor is so much more than just a machine using human beings as performing monkeys to fund Simon Cowell’s Sexy Lady and Magic Gold House Parties, but maybe in this instance, they were all correct – and Aiden is singing THAT SONG OFF DONNIE DARKO (I’m so sorry, Tears for Fears – I’m just trying to fit in with my core demographic 😦 ) on a fucking revolving pedestal on a central stage, where fans can literally crowd around and tear bits of skin off his feet if they so desired. I’m not saying I did, I’m just saying this option was basically available.

Nonetheless, here Aiden was, on a little stage spinning round and round before our very eyes. It was obviously all very moody and atmospheric, and I ‘felt’ things. Mostly just bits of Aiden’s vital organs on the floor that were being shared around by his fans on cocktail sticks, but aside from that – a very lovely performance indeed.


After we recover from the initial shock that you are witnessing Katie Waissel performing to thousands of people at the MEN arena without anyone questioning anything, we all enjoy Katie singing her version of ‘The Beatles’ (Nope, me neither) ‘Help’. Her hair is blonde again, but don’t worry! She is STILL demure! Which I personally thought was an impossible thing to do without the aid of a meek brown cropped hairstyle! Shows what I know.

Now, listen. I am only going to say this once, and then I’ll make fun of her again. Just once. And then I’ll walk away.

She sang it well.

Right there. That’s another thing for us to all blame Yoko Ono for.

Katie returns later. She sings Oobeedoo, I’m likeable like you from the Jungle Book! Because this is what people like. People enhance their likings of other people if they have brown cropped hair – OR – they do SOMETHING WITH JUNGLES.

It is only those two things.

In the backdrop of Katie’s set for this performance, is a glowing Hollywood style billboard that proclaims:




And if it didn’t mean the literal sense of that sentence, (Despite all logic and the universe pointing to the fact it should) the only other reason that the X Factor producers would be stupid enough to put up something like that, is if she’s…supporting that band One Night Only on tour. Or something. Oh, you know the ones. The ones that play the guitars.

Okay, the ones that did THIS – and nobody told them that it WASN’T OKAY.


I don’t really have much to SAY about Wagner, it’s more so just how I felt at the time. A very unusual burning sensation, really. Does anybody get that? Wagner did his Love Shack/She Bangs mash-up, which was almost as good as when I watched it on Youtube 416 times. But upon watching Wagner, I felt, like that lion he so lovingly tail held – Wagner was being trapped – in an X Factor Dystopia where he must play bongos for laughing children until his golden locks begin to wither. If I was, say, Wagner’s PR in this proceedings, I would see to it that he was properly fed and watered in a larger scale habitat, sans B52s. I would also let him nuzzle me. But only twice a day. I’d feed him chocolates and ask him about what really happened between him and Daniel Radcliffe. And if he doesn’t want to tell me, that’s okay. Because part of me feels, like I already know.

Wagner’s second performance is the Livin’ La Vida Loca/Spice up your Life mash-up. It is exactly the same as the other performance, except Wagner looks a tad more drug-addled this time round. I will just have to hum the O Fortuna/Cheryl Cole Council Estate rant mash-up that I was praying and hoping for in my head then.


After me and Tasha ripping her to shreds emotionally and physically in the introduction VT sequences with such catty marks as ‘Her fringe looked a bit thin before, didn’t it?’ Mary takes to the stage in a CLASSIC Mary Byrne-style glittery top and sweeping long black trousers. I feel somewhat like..dare I say, a bit of a fashion icon, seeing Mary – because I think I bought the exact same trousers for a job interview working in a milkshake shop! I didn’t get it.

Mary sings Barry Manilow, which for some reason I completely forgot she sang on the show. HOW THE FUCK DID I FORGET THAT?

Then I remember that last time I saw this woman singing this particular song, she was wearing devil horns. So that particular memory was most likely sucked out of my system during all the therapy.

We both agree, that Mary yells in a particular lovely tone. And then off she goes back to her day job presumably. No! Not Tesco, you ignorant fools. She’s bigger than that now. Now she has the unmitigated honour of shaving Jane Mcdonald’s legs every couple of weeks. I knew she’d make it. *Tear*

Later on – Mary comes back! Looking a bit more ashamed than before. She sings ‘This is a Man’s man’s man’s world’ and she seems very adamant about that. So that’s fine, I’ll let her have that. It probably is a man’s man’s man’s world.

Oh shit, I’m a woman. I suddenly feel rather repressed.  Thanks a lot for bringing down the mood, Mary. Thanks a bloody bunch.


Ah, okay. The famous one. This should be lovely and significant. Cher sings lots of songs, because she has red hair now, which means she is infinitely a better person than everyone else. Even though she is singing Avril Lavigne in a PVC tutu. She can do shit like that, and people aren’t allowed to argue. The Daily Mail reliably inform me that what Cher Lloyd is carefully carrying out is a ‘harajuku girl’ style ensemble. Now I, as I’m sure everybody else in Western civility probably feels too – had never heard of ‘Japan’ until this groundbreaking article, and was delighted to learn all about harajuku girls. Thank god Gwen Stefani had also put an input in about this completely unheard of fashion style a few years ago too. I just thought she was a bit batty! Cor, what did I know! Pokemon. How amusing.

