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Review: X Factor star Olly Murs at the Metro Radio Arena

IT seems that Olly Murs, pop's mischievous troublemaker, might just have grown up.

Olly Murs on stage at the Metro Radio Arena

IT seems that Olly Murs, pop's mischievous troublemaker, might just have grown up.

The X Factor star opened his latest UK tour in Newcastle in his usual impeccable style, and more than a hint of maturity and confidence.

His third album, Right Place Right Time, sounds deeper and richer than the last, as the Essex boy relied less on light-hearted pop and injected a note of urban soul into his whimsical melodies.

Dear Darlin’ is a soft, quiet, guitar-led ballad, and Army of Two kicked the show off with a slick, thumping beat.

Murs managed to retain the dynamism of past albums with an energetic cover of The Clash’s Should I Stay Or Should I Go and a well-received finale of the near-anthemic Troublemaker.

The 28-year-old has been accused of over-cheeriness and a lack of substance in the past.

Tuesday’s show proved emphatically that he is capable of creating bold reggae-pop with soulful overtones, as well as being completely in control of an enthralled audience.

He cheered on stage: “I can’t think of a better place to start the Right Place Right Time tour.”

The 28-year-old burst into the gig for the first song wearing a sophisticated monochrome suit and a characteristic grin, but lacked his trademark trilby and pastel chinos.

Fans worried about their absence were not disappointed, though, as a wardrobe change at half-time saw their re-appearance.

Dancing constantly, Murs is a performer who knows how to enjoy the stage, a quality that will stand him in excellent stead when he supports the original Mr Showman, Robbie Williams, on his tour later in 2013.

Despite his growing refinement, Murs still has the power to flirt relentlessly and successfully with every girl in the audience, and couldn’t resist a parting shot, saying: “You guys all know I’m single, right?”

The wall of enthusiastic cheers was proof he still has nothing to worry about.

Katie Pavid

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