Monday 13th April 2015
De Montfort Hall, Leicester
Blue originally formed in 2000 and have since gone on to release 5 studio albums, had over 20 UK singles, embarked on 6 headline tours, represented Britain at the Eurovision Song Contest, muscled in on the first series of the ITV reality show; which also followed sold out arena tours of ‘The Big Reunion’, and even starred in their own television series of ‘Blue Go Mad In Ibiza’.
And here we are in 2015 where the boys have headed out on their 16-date ‘Colours of Blue’ tour performing tracks from their new album ‘Colours’ at venues around the UK, with their final stop being at Leicester, De Montfort Hall.
It was apparent from the outset that the audience were out for some boyband action. It was a chance to reminisce and relive the early days of the noughties all over again – those days when you had to divvy up your paper round money between sweets and the latest Smash Hits magazine for the pull-out posters; those days when CDs were still so new and expensive that you had to settle for the cassette; and those days when you actually got up on a Saturday morning because CD:UK would be on.
Throughout the evening the boys performed 9 out of the 10 tracks from their latest album. Lee gave us some background to the new album during their live set saying that although it contains a mixture of new songs and covers, the original idea was to have an album complete with covers. However, following some exciting recording sessions, 6 new tracks were born and it made sense to include these on the album too.
This had to be a sound decision for the album and for the band, not only because a covers album can be a bit touch and go, but also because the new material was refreshing. It was great to hear Blue coming through with a sound that was inspired by their childhood inspirations, and be part of the journey that their talents, continued aspirations and heartfelt lyrics took us on. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how long ago 15 years was as for some of us it almost seems like yesterday, but times change and people grow, and that’s exactly what Blue have done; they’ve continued to roll with the motions of the musical wave but their sound continues to mature and develop.
Of course there were also those classic Blue hits performed during the evening to whet the appetite of those hungry for a well-known chart hit. However, the boys brought a band on tour with them, which was a game changer for the whole evening, especially with the extremely talented saxophone player. The set up, style and sound worked perfectly with their new hits and the covers, but they also took the opportunity to strip back their classic hits and give them a funkier, soul and jazzy-pop sound to them. They also donned the suits, microphone stands, and dance routines, all tied up in a neat boyband bundle to boot.
Blue are back where they belong, and it’s clear they have a strong friendship, energy and passion to continue doing what they love. For a band who were dominant chart-toppers, who then faced a number of setbacks as the years pressed on, they have determination to show that natural endowment is what music is all about, and as long as the fans continue to show support there is still much more left to give.