Given the track record of career oblivion that has struck previous X Factor winners, there was something fitting about Little Mix emerging onto a stage resembling an apocalyptic wasteland. Striding about in Mad Max outfits, having been lowered down from the ceiling, it seemed a fitting testament to the quartet's survival skill.
It was not, however, a spectacular stage show. Coming in a period that's seen Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry roll in to the Hydro with extravaganzas , this was a straightforward experience, befitting the smaller venue. In keeping with their new album Salute, the vibe offered militaristic fetish, from the outfits to the group rolling on in a jeep, and some stomping boots being heard before Stand Down.
However the performance's strength wasn't the showiness on offer (or lack thereof) but the range of songs, and the foursome have already surpassed closest rivals the Saturdays in terms of a catchy repertoire.
The majority was colourful, cheerful and family-friendly pop, that sonically harked back to the late 80 and early 90s, literally in the case of the De La Soul sampling How Ya Doin? and their bouncy cover of Cameo's Word Up!, while the snappy About The Boy and the terrific Move pointed towards the dancefloor.
Yet, and this is always tricky ground with pure pop, there was a bit of personality missing. The slick run-throughs left no room for crowd interaction, and none of the foursome were able to display much character, something that the best pop groups, from Bananarama to Girls Aloud, managed to achieve. Set-closer Wings was backed by a video showing the quartet larking about, but such spirits were kept hidden in this systematic , if still enjoyable display.