When Dan from Next Stop Mars messages us and offers to go and watch Union J in Bournemouth’s Old Firestation, as Next Stop Mars are one of the support acts, we have to say yes. The venue hosted an intimate crowd and Union J’s Casey being a little poorly and their first tour since George Shelley left the band it’s safe to say we were fearful that we wouldn’t have a brilliant night.
We were wrong.
To kick the night off our favourites Next Stop Mars opened the show.
Performing their most popular cover of DNCE’s Cake By The Ocean. The crowd instantly seemed to enjoy the atmosphere Next Stop Mars had created. The Band’s debut single ‘Bad Bitch’ was next, and although 90% of the audience had never heard the track, by the end of the song every single attendee sang along with Denis and Shanel as if they too had been fobbed off by a ‘Bad Bitch’The final song NSM played was their original song ‘Running Back’. Again like Bad Bitch by the end of the song, every person in the crowd sang along believing and feeling every word. (This song has been stuck in our brains all day, we have already sent a begging message to Dan Kerridge the guitarist to release Running Back ASAP)
Next Stop Mars were all round phenomenal. The only thing we could say that we’d change about their set, is we’d of liked them to play for 24 hours straight.
The next act were the amazing Irish band The Taken.
We all have a weakness for pretty musicians with Irish accents. They did not disappoint. A mixture of covers and originals, the crowd were all as in love with them as we were.
One thing that was obvious with The Taken was the passion. These were not just 3 model like singers, they were 3 talented individuals who lived and breathed their craft. With their own songs being performed some fans already knew every word, but for those who didn’t, they mesmerised us completly. After the show, they did stick around like the other acts and give plenty of hugs. We can confirm, Ste gives the best hugs ever! Again, this is a band we would gladly hear live all day! We cant wait to see what the future holds for them!
New York based Ian Erix was the penultimate support act, and winner of greatest hair.
Although his music was not to our own personal taste, it’s so easy to understand the reason he is hugely popular! With a beautifully worded tribute to his late grandfather and grandmother mid set, we did have a few tears in our eyes.
He did have two backing dancers, however we didn’t focus on them too much, Ian performed enough to fill any stage on his own. You will be lucky if you find someone who can smile as bright as Ian. Seriously, he had us smitten with that blast of pearly whites. We did totally love his fan sign of the hand llama too. It’s totally adorable!
The last support act, where the incredible band The Scheme.
Straight to the point, Celeb Mix have an obsession with this band. Since the first date of the Union J tour, us writers who have been lucky enough to attend tour dates have been going wild for these lads. They opened their set with the most beautiful song possibly to of entered our ear drums ‘Somebody Elses Perfect’.
If you take one thing from this review, check this song out and thank us later. The band were impressed with guitarist Aleksa’s home town crowd reaction. And again, their set consisted with original tracks and covers which the crowd lapped up. Therefore The Scheme are defiantly one to watch this year.
And finally, it was time. Union J!
The main event itself started off with Union J’s introduction music which built crowd anticipation perfectly.
(For those wondering which musical genius produced this, it was none other then Denis from Next Stop Mars) And straight into the Union J debut single Carry You. It took around 10 seconds for any doubt that Casey wouldn’t fit in Georges place to vanish. It’s even safe to say, Casey’s crowd interaction just may the best within the band.
The harmonising throughout the whole set was phenomenal. As always Jaymi Hensley and his insane vocal range set our hearts on fire. There may not be a note within any range known to man that Jaymi cannot smash.
The first part of the set contained a soulful rendition of Shawn Mendes’s Mercy, complete with Josh’s gritty and addictive vocals, which reminded us of just why we first fell in love with Union J back in their Xfactor hey day. Beautiful life was the next track, and again, every single note was sung to perfection. Celeb Mix couldn’t help but notice the ridiculously cute smile on Casey’s face the whole time. However him and JJ Hamblet did appear to have a whole lot of banter the whole song, looking at each other and smiling. Heart melting.
After a cover of ‘I can’t Make You Love Me’ and hit ‘Let me Love you’ Union J debuted a new track from their 3rd and upcoming album ‘Wild Fire’.
The pride on their faces said it all. The upbeat track went down incredibly on the audience of J-Cats. We adore the song, and can’t wait until it is released.
As with any other Union J tour, when Amaze Me came around, the boys selected an ‘Amaze Me’ girl to bring on stage and sing to. However as it was the day before Valentine’s the boys called upon two girls each. Again this song was filled with the beautiful tones from each band member. JJ sang his parts and we could not help but reflect on the growth in his voice. He has always been a brilliant vocalist, however he has gone from strength to strength recently.
Cetral park followed after, and then the boys let lose on Snow Patrol’s Run. The intimate venue was perfect for hearing every breath Jaymi took within this song. Nothing else compares to hearing the 4 piece perform this in such a personal way.
About a girl and new song Fade were played next. Fade is another awesome uptempo track to which Union J included some perfectly coreographed dance moves to.
One of our favourite parts of the whole night was to watch Tonight (We live forever) be performed. Again the boys were all savouring every moment. They weren’t a number one selling band with a career of amazing highs. They were purely 4 friends sharing a passion and living for that exact moment. The whole audience too lived for that moment.
The boys didn’t disappoint when performing their final song.
The massively popular and number one single You Got It All. Despite being sick, Casey belted this song out completely like the pro he is. Josh sang the song in such a way that every fan felt he was singing directly to them. JJ and his vocal moved us to tears after seeing just how he has grown. And obviously Jaymi saved his very best for the last song. All around there wasn’t a dry eye.
As a whole, Union J proved that although they can and have sold out arenas, sometimes a smaller venue can suit a show better. It was a truly stunning set. Casey had some massive shoes to step into, but did it with ease. Jaymi can make any song into something truly beautiful. JJ should win awards for his vocal development and as for Josh, well he will always have that model smile.
The support acts had something for everyone, and each supporting artist will be able to reflect on this in years to come as the starts of a life long career.
If you manage to see Union J on Tour, or if you also are loving the support acts too, tweet us @celebmix.