There’s a wonderful, awesome, organ-swelling moment in which Cher performs a SONG THAT WASN’T ON THE MAIN SHOW, but this far into the tour, she is probably grimacing in disdain about singing it again anyway. But it’s good for me. It’s..yes, another mash-up – X Factor were just going through that ‘phase’ alright? But it’s the elusive Will Smith/Willow Smith one. The forgotten Cher Lloyd performance. It’s a bit like Atlantis, but more culturally relevant.

Oh fuck it, it’s awesome. No, just seriously – leave me alone in peace. I’m happier now. More at peace with my well being as a person.

Other Cher Lloyd performances include OBLIGATORY STAY. In which Cher instructs us all to ‘Stay with me’, to which I’m wringing my hands and awkwardly feet shuffling to going ‘Oh..really Cher? Really, must I? What about my future aspirations?’

She also sings SOMETHING ELSE. Which I’m going to let you assume is good. Or bad. Or ‘a Cher Lloyd performance’. Whatever, really. Is there no mystery left in life?  Here’s Neil Buchannnan to explain more.


I don’t remember this person on the X Factor. Yet here she stands. In  a knock off from the Sassy Ladies! section from the Don’t give a Shit Theatre Company no less. Everyone STANDS UP, for this woman. This woman who once let Christina Aguilera rape her on stage, on primetime Saturday Night television is now commanding OTHER PEOPLE TO STAND UP AND DANCE IN HER HONOUR. Okay, she never actually asks – but she does sing songs that use superlatives, which is basically the same thing.

Nonetheless, she seems to be doing this quite hot and good. (Botched grammar in an X Factor review? Unheard of, I know!) In an X Factor kind of way of course. Remember how she wasn’t a ‘Disco Diva’ (Christ, I’m sorry) in any way, shape or form on the show? And now apparently she is. Singing all the dancey songs that Cheryl suddenly realised suited her aprox. 5 minutes before the final. The soft, jazzy bullshit brigade has been offloaded on to the Waissel instead. Well, the main bulk that Leon Jackson didn’t gallantly absorb, 20,000 years ago.


I don’t know what to say. What do I say? Despite there being five of them, they still – as a conglomerate, are infinitely a better person than Olly Murs? Well, okay. If that’s what will make you feel better. For some reason, we have awesome seats for when the X Factor contestants are forced on to the Whore Stage at the centre of the stadium, and so begrudgingly put our 40 pounds to good use and edge nervously towards them. Akin to Meryl Streep’s child being dragged off to be killed, if you were looking for a visual.

Feeling a LITTLE BIT like massive pedophiles, I must say. But hey, I’m sure they get that all the time! Niall’s probably immune to all the trauma, let’s face it – he’s a pro now. In 60 years time (When he’s middle aged) I predict him to be on an interview sofa, voicing all this sexual trauma of the past, with a whethered, yet calm expression of acceptance. Like Mickey Rourke. Except without all the bullets and condoms that have been welded into his face, obviously.

One Direction sing LOTSANDLOTSOFSONGS. They are all about them being young, just like X Factor throws any ‘I’m old and alone, but I can STILL sing!’ lyrics at Mary on any opportunity. These songs are ‘Forever Young’, ‘Kids in America’, ‘Boom, Shake Shake Shake the Womb’ and an awesome Tales of Mother Goose/Hans Christian Anderson mash-up to conquer ALL mash-ups!

Oh also, I must add – that there’s a moment where Liam from One Direction looks directly into my face and eyes, and gives me a knowing look of ‘Yeah, you’re loving it’, basically. I would just like to inform all concerned, that I felt nothing from this glance, and I have continued my life since this moment, calmly, and without a niggling sense of sexual arousal for him.




This guy!

Matt Cardle finalizes this grand event, which kind of ruins the whole ‘Best til last’ tradition  that I thought we all enjoyed to stand by. You know, like desert.  So, in a way Matt Cardle is the restaurant equivalent of a pub lunch lasagne, that’s burnt at the edges. And makes a slight key change when you crunch into the Bechamel sauce. Do you all understand this analogy? Yes? Good, moving on.

Matt sings Lotsofsongs too. But it doesn’t matter in any way, shape or form – which songs these are. It moreso matters that sometimes he is high up, and sometimes he is walking across a bridge, and sometimes he is not. These are the facts. I don’t know if he was wearing a hat or not, because I was too busy thinking about how this grand bridge that he triumphantly walks across, is so in keeping with the idea of a JOURNEY. A journey he has taken. To middle of the road, to end of the road.


Mary sings the ‘I still remember’ line, because she is old.
Aiden sings ‘Just for one day’ because he’s attractive.
Cher sings ‘And the guns’, because she’s a serial killer.
Paije sings? Maybe.
Katie sings ‘And the dolphins’, because she is wistful at all times.
Matt sings ‘We could be heroes’, because he isn’t second guessing anything, which is probably wise.
One Direction sing ‘We could be heroes’ too, because they could – if they EVER remember to be born.
Rebecca sings ‘Nothing could hide us away – yeah’ Because she’s COME OUT OF HER SHELL

And then they all sing all the other bits in harmony. Because of soldiers. Thanks soldiers.

And this is the end.

My favourite part of the gig was the bit where me and Tasha got to the front of the queue at the bar quicker than we expected. It was a pleasant surprise.


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