JLS, Hammersmith Apollo, London

4.00

Urban popstars live the scream

Oh, how the girls screamed. They screamed and cried then screamed some more. For 90 minutes the most ear-piercing sound imaginable did not cease. The reason? JLS, boyband du jour, are in town.

In the final of the 2008 edition of The X Factor, Aston, Oritsé, JB and Marvin looked on as Alexandra Burke was crowned as the winner. Tonight, JLS are on top of the world. Since the talent show the boys have signed to Epic records, after a certain Mr Cowell passed on them, and have seen their eponymous debut album outsell Burke's Overcome by around two to one. They have had two No 1 singles and a No 1 album; they have received two MOBO awards; and they have collected three Brit nominations, including Best British Group. Burke is not doing too badly herself, but it is pretty clear who the real winners are.

The boys arrive on stage looking like Action Men. Or R'n'B Kens, if you will. They all sport sunglasses, leather and denim, accessorised with ripped muscles. Gone are the adolescent, matching coloured hoodies in which they paraded on The X-Factor – they have the urban pop star look nailed.

The best thing about the boys (apart from Marvin's arms) is their choreography. Their moves are slick, effortless and modern and they move about the stage with attitude. Aston is the stand-out performer and crowd favourite, arriving on stage for a Michael Jackson medley by doing a back flip from an upper level, before nonchalantly dusting off his shoulder and going straight into song.

But they're not all about the dancing. During the ballad section, the boys showcase the vocal ability which got them noticed in the first place. Songs like "Only Making Love" and "If I Ever" prove they can really sing.

Sure, there are some stomach-turningly cheesy moments, such as when a backdrop video projects close-ups of the boys' naked torsos, with the lyrics of "Kickstart" tattooed upon them. When the band do their signature move, of lifting their tops slowly to reveal their six packs (or in some cases, eight packs), it feels a little like a tacky hen night. But it's just saucy fun and it works. JLS have a sense of humour and the audience goes wild for it.

The guys also succeed in the rather arduous task of making every single girl in the room feel special. They point to specific girls and smile, kiss audience members' hands, wave at the hysterical crowd. Heck, I felt special by the time I left. Having been an anonymous face in a sea of thousands, that was no small feat.

The night is not without it problems, however. While the singles "Beat Again" and "Everybody in Love" are strong hits, there are more than a few lacklustre numbers complete with lazy titles: "Crazy For You", "Close To You", "Keep You". You get the idea. Many of their album tracks are forgettable fare and it takes some well chosen covers, like Rihanna's "Umbrella", to save the night. JLS's lyrics do not stray too far from talk of "pretty faces" and "beautiful girls", and the songs are peppered with plenty of "baby", but I'm pretty sure no-one was there for insightful poetic musings. It is a formula that works and JLS have seamlessly filled a need for a young, street boyband.

One thing is for sure – the boys have outgrown even such a sizeable venue as the Hammersmith Apollo. There is already talk of an arena tour, which really will be a show to see. And to invest in earplugs for.

Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Arts and Entertainment
Crime watch: Cara Delevingne and Daniel Brühl in ‘The Face of an Angel’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
music Malik left the Asian leg of the band's world tour after being signed off with stress last week
News
Author J.K. Rowling attends photocall ahead of her reading from 'The Casual Vacancy' at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on September 27, 2012 in London, England.
peopleNot the first time the author has defended Dumbledore's sexuality
News
‘The Late Late Show’ presenter James Corden is joined by Mila Kunis and Tom Hanks for his first night as host
news
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall

Mexican government reportedly paying Bond producers for positive portrayal in new filmfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Disney’s flying baby elephant is set to return in live-action format
filmWith sequels, prequels and spin-offs, Disney plays it safe... and makes a pachyderm
Arts and Entertainment
Nazrin with Syf, Camden
photography
News
The QI Elves photographed at the Soho Theatre. They are part of a team of researchers who find facts for the television programme 'QI'.
people
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv0-star review: Sean O'Grady gives it his best shot anyway
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss