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Review - JLS, The SSE Hydro

Four Stars

TIGHT trousers. Tick. Twinkly smiles. Tick. Fandangled light displays, pyrotechnics, costume changes, audience members invited on stage, bafflingly sprightly footwork - tick, of course. It must be a boyband. It must be JLS.

Adhering to the maxim that it's better to go out on top, JLS is on its Goodbye tour. If it feels like they only just got here then that's because they have. The charmingly white-toothed foursome became famous for not winning The X Factor in 2008 and since have enjoyed number one singles, albums, sell out arena tours and earned Brit Awards.

Their split reason - "there's nothing left for us to do" - shows either a spectacular lack of imagination or a spectacular arrogance. Surely there's a host of veteran bands available to dispense suggestions.

It's Aston, the most boyish and unthreatening of the group, who earns the wildest and most enthusiastic of responses but all four boys receive eardrum-popping shrieks, particularly when they praise Glasgow for its hard-partying ways. Of course, with an average age of 14 in the arena, hard partying seems to involve waving foam fingers and bobbing in flashing bunny ears.

The night is one of big hits and slick dance moves. During costume changes we are left to be entertained by the group's rather spectacular backing dancers and VT of the four musing over their time together.

Song-wise - because we are here for the music, although it does seem a little secondary to the spectacle - each track is slick, perfectly harmonised and fairly indistinguishable. From the balladry of Baby Take a Chance On Me and Proud to Love You More and their cover of Rihanna's Umbrella, it's just so. A rousing rendition of You Cannae Shove Your Granny Off A Bus leads into She Makes Me Wanna. Beat Again is the stand out track of the night, exhaustingly catchy.

The music is incidental; JLS need do nothing more than huddle together on stage and flex their pectoral muscles for the girls to go bananas. You should see what happens when they grind their hips. "Do you enjoy the thrusting? Do you?" You'd be a lone voice in the wilderness, replying "no".

They finish up in some smart suits with an X Factor montage playing in the background, a glitter canon firing and strobe lights blinding. The house remains dry-eyed; it's not the most convincing of goodbyes. How long til the reunion tour, that's the question.

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