Lovable, shambolic - we'll miss you One Direction
Published 17/10/2015 | 02:30
Breaking up is hard to do - or at least it is for One Direction, who, since announcing they were to take a "temporary" breather, have released a new album and embarked on a 58-date farewell tour.
It's almost as if the tall-haired man-cherubs can't bear to shuffle off stage and onto the next phase of their lives and careers.
Nor are their fans in any great hurry to see the back of them.
The screams booming out across 3Arena as 1D made their entrance for the first of three sell-out Dublin shows were truly thunderous; adolescent hysteria mixed with the giddiness of 10-year-olds who've had more than their recommended daily intake of sugary snacks.
Their reward was a solidly enjoyable performance from four young men visibly outgrowing their teen heartthrob status yet keen to put in a decent stint at the office - then, with One Direction Inc pulling in £200,000 per day across the past year, their work ethic is no surprise.
Introduced in 2010 as tousled-haired lads next door, Harry, Niall and the rest nowadays look every centimetre the jet-setting pop royalty that they are.
Their tattoos and tans are in blunt contrast to such winsomely slurpy songs as 'Clouds', 'Kiss You' and 'Fireproof' (all of which tried to find a different way of asking if you would like to be their girlfriend).
Still, their essential likeability endures.
From the moment they broke through as Simon Cowell's world-conquering minions on 'X Factor', 1D's winning quality has been their lack of slickness.
Even Niall's scripted guitar bits are somehow made to feel spontaneous.
Consequently, 3Arena was untroubled by over-rehearsed dance routines or unreasonably toned torsos.
Instead our boys sauntered back and forth smiling, waving, and politely asking the audience to scream as loud as they could, and it turned out to be pretty loud.
Their light-hearted banter, too, was lovably shambolic.
"Dublinnnnn!" Niall shouted at the crowd.
"How great is it be back in Ireland?" asked Harry. And so on and so forth.
Musically, little of interest happened here - even the band's biggest hits are ruthlessly forgettable.
But One Direction were effortlessly, endlessly charming and, for that alone, they will be missed.