Review: Olly Murs at First Direct Arena, Leeds

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SOME people just have the ability to charm you, don’t they?

And that’s exactly what Olly Murs did to the thousands of people who turned up to see him at Leeds’ First Direct Arena.

Olly Murs.

Olly Murs.

The 30-year-old cheeky chap from Essex won over the entire audience just by flashing a smile, wiggling his derriere and winking at the camera.

And we’re sure to see more of that behaviour as Olly’s been snapped up alongside Caroline Flack to host The X Factor this year.

But there was a serious agenda to the Never Been Better Tour – Olly has his new fourth album to push, after all.

Starting off with Did You Miss Me from his latest album, the crowd go wild as he pops up onto the stage.

He follows it up with Right Place, Right Time and confidently goes through songs from his new album, including Why Do I Love You, Never Been Better and Seasons before breaking into an ‘Olly Olly Olly, oi, oi, oi’, chant that the audience helps echo around the arena.

The crowd is one of the biggest I’ve ever seen at the venue, with the standing area bursting with screaming fans and every single seat in the house taken.

It’s clear Olly’s popularity has only skyrocketed since making it to The X Factor final in 2009.

And with four albums he has so much material that he ends up doing an acoustic medley of some of his better-known songs, like Thinking of Me, Busy and Please Don’t Let Me Go.

The white grand piano proves too much temptation for Olly, who stretches his leg out and pulls some provocative poses as he encourages the audience to think of him as ‘everyone’s naughty second husband’ – much to the delight of the crowd.

The tempo picks up and it’s onto fan favourites Heart Skips a Beat, Up and Dance With Me Tonight.

Ella Eyre - who is supporting Olly on tour - was supposed to take Demi Lovato’s singing part on ‘Up’, but the crowd was told she was having problems with her voice and we would have to sing the part instead, which seemed to work as a one-off.

But it was still a shame that we didn’t get to see Ella and her powerful voice (and awesome hair) return to the stage.

Nonetheless Olly continued with Let Me In and Dear Darlin’, which led to a touching moment as he told the crowd it had a special meaning to him after his grandmother passed away recently.

Picking up the pace, the set moved onto some mash-ups of his current tracks with old classics.

He went through Play That Funky Music to Le Freak, Good Times and Uptown Funk before rounding it off with Beautiful to Me and Troublemaker.

As an encore he came back with Nothing Without You and Wrapped Up mixed with Bruno Mars’ Treasure, which went down a storm.

As Olly leaves the stage, he tells us to ‘stay cheeky and keep smiling’ – something he seems to have perfected.

By the end of the show, even the boyfriends who may have been dragged there with their partners were on their feet dancing.

It seems that Olly’s cheeky boy charm can win over almost anyone.

Gig date: April 20

Pictures: Anthony Longstaff