Loving Union J is easy for Belfast

The latest boyband sensation, Union J, whipped their fans into a frenzy when they played the first of two headline shows at the Waterfront Hall on Sunday night.

Union J thrilled fans at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Union J thrilled fans at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.

The young stars, who finished fourth in the X Factor in 2012, have developed a loyal fanbase since then, having had three hit singles and a self-titled debut album, which reached number six in the UK album chart.

Ably supported by Ollie Marland, Room 94 and Five Angels, the mostly teen crowd were more than ready to see the main act.

Deafening screams filled the Waterfront Hall as Josh Cuthbert, JJ Hamblett, Jaymi Hensley and George Shelley brought their Magazines and TV Screens tour to Belfast.

Opening the show with catchy pop tune, Where Are You Now, one of the album’s strongest tracks, the band quickly made their way through several album tracks such as Beethoven and Head In The Clouds, cleverly incorporating the said ‘TV screens’ into the routine.

Whilst the young band have only been in existence just over a year, having been formed by X Factor gurus from the band Triple J and solo artist George Shelley, they made use of several cover songs during the night.

Whilst the band share vocals, each member took time to display their individual vocal talent with a solo song. First up was George Shelley, with a mash-up of Flo Rida’s Wild Ones and Katy Perry’s Roar, whilst throughout the night Jaymi Hensley delivered a superb rendition of Beyonce’s Listen, JJ Hamblett had the crowd dancing along to One Republic’s Counting Stars and Josh Cuthbert performed a lovely version of Labrinth and Emeli Sande’s Beneath Your Beautiful.

With just two dates left on the tour, the Union J boys were keen to thank fans for their support, telling them they had ‘made their dreams come true’. Meanwhile, Jaymi Hensley took time to thank fans for their support after he came out as gay, whilst JJ Hamblett spoke of his delight at the support of the band’s followers after he became a father a month and a half ago.

The screams increased as the band launched into their debut single Carry You. Fans reached fever pitch, with many young girls shaking and crying, as the band each brought a girl from the crowd onto the stage, whilst Jaymi Hensley delighted one excited young teenage boy by also bringing him onto the stage as the band performed Amaze Me.

A Taylor Swift medley had the packed out hall singing and dancing along, as the boys paid tribute to their X Factor roots having performed Swift’s Love Story whilst on the live shows. Meanwhile, footage of their X Factor journey played on sceens behind them, drawing cheers as fans heard the moment Louis Walsh announced they were through to the live shows.

Finishing the night with the hit single Beautiful Life and Last Goodbye, fans called for more and were duly obliged as the guys finished with their recent single Loving You is Easy.

The X Factor has produced many hit boy bands in recent years, and they have hit another winner with Union J. Young and enthusiastic, they have the looks and they most certainly have the talent, with each member sporting a superb vocal range. For these four guys it seems that they have the world at their feet, judging by the reaction in Belfast this week.

With hit singles, a hit album, books, dolls, a sell out 20 date tour, and with a second album to follow later this year, things are looking good for Union J.

• Limited tickets are still available for Union J’s concert at the Waterfront Hall tonight (Monday, January 13). Tickets, priced £30 and £25 are available from www.waterfront.co.uk