N-Dubz, O2 Arena, London
Tireless trio are a number one attraction
Tuesday 03 May 2011
As the merciless screams from the sportswear-and-mini-skirt-clad audience welcomed on to the stage Tula "Tulisa" Contostavlos, Richard "Fazer" Rawson and Dino "Dappy" Contostavlos, it was hard not to assume that the evening's proceedings were destined to alienate all but the most fanatical teenage aficionado of this British hip-hop/R&B trio.
But after the opening track, "Took It All Away", as the expressive vocals from Camden's answer to Beyoncé, Tulisa, competently soared alongside charismatic verbal contributions from Dappy and Fazer, over soft-rock rhythms from the live band and some gravity-defying acrobatics from the dancers in tow, the whole thing peculiarly started to feel rather fun. The entire audience, both standing and seated alike, went wild.
Unlike their records on the radio, the sound is surprisingly raw, with the trio's lively performances never struggling to keep up with their young energetic audience. The same, however, cannot be said for singer-songwriter Mr Hudson who made an appearance for "Playing with Fire". Jumping up and down with rapidly diminishing vitality, it was like someone was letting the air out of his bouncy castle.
Another exception to the otherwise consistently lively proceedings was a costume and staging change that transported us to a bordello-cum-speakeasy, presumably inspired by a video clip shown of Tulisa aged 11 singing "My Name is Tallulah" from Bugsy Malone. Asking us if we'd like to hear her 2011 version she sings a capella, "My Name is Tulisa". An entirely baffled audience, unimpressed by the reference, slumped back into their seats and suffered an immediate bout of fatigue, Mr Hudson-style.
But the relaxed mood doesn't last long and the crowd are soon in a lasting state of abandoned bliss for the chart hit "Number 1". Especially happy were those at the back who had been watching postage-stamp-sized screens all evening and were now amid an impressive laser display that stretched right across the audience.
So apart from the less than enthralling speakeasy theatrical showcase, and given their rather vapid studio-recorded tracks, it's a surprisingly authentic and entertaining live show that leaves the hip-hop trio's fans in a state of dazed contentment and suggests N-Dubz are deserving of their significant fanbase.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 James Foley beheading: Fox news presenter Megyn Kelly annoyed by Ferguson update during broadcast about murdered journalist
- 4 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 5 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
The Top Ten: Horrible buildings
JK Rowling writes new Harry Potter story on Pottermore: Introducing 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbuck
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 line-up: Meet the contestants from Lauren Goodger to Kellie Maloney and Audley Harrison
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women