Little Mix at Live At The Marquee, Cork 4th July 2016

Little Mix‘s target market is easily identifiable. Unlike some of their fellow competitors in pop, the girls don’t tend to appeal to the gay community, and are happier to chase preteens and their parents for ticket sales. While Rihanna can’t bear the responsibility of being a role model, the girls relish it, and they will continue to be marketed as the ultimate ‘big sister band’.

It’s predominately that age bracket present at their second night at the Marquee, and it’s also significantly quieter compared to the night before. Taking to the stage at quarter to 9, The X-Factor alums talk excitedly about finishing the tour in Cork, and how there’s no place they’d rather be right now. A quick skim of their Instagrams, however, suggests otherwise, (Leigh-Ann is pining for Ibiza, just FYI).

The criminally under-rated single Move makes an early appearance in the set, with the girls making a calculated effort to hold back vocally. Jade quickly establishes herself as the star of the show. Her Geordie quips and goofy demeanour get the loudest laughs of the night, even though Jesy does most of the talking. Even beyond that, Jade is the most consistent vocally by a country mile – a surprise considering Perrie usually carries the group’s performances.

There is an awful lot of dancing within performances, but minimal dance breaks and zero costume changes – unusual, but most definitely welcomed. The girls blitz through their back catalogue with machine-like efficiency, and though they don’t seem tired, it’s clear they are ready for the tour to be finished.

The girls finally demonstrate their prowess when it comes to harmonising on Fly, while older track DNA brings a much-needed edge to the set. Secret Love Song, on which they are usually assisted by Jason ‘Sings His Own Name’ DeRulo, sees Perrie prove they can carry the song just fine without him.

A medley of pop hits follows, and a slightly racy,half-hearted strip tease from some of their male backing dancers accompanies it. Their cover of Crazy In Love is particularly impressive, not to mention their perfectly sychronised dance moves. Other hits include Justin Bieber’s Where Are U Now, just to make sure they have their Top 40 audience thoroughly engaged.

Little Me proves to be their only significant fluff-up of the night. Sitting on a staircase for the girl power ballad, Jade misses her cue for the first verse, which sends the girls into fits of laughter.

No parent seems embarrassed to be here, merely soaking up the girls’ near perfect vocal delivery. Love Me Like You, (originally titled Fuck Me Like You, before Simon Cowell saw their earnings drop before his eyes and intervened, one would imagine), turns up the heat ever so slightly, with more risqué dance moves.

Little Mix’s encore features a video of the band members from the shoulders up, seemingly topless, singing The End a capella, before they return to launch into their juggernaut hit Black Magic. It’s not the strongest performance of the night – a crying shame considering its undoubtedly their biggest song.

Little Mix’s live show suits its audience – quick, simple, and with a focus on vocal delivery as opposed to showmanship. It’s an appreciated display, considering how over-the-top pop acts can go with their tours, to see them still keep the focus on themselves as singers. With that said, considering this is their largest and most expansive tour to date, it doesn’t exactly stand out as the most unforgettable experience.

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