I wasn't planning on reviewing Union J (well, 3/4 of Union J, with George Shelley being out in the jungle for 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!'), but I thought I'd write a little bit about them because I enjoyed their performance and they ended up performing five songs, which was more than I'd anticipated.
Christmas isn't in the air. It's not me being a Scrooge, it's just true - yes, the weather has gotten colder in the past week, but it's not December and it's not snowing, so it's not Christmas for me yet. I wasn't really in a festive mood; not wearing a goofy Christmas jumper or reindeer antlers, I certainly wasn't dressed up for the occasion. While Swindon's Christmas lights are quite mediocre (visit the town centre, you'll see what I mean), it was actually nice to get involved in a community event and have a nice night out like this.
In true Swindon style, of course there had to be technical issues, so after the band came out on stage to perform 'Tonight (We Live Forever)' their microphones ending up stopping on the second line, so they had to leave the stage again and re-enter. The dramatic build-up was not as impressive second time around, but in all honesty it added fun to the event. It was obvious that things couldn't be that perfectly polished in a town like Swindon!
Performing three of their most well-known songs (as well as their opening song, they performed 'Carry You' and 'You've Got It All') and two covers (including a Christmas song - of course!), it was a nice variety for a set, and it was definitely worth standing out in the chilly night for a little while.
I found myself impressed by the vocal performance that they'd put on, because with pop artists you can't really tell which way things are going to go: they're either really skilled or obviously lip-syncing, so I was glad that Union J fell in the former category. With missing a member you'd definitely expect them to be lacking something, but it wasn't obvious at all, which is the sign of a very well-connected group, and it's quite obvious that these three were comfortable performing together and were individually talented long before George joined their ranks.
For a band that were officially formed on 'The X Factor' (originally entering the competition as Triple J, with George Shelley as solo male act) Union J have done extremely well for themselves. With two top ten albums, a collection of well-performing singles, and a couple of sold out tours, this was a very impressive booking for Swindon - think about the fact that they turned the Christmas lights on at Regent's Street last year, and that makes it even more surprising. The group shared the fact that they've taken this year off to work on new music that will be coming very soon, so I'm sure that they'll have another top ten album by this time next year.
Thank you to Union J, for coming to our little town, and to inSwindon for organising the event - now I just need a few more hot chocolates before the Christmas spirit comes to me!
Tonight (We Live Forever)
I Can't Make You Love Me cover
You've Got It All
It's Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas cover