Mon 23 Jul 2018

Review… Little Mix at Earlham Park, Norwich

Little Mix ‘Summer Hits Tour’
@ Earlham Park, Norwich
21st July 2018

 Could you ask for a more perfect day for a Summer Hits Tour? Bright sunshine, warmth and a Saturday night. There’s good vibes all round.

 Little Mix, currently the world’s biggest girl group, have brought their Summer Hits Tour to Norwich, transforming Earlham Park into a sea of glitter, flower crowns and neon Hawaiian leis. It’s like a mini festival has been condensed down, with pop-up bars, merchandise, food stands and even glitter make-up and hair stalls for those wanting to get extra glam for tonight’s show.
People of all ages are taking a quick moment to chill, palm tree shaped slushies in hand, soaking up the evening sun as Norwich’s own Dave Taylor, from Heart Radio, plays popular warm-up chart tunes, injecting more energy into the ever-growing crowd.

 Germein, all the way from Australia, are first support. A country, pop-rock trio featuring Georgia Germein on Guitar/Vocals, Clara Germein on Drums and Ella Germein on Bass/Vocals, they are definitely a band to keep your eye on. Taking the time, whilst performing, to smile and wave at young fans, they soon have the crowd riding this metaphorical wave with them tonight. Georgia pulls out some amazing guitar solos that really make me wish I’d kept up lessons. New song ‘Talking’ is honestly the perfect song to be listening to right now as the sun begins to set. ‘We try and remember every show we do’, says Ella, ‘and we’re definitely going to remember you guys, Norwich’.

 Rak-Su (Winners of 2017’s X-Factor) are so slick, you can tell being performers comes naturally to them. Giving each other cheeky winks every now and then, they are lapping up being centre of attention. ‘Touche’, is so catchy with their mix of loose rapping/singing, with an always popular Caribbean dance beat. A proper beach bbq tune. Rak-Su are very easy listening and it’s actually refreshing to hear fast, upbeat rapping instead of the ongoing trend of mumble rapping that does my head in. As Mustafa takes to the DJ decks behind them, Rak-Su perform a medley of some of the biggest recent chart tunes. They absolutely know how to win the crowd over. New song ‘Pyro Ting’ (out now for your listening) is serving as a build up towards their official release coming at the end of summer, so get ready for that.

 The stage suddenly lights up. Little Mix rise up to an explosion of fireworks that sync up perfectly with opener (and my favourite LM song) ‘Touch’. The girls all look stunning tonight; dressed up in sports-racer fashion, with hair and make-up done perfectly. Having been a group for 8 years now, they have flourished from their X-Factor days and have evolved into such powerful and fierce, yet graceful women.

 Considering Norwich is the 10th stop of the Summer Hits Tour, their vocals have held up so well. The lead melodies they share in ‘Love Me Like You’ are note perfect, with the harmonies melting together smooth as butter.  ‘Norwich are we feeling good?’ asks Jesy, ‘Ladies, are we feeling sassy?’. The banter and crowd interaction Little Mix have is so genuine. They’re happy to be here, to be performing in front of thousands. The joy and enthusiasm can be felt intensely during old Little Mix favourite, ‘Wings’. Everyone around me is dancing and singing along. Even my mum’s having a little bop, bless her.  ‘You guys are literally the best fans in the world’, says Jesy, and she’s met with a response of screams of love.

 2015 hit ‘Black Magic’ sounds so much better performed live. The added emphasis to the bass and drums gives it a huge kick of power that must have been heard for miles. There may only be four of them on this massive stage, but the girls dominate it with such authority. They strut, flick their hair and flow into effortless dance routines that are making me so envious.

 Giant striped balloons cascade out onto the crowd as Little Mix storm into fan favourite, ‘Shout Out To My Ex’. As I look around I’m seeing literally everyone singing along, having the best time. I love that music can do that. It’s just one big party tonight here in Norwich.

 For the encore, Little Mix take it down slow with beautiful ‘Secret Love Song, Pt. 2’. It’s about who you want to be, wanting to love whoever you want with no judgement. I feel like this song and the lyrics have resonated through a lot of people tonight, including myself. Ending the night with ‘Power’, Little Mix light up Norwich’s sky one final time and make their mark in so many people’s memories. Teasing that new music will be on the way soon, I’m sure it won’t be long until Norwich welcomes them again with very open arms.

Words: Victoria Hicks