There are some experiences more awkward than being pulled out of your seat by the uncle of the artist you have come to review because you're not dancing.

For example, being that uncle - or dad, or stepmother - and watching as the girl in front of you removes her bra through her sleeve in order to hurl it at your X Factor winning relative.

With his partly self-penned songs about depression, tattoos and "jazz cigarettes", James Arthur got more freedom than most in the Simon Cowell machine to play bad boy pop poppet. Few of this sellout crowd could have cared less about the furore over the homophobic and racist undertones of his recent Twitter tangle with rapper Micky Worthless though - something which was made uncomfortably clear from the cheers which greeted his introduction of last single Recovery as "the one that never got played on the radio when everybody thought I was a homophobe".

Taking to the stage in a kilt Jack McConnell would be proud of, in tribute to his Scottish family, the Middlesbrough-born singer failed to impress with inoffensive album opener You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You and sweaty disco-sleaze number Lie Down. But there's a surprising depth to Emergency, despite its awkwardly-rapped middle 8; and big ballad Roses shows off his soulful voice so well it's almost a shame when his backing singer takes over to perform Emeli Sande's part.

An acoustic Recovery was the evening's high point, before a creepy version of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get it On dedicated to "all the mums in the house" lowered the tone. But new single Get Down - a pretty catchy slice of funk-soul - was worth that dance.