Live Review

Girls Aloud, O2 Arena, London

Like five flying superhero space vixens, Girls Aloud open the London leg of their ‘Tangled Up’ tour dangling in mid-air.

Like five flying superhero space vixens, Girls Aloud open the London leg of their ‘Tangled Up’ tour dangling in mid-air. It’s some start, and they begin with the robo-pop of ‘Sexy No No No’, dressed like Wonder Woman with a 21st Century twist.

Next up are ‘Girl Overboard’ and ‘Close To Love’, both strong enough to be potential singles, and live they’re enticing and filled with energy, the girls overdoing neither their dancing nor vocals.

The humdrum and completely unspectacular ‘Can’t Speak French’ is easily eclipsed by a resounding rendition of ‘Love Machine’, and the girls raise their game even further with the double-whammy of ‘Black Jacks’ and ‘Biology’. Both are superbly crafted pop songs, Nadine is utterly captivating with her lead on the former, and ‘Biology’ is still so perfect as to forgive the lack of any new choreography on display.

Ballads are inevitable, but even here wise choices are made; ‘Whole Lotta History’ is full of heart, with Kimberley getting the biggest cheers, there’s a respectable cover of ‘With Every Heartbeat’, and even ‘I’ll Stand By You’ is tolerable, as the girls sing with passion without surrendering to vocal acrobatics.

The tempo is then brought back up with the unleashing of ‘Fling’, and before the audience can even catch its breath, another cover is unveiled. This time it’s Salt N Pepa’s iconic ‘Push It’: it works, and damn well too. It’s a shame, then, that it’s followed by Girls Aloud’s worst single, ‘Walk This Way’, only forgivable as they cut it short to include some of ‘Wake Me Up’.

We have to wait until the final section for the delectable ‘Call The Shots’. Shimmering and resplendent, it is the girls’ classiest moment to date, and is Nicola’s moment to shine. ‘Something Kinda Ooooh’ is saved for the encore, and not even the lurid hoody leotards can detract from this monster pop song, it’s a climax worthy of so fabulous a show.

All in all, this is Girls Aloud’s best tour so far. There’s a smattering of miming, some questionable wardrobe moments, but it’s a sleek, thrilling and fantastic show. These girls have proven beyond doubt that they can cut it live, the set list is almost faultless (although we did pine for ‘I’m Falling’) and yet the girls still seem surprised (though genuinely humble) at their level of success and rapturous welcome from an audience as diverse as it is enthusiastic. C’mon girls, isn’t it time you realised you’re amazing?

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